Your Low Emotional Consciousness is Making You Vulnerable!

By Sameer Kamboj, SKC World

This is the 4th part of the tenpart series “10 Mistakes Made by Entrepreneurs on Their Path to Scaling Up”, today on Emotional Vulnerability. Even after becoming emotionally intelligent, we can be vulnerable when we do not deal with our emotions consciously. We become either oversensitive or insensitive to our own and to others’ emotions. Using various techniques of Emotional Intelligence, whether using the Ability model or Trait Model, we are able to get down to the symptomatic levels of our emotions – but we are often unable to understand “Why we are the way we are?”


Most people do not know how to deal with emotions, whether their own or those of others. In fact, the word emotion triggers some fuzziness inside them and they make walls of rationality around themselves to get rid of this fuzzy feeling. When logic and rationality can no longer provide effective, functional effciency, fuzzy feelings begin to emerge.

Symptomatic Emotions and Compulsiveness

This fuzzy feeling is like a noise inside the head that makes us react in multiple ways. Stress, anger, depression, anxiety, angst, jealousy, envy, comparison, competition, procrastination, confusion, numbness, fear, need for appreciation, feelings of inadequacy, and more are the kind of experiences we feel as a consequence. These are only the symptomatic emotions and not the root cause. As these feelings arise, our body and mind react in a predictable, almost pre-programmed manner leading to an automatic reflexive action system, leaving us with little or no choice in how we respond. For example biting one’s nails when stressed or trying to think hard. This entire process is termed as compulsiveness. People either struggle with this compulsiveness or give into it – “I’m just like this! Deal with it!” is an extremely popular line when someone is frustrated with their own compulsions and just unable to change.

Consciousness is the polar opposite of compulsiveness. It is the response which most of the time is unpredictable, rationale and a symptom of evolution. As we gain emotional intelligence, we become more aware of the kinds of emotions that are triggered in us as well as in others, leading to somewhat better control over our lives and our emotional responses, yet compulsiveness remains firmly rooted. Once an emotion is triggered, we can try to safeguard ourselves against some of its consequences, but we are often unable to control the eruption of the emotion itself. For example, once anger has been triggered, we may choose to remain silent, go for a walk, express our anger, suppress it, use substances like alcohol, tobacco etc., or try to distract ourselves from it. However, once anger has erupted, our life starts to circle around it. This emotion becomes the anchor point around which our struggle happens.

Imagine you have fractured your right arm. Going forward, the way you will deal with life will be in context of your experience with that arm. What this means is that the way you get up, go to sleep, take a bath, eat food, work, will all be governed by that arm which is not well, which will not let you live a completely able and normal life for a temporary period. It will become like an anchor holding you down, not allowing you to function at your fullest. Emotions are exactly like that; once you have a generated a feeling, whatever you do, you will think because of it. If you are feeling sad, then no matter how happy the place you go to, at your core something will be weighing you down. These experiences and emotions become the anchor points of life around which everything revolves.

Emotional Consciousness

Until we become emotionally conscious, we remain emotionally vulnerable because we remain compulsive and subservient to our emotional structures. Emotional Consciousness is our ability to overcome the compulsions of our emotions both at the causative and the symptomatic level. We all lead a life of choices where we can pick and choose whichever emotion to use to lead our lives, while working to ensure that these choices will neither make us compulsive nor habitual.

Take the example of an entrepreneur whose key emotional driver is Fear of Losing. You will notice that all his decisions remain continually rooted in this fear. He will have a compulsive need to win every argument and in the process, he will end up arguing even with his customers or his family. As he starts to lose business or love, his fear of loss is triggered even more. To overcompensate, he will now start to keep quiet, bottling up his emotions, resulting in lifestyle disorders like high blood pressure, high blood sugar, insomnia, stress, etc. Whenever the situation becomes overwhelming, he will explode like a volcano and then again retreat in an effort to maintain relationships. Even after becoming Emotionally Intelligent, this person remains as helpless as ever; in fact, he may suffer even more at times, since he is unable to eliminate the root cause of his distress: Fear of Losing.

The 5 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs are Unable to Deal with Their Emotions

  1. Living in denial
    We are conditioned to live in denial. Emotions have been unmanageable in the past, therefore, let us become emotionless. This life of denial results in the start of making us extremely vulnerable. What is noteworthy is that men are more prone to committing this mistake than women. This is one of the reasons why women excel at almost everything they do.
  2. Getting stuck with symptomatic emotions
    We often get stuck with symptomatic emotions and are not able to dive deep to find the causative root emotions that lie within or underneath the fuzzy feelings. We have a tendency to arrive at quick conclusions and avoid the effort of deep thinking. Also, the numerous distractions created by multiple crises, obligations, and pleasures in our lives make it diffcult for us to find the time for deep thinking.
  3. Inability to connect and communicate
    Due to our vulnerability, trust issues remain a huge obstacle. Past experiences of hurt force us to remain untrusting and on guard. “People are out to get me I need to protect myself.” This can be a deep conviction and it will keep us disconnected from all our relationships. As a result, many people exist engaging in only pretentious, superficial or transactional relationships.
  4. Need for quick results
    We may tell ourselves, “There’s a lot at stake! Who has the time to engage with or indulge into the emotional, softer side of people?” Instead, we use fear or other incentives to get quick results. Time is of the essence and we need to hurry. With this mindset, we keep running endlessly, only to realise that we were running on a treadmill, not getting anywhere.
  5. Inability to sit with ourselves
    We all suffer varying degrees of Loneliness. The moment we sit with ourselves, we need to face ourselves, our thoughts, our actions, and the consequences of our actions and emotions. Instead, we avoid contemplation and we look for someone or something to blame; we decide on a reason or explanation and quickly spring into action mode to set people and things right. We do not sit with ourselves. Not really, right? Because we do not know how to.

Emotions provide us with a reason to live. If we become conscious, we can create a million reasons to live for ourselves and create a fulfilling and full life. No one wishes to scale up their miseries and suffering. When emotions do not get fulfilled, we suffer. Finding minor reasons for amplifying our negative emotions in search of fame, pleasures, gains, etc., do not play out in the long run, and our desire to continue living this way starts to take a hit. Very soon people talk of scaling down, retirements, sabbatical, travelling the world, “escaping”.

Emotionally vulnerable people lead half measured lives. Emotionally conscious people live fulfilled lives. They going and keep growing.

This was the 4th of 10 mistakes an entrepreneur should avoid while scaling up!

Sameer Kamboj

Sameer Kamboj

GCG member firm
SKC World
Advisory, Auditing & Accounting, Tax
New Delhi, India
T: +91 11 41324 619
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Published: GGI Insider, No. 115, September 2021 l Photo: deagreez -



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