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February 9, 2021

103 | Crying, Personalities and Running a Business

Crying, emotions, Personalities and Running a Biz with Annie Miller

This podcast episode was not planned, but is inspired by the emotions and the little minor breakdown I had the other day. And when I say minor breakdown I mean that I let literally one tear roll down my left cheek before wiping it up and moving on.

Now, it’s very important that we set the stage for this discussion. I don’t even know if there are going to be legitimate takeaways from this episode. But if anything, it will likely strike a conversation within your own brain. Whether that’s helpful or not is yet to be determined.

After posting about the fact that I had some pretty strong and what seemed like out of nowhere emotions the other day, I had several conversations with females in my DM‘s on Instagram.

So, we are here because if I’m having conversations in my direct messages with several different women, it’s probably worth addressing that topic on the podcast for the rest of you.

OK, setting the stage.

This conversation would be lead very differently depending on the personality, the background, and the perspective that is behind the words.

In this case, that person is me.

I am an Enneagram eight wing nine, and ISRJ-A on the Myers-Briggs or six personality types test which is identified as the logistician. And I am a Questioner with Upholder tendencies from Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies test..

Aka I like and thrive off of logic, facts, systems, proven strategy and I like structure but a primary value of mine is freedom. I’m slow to trust, but very loyal once I do, and I question everything, including myself. Yet through the enneagram eight in me, I would say I have an unusually high trust in my got an intuition. And I am intrinsically motivated. I do not require outward accountability to get some thing done if I want to get something done.

So there is the personality type behind the microphone in this conversation.

You can already see from that personality type that I am likely not a person who leans toward emotion in general, let alone using it to make decisions. 

I can come off as brash, direct and cold, all really great things, you know?

And I’m also not one for using your personality as a crutch or an excuse. So while a lot of the things I just listed are strengths, they’re also weaknesses or can lean toward weaknesses depending on my emotional intelligence and awareness.

For instance, I don’t empathize well. I get uncomfortable around emotions. Including my own.

I joked in my Instagram story the other day that I rarely cry. Like we’re talking maybe once per year. And therefore when I do cry it’s like I am processing two different perspectives. From one perspective I am like the person that feels awkward when other people cry. You know, the oh my gosh what’s happening, what do I do? Please stop. Do I put my arm around them? Do I rub their back? There’s this whole internal dialogue and when I cry, I am that person to myself – analyzing the situation. Just trying to get a grasp on it.

And then of course I am the person who is having the emotional response of crying. Because I do not cry often, when I do, my first reaction is to ask why it’s happening and to find a solution. I don’t cry, so if I’m crying, something must be wrong, which means there must be a solution. And we need to find said solution.

I hope we are all getting a visual understanding of what is happening inside my body and brain on a physiological level when Annie Miller has the urge to cry.

And that was all simply to help you understand who is leading this conversation. I hope that is very very clear at this point.

So as with narratives around money, or relationships, or self-worth, we all pick up a narrative of some kind around emotions and crying from our childhood. This is only natural.

The narrative that I picked up as a child was that crying is weakness. It’s that simple.

I logically know this is not true in my adulthood. But we can logically know things and still revert back to childhood narratives.

And truthfully, because I don’t cry very often, I don’t revisit or address this narrative. Until that is, I have the urge to cry over something unidentifiable.

I guess that is super super super important to note as well. I can cry during a movie, and I know why I’m crying, or I can cry when Nate eats the food that I left in the fridge for myself and understand why I’m crying. I’m sure you can relate.

When I get tripped up, it’s when I don’t feel in control. Like my body is ramping up on a physiological level and I don’t understand why from a logical standpoint. I don’t think that I’m stressed, I don’t feel overly frustrated about anything. There’s no pre-cursor emotion that I can identify in the moment.

So how the hell does all of this relate to business? We’re getting there. Like I said this was not planned. So I appreciate you sticking around for my internal narrative and processing.

Here goes my stream of consciousness. I can’t make any promises.

I know, but when I cry related to business, it is typically from a sense of overwhelm or lack of control. This makes sense for my personality type right? I very much so enjoy control, and freedom, and structure, and seeing the plan.

