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  • Olivier S.E. Courtois

How Strong Are You Really?

Updated: Mar 27

Last Sunday, as I was strolling in a quiet neighborhood, a driver nervously honked at an old lady who was slowly manoeuvering her car into parking. Spurts of adrenaline invaded my body and all sorts of violent ideas towards the driver sprang to my mind. Fortunately, I immediately realised how absurd the situation was: a driver I didn’t know was taking control of my own emotions. Why was I inflicting that to me?


Back to business life, how many of us, leaders are losing self-control. Of course, the higher we are in an organisation, the more we are supposed to ‘behave’. But behaving doesn’t mean we are in control of our own emotions. It simply means that we manage to hide them better than others. Deep inside though our stress eats us up alive.


True self-control implies that we manage to completely disconnect our nervous system from external inputs. We switch off the response button. We pause. And we serenely analyse. The external situation of course, but also our feelings. How do I feel right now? What does that say about me? What do I want to do about it?


The capacity to stay tuned to our feelings and observe them cold-bloodedly is an art that requires practice. It is the beginning of wisdom, a clear sign of strength and a matter of survival.


#leadership #selfcontrol #resilience

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