How Do You Manage Your Investments?
When I am “invested in being right”—I can only suffer negative dividends. The dividend for this type of investment yields a loss of my sense of self. And I often find myself alone and out in the cold with my little portfolio of “I was right” stocks, “I tried to tell you” money markets, and the “if you had only listened to me” mutual funds.
How can I pick winning stocks for my emotional portfolio? How can I communicate more clearly my intent of purpose without portraying myself with a Martha Stewart Dominatrix personality? How do I make my communication style like that of E. F. Hutton since when “he speaks, people listen”.
Consider the stages in the “investment in being right” cycle.
Stage One—Manage My Feelings
I must remember when managing my emotions I am not controlling my emotions. The only self-control that I can invoke is the management or choice to manage all the emotions which are available to me. Einstein’s theory of relativity does not apply here, for every action there does not have to be a separate and equal reaction.
For example, I am in a meeting with my peers and one of them comments I should be able to produce more revenue from the departments I am responsible for than I am currently producing. And I think to myself, as I assume a defensive stance, “The nerve of that moron, who in the heck does she/he think she/he is. Maybe she/he should “clean up” her/his own backyard and stay out of my business.” I easily become so “emotionally invested” in the comment I lose my sense of self. I choose to indulge this comment by responding with a resounding, “Whatever, Clown!” My “transaction” has been put into play.
I could stop this cycle here by slowing down and processing my feelings—this means writing my feelings down, distinguishing them from my thoughts and seeing how feelings affect my thoughts. I can ask myself in this stage, “What am I being defensive about?” “How am I investing
in being upset with another person, and focusing on that person?” I can focus back on myself, process my feelings, and ask how I can communicate respectfully and responsibly with the other person to clarify what is needed. I can then take action from a grounded place rather than a reactive place.
I don’t and instead, I leave the meeting ready and willing to enter Stage Two.
Stage Two—Tell me How You Really Feel
Stage Two is a busy place. It is filled with risky behaviors that guarantee negative return on my investment in being right. I can double my payoff in the “numb out your feelings” scam. I can beat the bank by playing, “Obsession Roulette”. I can spend hours trading obsessive thoughts with myself and with my friends.
Or I can STOP the obsession and ask myself this question: “What’s the payoff for this type of thinking?” “How much am I willing to spend for my first class ticket to the “World of Arrogance”?” Arrogance is a destructive choice to manage my emotions and what, when, how and where I think about people, places, things and situations.
My peer’s comment to me in the meeting could have been “debited” differently. I cannot change her/his statement to me, only my response to her/his statement. By exercising this payment option, I manage to keep a positive balance in my own emotional bank account.
Stage III—WhattsamattaMe and Lady Sings the Blues
When my obsessive thoughts keep multiplying I am now in a Bull Market economy. I am so focused on the comments of others I spiral into a state of increasing negativity and self doubt. I have not really taken time to examine my feelings and process them. I am heavily invested and I cannot see my way out of debt. I am headed for a great depression. My head hurts, I feel tired, and I am out of energy, just like Enron. My tank is empty. I have three more meetings today. I am destroyed and invested in resentment. I am not tired, I am plain angry with my peer and myself. I need to turn myself around when I get into this depth of negativity. I can now focus on:
A Cure for What Ails Me
When my focus is on others, I must ask myself, “What is my Part?” And I must ask myself, “How are my feelings propelling me into judgment?” And when I can’t answer these questions and I am still feeling angry with myself, I need to consider my stock options. I can:
- Write down my feelings and thoughts.
- Call someone who can help me clarify/identify my obsessive thoughts.
- Consult my peers who will support me into taking proactive actions.
- Eat Humble Pie.
I can also remember to manage my emotions. I can be compassionate to myself first, then others. I can remember compassion means to have passion, as well as anger and can include many emotions. All of these emotions are part of my portfolio. They are available to me in response to any comment. I will invest in myself in order for me not lose my self. I will make good choices and earn myself big dividends.