That’s when I feel most stable.

So I am going to ask you to think about your personality type and what most often causes you to ramp up and get really sympathetic and or straight up cry in your business.

What are the precursor emotions that you tend to feel before you start crying or not enjoy the way that you are feeling? Instability, for instance.

Is it when someone says something negative about your service? Or when a client doesn’t follow protocol? Is it when you feel like you have way too much on your plate and don’t know what to choose next? What about when you’ve put hours into content of some kind and it doesn’t perform well?

And you might think that some of those sound silly. And maybe you know for a one off situation that it would be silly. But these things can compound and then blow up right? It’s not the first thing that happened it’s the 500 before that. And I think gaining awareness with how your personality interacts with your business can be one of the best tools to learn as an entrepreneur.

So while I didn’t cry the other day because of business in any sense, it just got me having conversations about emotions and running a business. Again, that’s how we got here.

Take time to think about when you feel unstable in your business and how you can either negate that or mitigate. Have awareness of your triggers (like you speeding up or getting disorganized or whatever it may be for your personality.)

It could be that your personality values freedom and feels restricted by structure. So we know that if you are entering a season where there’s going to be a lot of structure placed on you, we need to prioritize free time, or freedoms within that structure. Make sense?

Let’s circle back to narratives around crying, and or being “emotional.”

Because we all have different definitions of what are normal levels of emotion and expression, and what is too much or too little.

I would say in business it is frowned upon to be emotional. That’s a very general, blanket statement. And you need to be careful how you take that.

I don’t think that being an entrepreneur is only for one personality type.

However, I do think that being analytical, strategic, intrinsically motivated, and driven by structure have been huge in the success of my business. (If you want to call it that.)

I am not easily shaken by issues or things not being successful. As you can see from the crying, my gut reaction is to find a solution.

But, that doesn’t mean that more emotional people can’t run successful businesses. Remember that all businesses are not built the same. And like health and fitness, there is not a one size fits all approach.

With that, businesses do need structure, and profit and loss, and to track numbers, and to have systems in place.

That fact is less important than knowing yourself as an entrepreneur. Do you need to hire a coach or buy a course if those things are not natural to you? I don’t know, that’s up to you.

And in all of this, I think no matter if you are someone who feels a lot of things and needs to release those feelings or not, the more emotionally intelligent and aware we can be as business owners and leaders, the better.

A perfect example of this is that I use a weekly and monthly journal that is emotional and mental health centered. It is very easy for me to not address those things, so I need an outside resource. This helps me stay aware of where I’m at emotionally and mentally. Otherwise I will just keep trudging forward with all disregard to feelings.

I say that with the understanding as well that just because someone is more emotional does not necessarily mean that they are more emotionally stable or aware. And that’s what I’m getting at.

I think you can have a seemingly stoic person, but also emotionally unstable. Someone who lashes out or flies off the handle but otherwise seems very stoic, like I said. That’s not healthy.

Nor is a person who has highs and lows with emotion and makes decisions based on those highs and lows.

All in all, (and let’s be very clear this spans men and women both – all of the humans in business) I think that being “emotional” in business is looked down upon, or has a stigma, because it can seem unstable. And businesses need stability, systems, predictability, etc. If the leader of a company does not emulate these things or hire a team that fills these gaps, I think that can be or feel or seem dangerous.

Now, don’t go jumping down my throat. This is a simple hypothesis. I am not saying that this is fact, or even truth. I’m saying it’s a possible perspective.

I’m also not saying that we all need to walk around like robots. Quite the opposite. I simply think that having emotions, and allowing yourself to have emotions is wonderful. It is part of the human experience in the most literal way. And we do business as humans. I just think it’s an end situation. Can we have emotions, honor emotions, recognize emotions and make logical decisions?

This is the question, and I think, the goal for most of not all entrepreneurs.

Crying, Personalities and Running a Biz with Annie Miller

If you find value here, on The FitsPRO Podcast, then pretty please head over to iTunes, subscribe, rate and review the show. It means the world to me when you spread my message to more humans.

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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.

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