Great relationships, connections and networking are built on the foundation of emotional intelligence. It’s not enough to pretend to control your feelings, but rather to be fully in touch with your emotions and use them resourcefully.
Although you might have heard of emotional intelligence as if it were a single skill, several different skills and practices come together that allow you to stay in touch with your emotions and those around you.
Typically, there are four key areas to emotional intelligence: self-management, self-awareness, social awareness, and relationship management. The nine skills in self-awareness that I will share with you overlap with all four of these areas.
As children, we have an innate curiosity. We look at the world around us with fresh eyes, always looking for the new and exciting. We ask “why” and “what” and “how”, ad nauseum. But somewhere along life’s journey, we dampen this desire to engage with the new.
It’s easy to get caught up trying to focus on change without doing the inner work. We want the quick fix: tell me what I need to do to get the results I’m looking for.
A lot of coaching is performance-based, which is great for short-term goals and wins. This coaching will often provide you with tools and habits that you can integrate long-term for life changes. However, it’s easy to get the win and then fall back into old habits. This is the difference, in part, between transactional versus transformational coaching.
Most of us have emotional triggers that we aren’t aware of until we blow up or “lose it”. These learned responses helped us to survive unpleasant situations (often in our childhood). Unfortunately, those very habits (cues/triggers, course of action or response, and rewards) that allowed us to survive in childhood now sabotage or hamper our growth and relationships.
I’m not talking about PTSD triggers: those are at another level, where it’s not merely a habit. These triggers actually require deeper assistance, such as therapy.
These habitual responses are survival tactics, often learned in our childhood. I adeptly overlook and sidestep the bigger issues when I ignore the hidden rewards of my habits. The slowing down of 2020 gave us much needed time to sit and do the inner work of looking at our survival tactics.
Even 2021 has shown me (especially on social media) how I respond to certain types of posts and comments. There are people that I have been tempted to block “for my peace of mind”. Nonetheless, my commitment to healing and working on myself continues. So, I decided that rather than block them (or engage or shoot back), I would make time to actually look at where I have lost my freedom to respond gracefully.
At age 22, I learned my first conscious and intentional life lesson in overcoming fear: you never actually stop being afraid. But that doesn’t have to paralyse you, leaving you frozen and unable to move.
Heights terrified me, anything more than five to six feet off the ground and I froze. As a kid, I still climbed trees, not entirely enjoying the experience, but too proud to admit my fear.