BOSSIN’ UP: An Easy 2-Step Method To Take Control Of Negative Emotions
In my first career as a street wear store manager and buyer, I came across the likes of Frank Cooker (Hey Frank! #Taurusgang). Frank, now taking over street wear one design at a time at the Jordan Brand, gave me some great advice that wouldn’t set in until years later. During my career change from street wear to study law, Frank told me, “Brie, whatever you do, make sure you don’t make a move based on your emotions.”
As a repurposed creative myself, there’s a certain pride that comes from being in-tune with what you feel. Today feelings, vibes, and energy are keywords people use to explain or excuse certain actions or a lack thereof. We want to feel a certain way when we do things, connect with how we do it, and if we don’t like the feeling, it won't be the first on our list to complete. Through reading and research, I found that those who reach high levels of success doesn't allow a fleeting emotion to take over for long periods because emotions are only temporary. And because we have industries to disrupt and empires to build, it’s time to begin this easy two-step method of becoming a negative emotion-taming boss!
1. Articulate Out How You FEEL
Your first response after an event is raw emotion based on the stories you have created about yourself from experiences you remember in a particular way. The stories you live by may not make sense and may be completely false, but you accept them because the way you have viewed your life experiences makes the stories true.
On a Friday, I got a letter from the North Carolina Bar Examiners that I failed the Bar Exam. My mouth dropped, my heart stopped, and the tears came rolling like Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dog in California, performing at a Rolling Loud concert for 4/20. Even with success after transferring from Charlotte School of Law, I had a fear and self-created story that I wasn’t good enough to be a great lawyer. I continuously and tirelessly worked to prove to myself that I was no longer the struggling 2.1 GPA student from years before. Even after receiving great grades, internships, and academic awards, the rejection letter proved my internal story was true. The letter exposed that I was just another low-level student the whole time.
Yet, there was a plot twist! Although I did not pass the Bar Exam in North Carolina, the score I received allowed me to practice law in various other states. Even with this knowledge, my story of not being good enough was so strong, it was hard to overcome. I may have said I was mad or sad, but the truth is, I was much more than that! I was frustrated at how hard I worked and I was confused on why I didn’t get a few more points. I was annoyed and I was disgruntled that this happened at the time of my Bar Exam.
When strong emotions come your way, make sure you are taking the time to truly understand and explain your feelings out to the core. Go deep and go narrow. Dig into the main story you have told yourself that in fact, it is just an overwhelming wave. Finding the accurate words and descriptors will allow you to think through and articulate what’s in the bottom of your pity party and give you the clues you need to climb out.
TIP: Don’t drown, when you can just stand up.
2. Focus On What You CAN Do
After a situation that is less than ideal takes place, our minds begin to fill with doubt and reasons why we CAN’T do this or do that. Once again, we lean on a story we have created in our minds and find reasons to make it true. The stronger and more consistent the story is, the more real it seems that the reasons why we can’t change our circumstances aren’t just thoughts but FACTS - which isn’t further from the truth. After getting real with my emotions about failing the North Carolina State Bar, and having the doubts fill my mind, I took a minute to think about my options.
From the world-renowned film called “The Player’s Club,” a character named Ronnie stated, “Use What You Got, To Get What You Want”. Instead of allowing the thoughts to continue to build upon the false stories I created in my mind, it was time to take charge and create new stories of victory and success surrounded around what I knew I could do and what I was good at. What I knew I could do was see, walk, read, write, analyze complex facts, and communicate well with others. I knew I could get an A in a law school class, I knew I could get an internship at the publicly-traded company, and I knew I could take a test.
Honey, I was starting small, like super small! But all the skills I named meant I also knew I could fill out a few extra papers and transfer my test score. In fact, I knew I could transfer my test score and become licensed in two states that are pillars for the type of law I want to practice. Yes, ya girl was back and ready to turn up in my new career like I was Optimus Prime ready to fight the Decepticons!
When you come off the high-emotion ledge and get centered, take a moment to think about what you CAN do. Write it out, talk it out, or think it out, but dwindle it down to the most elementary steps and skills. What you will see is that, especially in this digital age, you are able and capable of anything because your foundation creates a future only you can limit with your thoughts. Leave the doubts behind and begin to concentrate on what CAN happen, what you CAN do, and what you CAN create, and the negative voices will disappear.
This two-step dance to overcome negative emotions is a practice that when used can bring down the time you need to refocus from days to hours, to minutes, allowing you to get back to building that career, disrupting that industry, and building that empire you have your eyes set on. Here’s to bossin’ up and taming the negative emotion beast one day at a time.
Written By Brieanna Singletary owner of Brieanna Bugatti, LLC
Personal Social Media - @yeahitsbrie
Business Social Media - @brieannabugattillc