A google search of emotional intelligence could lead you to this dictionary definition:
“the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. Emotional intelligence is the key to both personal and professional success”
Wow, think about that for 10 seconds, close your eyes, and ask yourself this question; Are my emotions interfering with my personal and professional success?
When I asked myself this question years ago, my answer was a resounding YES! I realized that I was an emotional roller coaster, up and down, down and up, spinning around and blaming this person or this event, being angry, throwing adult temper tantrums which left me feeling emotionally exhausted and overwhelmed. In my defense, I found out that I had prior life circumstances and events that contributed to me being a roller coaster of emotions. I realized that I could use this as an excuse or look for a solution.
In that moment, I experienced a difficult realization about myself and my life up to that point. I did not choose my childhood, I did not choose my self limiting beliefs, I did not choose my current mind programming, I did not choose how my brain is currently hard-wired,but I can make a choice right now!
I could choose to live the rest of my adult life based of my childhood experiences that were re-enforced through negative experiences as an adult or I can decide once in for all to put the hard work in. The hard work would be learning about how to improve my emotional intelligence. The work that would prove to be even harder would be implementing the strategies that I learned to improve emotional intelligence and then sticking to these new strategies. This was difficult because we are ‘creatures of habit’ and my brain was seeking old patterns of thinking and attempting to automatically have me start acting on those old self limiting beliefs that were connected to emotions.
What did I do to improve my Emotional Intelligence?
I read books, I took courses and had talks with local professionals that I am grateful to be connected to. I am still a work in progress, I still have my triggers and my emotional over-ride moments like everyone else, but I can honestly say that the hard work has really paid off. I now make logically based life decisions opposed to emotionally driven life decisions and as a result my life has received an upgrade.
My life upgrade occurred over time because I set a goal to improve my emotional intelligence rather than accepting where I was at, I then set goals, and adjusted my life to achieve the desired outcome I was passionate about reaching.
Common Emotions that I help my clients help themselves with:
Anxiety is an emotion that a person experiences in the face of a perceived threat or danger and the belief that something negative is about to happen. More often then not, we tell ourselves a story that something negative is going to happen and re-enforce this story by thinking ‘I am just unlucky’, ‘my life is just hard’ etc. In the moment, we convince ourselves that the perceived threat or danger is real, when in fact it is not. We are ‘stuck’ in our past, ‘stuck’ in our self limiting beliefs, ‘stuck’ in our programming, ‘stuck’ in fight, flight, or freeze.
Often we suffer more in our minds than we do in actual reality since we are quick to think worse case scenario is going to happen and most of the time it does not. We live in anxiety as events approach such as that meeting, until we have that exam, until we get through that family gathering, until we get that job, until we buy that house, until we pay that bill, until we have that date, until we have that uncomfortable talk etc.
Similar to anxiety, but more intense, occurs when we feel that an immediate threat or danger is about to occur, this fear signals to our nervous system (see my blog titled Nervous System) to get ready for battle. ‘It is going down’
Fortunately, in today’s world most of us are not actually getting ready for a physical battle; the mental and emotional battles we are having are inside of our own minds. We fear letting people down, we fear failure, we fear rejection, we fear commitment, we fear being vulnerable, we fear our bosses, we fear our parents, we fear our spouses, we fear conflict, we fear the unknown, we fear inadequacy etc.
Negative thoughts about ourselves, such as: ‘I am a bad person’, ‘I am a screw up’, ‘I suck’, ‘I can’t get anything right’, ‘I hurt that person, so they must hate me now’, ‘I better avoid them’, ‘I should hide at home’, ‘I am worthless’, ‘My partner would be better off without me’
We have all learned that mistakes are okay, we all make mistakes, and we are often compassionate with others when they have made mistakes, wronged us or let us down. When we do not have the same self compassion with ourselves that we do for others and we start putting ourselves down, this is shame. We are effectively shaming ourselves and living in anxiety and fear. When we live in shame without challenging these thoughts, we often become defensive and blame others because these feelings are so powerful and overwhelming. We would rather blame then feel the shame.
Anger is that emotion that is hard to talk about, so hard to feel and to handle, essentially when you feel angry, your primitive instincts kick in and you want to yell and hit because you just want the hurt to go away. Did you notice I said that ‘you just want the hurt to go away’ When we are angry, we are hurt. We feel unloved, under appreciated, rejected, betrayed etc.
Of course, we can not go around yelling at people or hitting people, but we can go into the hurt, we can be vulnerable, and we can feel the hurt, feel the sadness and cry. Yes, we can cry, crying is not a sign of weakness, it is how we let go of anger(hurt) in a healthy way. We talk about it, we cry about it and we let it out otherwise, anger will consume you. Hurt people will hurt people.
How to improve your Emotional Intelligence:
You can learn to realize, when you are having those fear based thoughts about something negative happening and challenge them with faith based thoughts. Remind yourself that there is the same chance that something positive could happen. Get a hold of your mind, work on this, work on yourself.
Leave the past in the past
You can stop living in the past, start living in the present and plan for your future by designing your wanted outcome, setting goals and stepping out of your comfort zone to be able to upgrade your life.
You can find a process to dump your anxiety, fear and anger by venting, investing in self care, focusing your thoughts on what matters in life, realizing your incredible worth and value, setting healthy boundaries, learning to say no, journaling and talking to a trained professional.
You can be vulnerable with yourself, be vulnerable with trusted individuals, talk about and share feelings and emotions, not just the positive ones but the negative ones as well.
You can have self compassion with yourself, it is a process to improve your emotional intelligence and it takes time. Show yourself the patients you deserve.
You must realize that to be human is to fear emotions, but we crave them as well and we will always have them. Give yourself permission to feel any and all emotions.
You must love yourself!
Emotional Intelligence Decision Making
|Emotionally Controlled Decision Making||When you control you emotions decision making|
|Feel good, then do the right thing||Do the right thing then feel good|
|Conveniently Driven||Commitment Driven|
|You make the popular decision||Principle based decision making|
|Attitude Controlled Actions||Action Controlled Attitude|
|See then believe||Believe then See|
|Wait for Momentum||Create Momentum|
|What can I get away With?||What is my Responsibility?|
|Quit when it’s hard||Continue when it’s hard|
|Moody, Up and Down||Steady at the wheel, day by day|