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Why we should let our emotions get to us

Is it possible to be a productive entrepreneur when your emotions are running wild?

Recently, I came across terrible news. Someone very close to me was diagnosed with cancer. It was a total shock. No one saw it coming. This person means the world to me. The world started crumbling down, and immediately confusion ensued. It crowded and blurred my mind until I didn’t know what the heck I was thinking or feeling anymore. I just didn’t want to believe it.

It immediately started affecting my work. I looked for ways to downsize my workload so that I could be with the person more although I had no idea my presence would add value to her in any way. I started doubting why I was working so much when life could be so fickle. Perhaps I should quit some of the heavy projects immediately and make more room in my life. Without realizing it, I was searching for ways to go off track and veer away from my plans and dreams.

In times of emotional turbulence like this, many of us try to move on as quickly as possible and tell ourselves 'Get yourself together. Don’t get emotional. Stay focused. Don’t cry. You have no time to get weepy and mope around. Don’t come off weak and emotional like you’re losing it. You can’t afford it.’ So we lock “it” up inside this big vault, this dark heaviness inside us, and quickly go into problem-solving mode.

Be functional. Don’t engage feelings.

In times of emotional turbulence like this, many of us try to move on as quickly as possible and tell ourselves 'Get yourself together. Don’t get emotional.'


When I caught myself flipping back and forth between a downward spiral of unhealthy “what-if” doomsday scenarios, and the subsequent urge to ignore them and move on, I stopped and reminded myself that I would not be a hostage to my own thoughts.

Instead, I sat and engaged my senses. I connected with my breaths. I wrote things down, not just what was going through my mind, but also how I was feeling, what my body was feeling.

My body told me I was overwhelmed with fear of losing the person. I was also worried sick that she might suffer in pain. I felt powerless about how little I could do to help. And I was utterly, profoundly, and unequivocally sad. How precious and yet feeble we all are as human beings! I allowed myself to feel the sadness and it washed over me. Tears started pouring out uncontrollably and I bawled my eyes out for a good few minutes. I didn’t try to stop myself from crying or worry about whether I was crying for too long or too loudly or if my face was getting messy. I didn’t care who could hear me. I just let go and wallowed in profound sadness.

While I was crying, I realized how much I loved her, and that all my fears and worries stemmed from this love. The sadness wasn't entirely sad after all. I also thought about the good times we had and started remembering that we can still continue to have fun together. Why the heck am I acting as if she is about to die anyway? I suddenly felt silly for letting my thoughts spiral out of control. I felt lighter afterward like the tears cleansed me. The sadness was still there, but now I know it’s also with hope and love. I felt ready to get back to my life.

While immersed in sadness, I realized all my fears and worries stemmed from love and hope.

Why we should let our emotions get to us

“Losing it” served me a purpose, which was to acknowledge the complex emotions I was feeling at the moment and let them run through me wholeheartedly. Allowing and experiencing a range of emotions is a profound exercise to accept who you are as a whole. And when you are and feel whole, you’re in a condition to be present as your most capable self with focus and energy.

How we remain focused and steady on course through life’s turbulences has to do with how we train ourselves to understand and be with our emotions, the FULL range of them. I say it takes training to be with our emotions because it is hard work that takes courage and compassion toward yourself. But you can start small.

You can remain focused and steady on track despite life's ups and downs if you can be fully present with all your emotions.

How to be with your emotions

Whenever you come across a tough situation that’s stirring you up, you can simply stop and drop what you are doing, take a deep breath, close your eyes, and notice what’s happening in your body. How’s your breath? How is your heartbeat? What are you sensing and feeling? Your body and your emotions have so much more wisdom for you than you know.

Being a successful entrepreneur requires handling your emotions to serve your vision and goals, not suppressing them.

So stop telling yourself “Don’t let your emotions get to you.”

Let your emotions get to you.

Welcome them and nurture them.

Food for thoughts

Q. How do you deal with uncomfortable feelings?

Q. What is your emotional range?


Joon is a Productivity & Leadership Coach based in Korea. She is passionate about helping businesswomen redesign productivity so that they can spend their time and energy on things that matter the most. She's certified by Co-Active Training Institute & Leadership Circle. She coaches in English or Korean on Zoom across time zones.

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