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  • Writer's pictureTony Richards

8 Negative Emotional Triggers That Will Affect Your Performance

professional development

All performers and leaders are going to experience negative situations, sometimes personal, sometimes in their community, nationwide, and even globally. We have had our share of all these this year. This is not abnormal, there have been plenty of these during my lifetime. The shorter your life and work experience, the more these situations appear to have never happened before and we are facing a new challenge. The reality is most of the time, the situation or event is not new, it just may be taking a different form or circumstance.

The way we handle these things as they come up is key to our overall performance. How you handle your feelings can go a long way to either make the entire situation better or worse for yourself and your organization. You may be the catalyst that motivates or discourages those around you in professional and personal situations. It's vital, especially if you are an elite-level performer, to develop the ability to be aware of your cognizance to these situations and improve your ability to regulate your emotions to deal with them.


You are swimming in deeper water than you should be. The proverbial "in over your head" applies here, you are consistently working in areas that are challenging you in negative ways. Hopefully, you can get back to a more safe and competent space before you fail big time, or you cost your company irreparable damage.

Worrying too much about things out of your control

Certainly, I have seen how this year is affecting many people who are so focused on political issues and COVID-19, but also how others are viewing and talking about these issues are causing issues for leaders. No doubt there are people who are directly affected by some of these things, but there are many who aren't and have fallen victim to emotions, fear chiefly among them.

Sickness, death, and/or tragedy

Some people have been affected by the pandemic of 2020, they have either contracted the virus or someone close to them have. Of course, this causes wild, emotional swings as we are less able to maintain control over our emotions when we are not at our best physically and mentally.

Project delay

When components of a project do not happen when they are supposed to, it causes stress and frustration triggers very often. This can be team members missing deadlines, budget constraints, shipping issues, etc. Delay and disappointment are some of the most common everyday issues which emotionally trip people up.

Feeling judged

Sometimes we fear the opinions of ourselves by others, these can be realistic or imagined by us. The more in position or power to affect our lives, the more it can pull or tug at us.

Procrastination and perfectionism

These are two of the worst ones we bring on ourselves. We procrastinate out of fear and then perfectionism slaps the other side of our emotional make-up. We hold up or delay because everything is not just perfect and then we beat ourselves up because we didn't start earlier.

Lack of Control

When it comes down to it, we have very little control over much of anything except ourselves. The media and other external forces can deceive us into believing we should be doing something about everything. While it may be true there is more each of us can do, we won't be effective unless we have a better grip over managing ourselves.

Customer Dissatisfaction

The more you understand the business, the more you dread any customer being unhappy. The question is, how do you handle it? Think about it this way: in any scenario involving another human being who is not happy: Is it better for both of the individuals to be emotionally negative or should at least one of them in the situation remain level-headed and calm? You got it, let the level-headed and calm person be you, and most of the time, you will solve the issue wonderfully.

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