The key word for this mental capacity is independence. the ability to autonomously conquer the negative emotions founders so often experience for a variety of reasons and achieve two important mental wins:
Reducing the intensity of negative emotions.
Injecting a healthy dose of excitement or positive energy in facing reality.
Emotional Regulation is all about staying strong and cool in the face of change, hardships and failure. Not getting easily upset and managing to raise energy levels and project them when needed. Experiencing and expressing a range of emotions in a manner that is tolerable to those around and being sufficiently flexible.
This does not mean that the founder should not be using external mental support - it is definitely encouraged - but in the grand scheme of things, we strive for our founders to be emotionally independent, grounded and mentally strong.
After a successful seed round and a year of fundamental disagreements with the CEO, the CTO decides to leave the startup. The remaining CEO keeps going without him. There are days in which the CEO feels overwhelmed and believes that there is no way she can carry the startup forward alone - leading to fear and disappointment. However, she manages to independently self regulate by leveraging past experience and understands that while things change for the worse, they can also change for the better. She does not allow disappointment and stress to take over and distract her from her ultimate mission.
An early-stage CEO is about to go on stage and pitch to a crowd of hundreds. A few minutes prior to her pitch, she receives an unfortunate email from a potential investor, saying he would not proceed with an investment. The CEO is obviously upset; the disappointment takes over her and distracts her from the mission - providing a memorable pitch. When on stage, she finds it difficult to perform as negative thoughts take over her; she can not act as if nothing happened and puts on a poor performance.
“I trust myself to know what are my strong and weak points; where I am strong, I will find the right tools to deal with the situation, and where I am weak - I will approach others for help.”
“I try to use helpful distractions - shift my thinking onto other issues at work which is more immediately solvable.”
“I focus on the positives: whatever makes me happy or calm.”
“I stand my ground - people around me need to learn to listen and do as they told. I will make the person conform, even if it means I will have to raise my voice.”
“Overall, I don’t see a problem I cannot handle. I have been through pretty much everything and figured out my coping mechanisms.”