Negative emotions? Bring it on!

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Mental resilience using a counter-intuitive approach

Worry, anger, fear.  These are among what most of us would label as negative emotions.  And it has long been the opinion of the self-help gurus that we should free ourselves from such feelings.

What if the gurus are wrong?

Owning and running a business is often described as an ‘emotional rollercoaster’.  We experience anticipation, excitement and delight in the good times; and we suffer sadness, anxiety and frustration when things don’t quite go our way.  We all recognise the fact that business life has its ups and downs and as optimists, we expect the good times to outweigh the bad.

Yet, even the downs, if embraced properly, can be our friends too. Yes – you did read that right: to welcome a negative emotion seems counter-intuitive, and yet can provide us with great insight and learning opportunities.

What are worry and anxiety if not expressions of caring or concern?  How can you know that something needs changing if anger or frustration DON’T pay a visit? 


Advances in the relatively new field of Positive Psychology are starting to show us that we should embrace ALL our emotions – not just the positive ones.  The states of success and happiness, it seems, are not just the absence of negative emotions… nor the state of blissful ignorance of the problems surrounding us.  We need to embrace the light AND the dark in equal measure.

When you lie awake at night – and we business owners often do – rather than chasing it away, try identifying, and naming, the emotion that is visiting.  Welcome it as a friendly messenger; a signal  that could provide more insight, more learning and, ultimately a more mentally resilient approach in the future.

For all of us, fighting against negative emotions can be draining.  A small percentage of us may find we need a little professional help with our mental health.  If that’s you – do the right thing by yourself, your family and your business – and speak to someone.

Those of us who can, explore taking back control by opening up to negative emotion to find the true purpose of that uncomfortable feeling.  Perhaps Rudyard Kipling had business owner managers in mind when he wrote in his poem If

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two imposters just the same

At Castle we know the work we do has an incredibly important bearing on the owner-manager, their business and their family.  In this regard, we find ourselves being more than just a professional adviser but a trusted friend there to support owners both professionally and personally, whatever life throws at us!   

What next?

If you want a chat, a human voice, a like-minded owner-manager, one that knows all too well that lying awake in the middle of the night feeling, contact Stuart on 07500 999 541 or Victoria on 07469 140 080

You might also be interested to read the first part of our four-part blog series ‘Clarity and confidence in a time of crisis’ click here

See how Castle can help you ‘Survive to Thrive’– click here

To subscribe to the remaining two parts of our four-part blog series click here to join our mailing list

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4th May 2020

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