Composure. A fundamental Iron Quality and a key component of living like a boss.
But what exactly is it?
Composure is the feeling of being calm and in control of yourself and your emotions.
But here’s the thing – much like the G-Spot, composure can be elusive and slippery. Keeping your composure in a world that does its best to make you lose it can be the one of the hardest fights you face.
Getting emotional is ok – there’s a time and a place for emotion. Going through life acting like a robot isn’t healthy. But we are men – and we’re always striving to think clearly and objectively. We can’t let our behaviour and actions get hijacked by emotion.
Everyone is judging you…
People read verbal and non-verbal cues from you and make judgements. That’s what we all do.
Personally, I don’t give a shit about how people judge me and neither should you. But if people know there are buttons they can press that will rile you up and force you to lose your composure, it becomes something they can leverage. A weakness they can exploit.
But if you can remain cool, calm and collected in all situations…that’s a powerful tool. Composure shows self-confidence. You are sure of yourself and your reality is dictated by YOU. External factors don’t shake that.
Never let emotions cloud your judgement
When you control your emotions, you communicate better and with more confidence. You lead a more productive and purposeful life and get more done.
To be a leader amongst men – that’s what we’re talking about here.
- Can you take a verbal roasting without letting it rile you up or get you down?
- Can you handle a rejection without getting discouraged?
- Can you remain cool when things don’t go according to plan?
- Can you speak in public without getting nervous and breaking down?
- Can you laugh with others when the joke is on you?
We’ve all lost our composure at some point
Somewhere that’s rife with the pathetic stench of composure loss is the world of dating. We’ve all seen it and most of us have experienced it first hand.
It’s that feeling you get when you’re trying to seduce a honey and you’re way more into it than she is. You know this, but you keep calling her anyway. Texting her.
- Sometimes she answers.
- Sometimes she doesn’t.
- Sometimes she replies with brief disinterested comments.
- Sometimes you find yourself double or triple texting before you get a reply.
You try to arrange a few cocktails.
“It’ll be fun” you say.
“I’m busy” she says.
“Ah. Ok, no problem. Maybe next time.”
So instead of cocktails, you sit at home on Friday night watching some shit TV, trying to distract yourself from contacting her. But the temptation is too much.
“I’ll maybe just text a ‘hi’ “- no harm in that right?
I know what you’re thinking: “This guy needs to grow a pair, cut contact and more on”. But when emotion clouds our judgement, we make weak decisions and bad things usually follow.
When I was a child, I thought like a child…but when I became a man, I put away childish things
When we lose composure, we let that excess emotion affect our behaviour and actions. Just like a child does.
You’ve all seen the tiny tears when kids don’t get their way. Or maybe you had a childhood friend who used to huff and cry when he didn’t win at Super Mario Kart. Hell, maybe that was you.
When we’re young, we have an idea of ‘normality’ and we don’t know how to properly deal with things that upset our understanding of the world.
And that’s fine. We learn.
The skill then is becoming experienced in dealing with these things. Feeling the frustration, the anger, the joy – and learning how to react without letting it mess with the logical part of our brains.
It’s a little bit like getting drunk…
Remember when you stole that bottle of whisky from your dad’s special hiding place when you were 16?
- Hiding out at the back of the local supermarket car park. Taking turns swigging from the bottle with your mates. And getting that warm fuzzy glow inside.
- Telling all your boys how much you loved them and how awesome everything was.
- Barfing in the bushes and trying to sneak back home without your parents busting you.
You lost your composure my friend. But the more experience you get in drinking alcohol and its effects, the more composure you can maintain while under the influence.
(until you reach the point of no return and then it’s almost literally ‘anything goes’)
So how the hell do you keep your composure?!
The good news is that there are ways and means to help you find and keep your composure. And here’s six tips to help you out.
1 – Think before you act
When you’re emotional, impulse isn’t always the best way. Take some time – even just a few seconds – to reflect on things before you make a decision. Which leads on to….
2 – Break the routine
If someone or something has riled you up, go for a walk. Go outside. Get some fresh air or just change the scenery. Try to look at things from a different perspective. A quiet moment to yourself gives you the chance to fully analyse things and make better decisions
3 – Reflect and learn
When you do lose your composure and act like an ass, learn from it. Identify what took your composure and ask yourself what you can do to stop it from happening again. Having a reaction plan can be very powerful and help you keep that precious commodity – composure
4 – Don’t take things personally
Everyone has a perspective. Everyone has a job to do. Most of the time, someone’s perspective will not align with yours. Sometimes, that job that someone is doing will piss you off. And that’s fine. Different opinions are what make the world so diverse. And that job is putting food on someone’s table. Look for solutions, not reasons to be pissed off
5 – You have choice
You are the centre of your world. You are the core. You are the anchor. External factors will wash against you and you will remain strong. Bad things will happen. Your composure will be tested many times. But you have the ability to choose how to react. You have the ability to define yourself on your own terms. And that’s a beautiful thing
6 – Breathe
When you get nervous or angry or excited, your breathing tends to become faster and more shallow. Recognise this and consciously try to breathe more slowly and from your belly. Get that heart rate down big boy
So the next time you feel yourself getting all hot and bothered, or your bottom lip starts quivering when things don’t go your way, think back on this. Composure is a beautiful but fragile thing. Keep it, cherish it – and you’ll be a man, my son.