Today we’re talking about emotional intelligence.
When I work with clients, and whether that be in a one to one scenario, in programs, in my membership, or just by getting in conversations in my free group (The Ever Evolving Woman), the challenges always have something to do with emotions.
The emotions are the things that hold us back. When it comes to our issues and our conflicts there’s always emotion involved, because just like our thoughts our emotions become habitual.
So, whenever I do timeline therapy work with somebody I’m asking them to remember or to think about the things that have happened in their past and the things that they come up with 99.99% of the time, have a strong emotion attached to them. That’s why we remember them so clearly. But, for a lot of us, these emotional memories just don’t serve us. because the way we respond to a certain trigger is the way we respond to a certain situation. For example the way we respond when we’re given a certain look by our partner, the way we respond when our child is talking to us in a certain tone of voice. We get these buttons pressed and we talk about it and say things like – “he really pushed my button”.
The thing is, they’re our buttons and “emotional intelligence” is the ability to look at our buttons and do something about them, if they’re not serving us.
One of the first personal development books I ever read was called “Why Emotional Intelligence Is More Important Than IQ” by Daniel Goleman, and it absolutely fascinated me because it really confirmed to me what I already thought. This is coming from somebody who was not academically intelligent at school, I wasn’t a straight A student by any stretch of the imagination, but I could always survive in social situations.
I found that this skill got me far like and was a testament to a lot of the successes I had, as a child and all through my adolescence I could always fit into a certain situation. I found this social skill really served me.
When I read this book, I found it fascinating that actually the thing that creates our success isn’t just down to IQ, it doesn’t just have to be how clever you are, or what grades you got in school, it can be down to a skill set you’re able to develop.
So what actually is emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is always the ability to perceive emotion, both within ourselves and other people.
It’s also our ability to manage our emotions.
We’ve all done it you know, you have your knee jerk reaction or your overreaction to a certain situation.
If this has ever happened to you, that you’ve overreacted to something you’ve probably found yourself looking back on it later upon reflection and you’re just like “Why? Why did that upset me so much? Why do I feel so upset by that? Why did I shout? Why do I raise my voice?”
The more self aware you become, the more you start to look at that from a very objective point of view?
This is especially relevant in your relationships.
It’s also about understanding emotions. It’s understanding why somebody responds the way they do, it’s having the awareness to be able to not take that person’s reaction straight to the heart and personally, it’s having the awareness to understand that something is going on for that person in this exact moment in time that’s making them respond that way. It’s having the awareness to not make it mean that it’s all about you, which in relationships is I think one of the biggest problems
It’s also about using emotions. You know, when you listen to elite athletes or performers and they say “I use my nerves” They understand how to use their emotions. I was watching a boxer, a female boxer, and she said; “I always get nervous, but I use that energy to drive me”.
It’s about having the awareness to feel the emotion and be able to move it and use it in a way that serves you not a way that holds you back.
The upshot of all this is that you create greater self awareness, you have greater self regulation, you have a deeper empathy because once you can look at your own emotions and understand them, and you can connect the dots between past experiences and your mindset, you can look your thought and feeling habits and it gives you a greater sense of empathy.
You can look at a person’s reaction and your first thought is; “I wonder how they are? Are they okay?” It’s not; “Oh my God, look how crazy they are! Look how angry they are! They’ve got anger issues.”.
It’s just more along the lines of; “Wow, I hope they are okay because clearly something is going on for them that is making them react in that way”.
You know I am obsessed with Brene Brown, so you know, I’ve read all her books and I watch her all the time and, and when she talks about shame and vulnerability she says shame can’t exist if you add empathy to it. How powerful is that? By the way that counts for ourselves too.
When we’re looking at how we feel about ourselves and our experiences we have, we develop our empathy muscle, when you can apply empathy to yourself, it gives you the greater capacity to apply empathy to others, which makes your experience of the world a greater one.
If we can see empathy in all situations, then we can have greater understanding and the ability to communicate in a much more constructive way.
It also helps with your social skills. Having this kind of awareness, this level of awareness is imperative to your interpersonal relationships, plus your external relationships, and you know, to just everything where you’re involved with another human being.
If you have a higher emotional intelligence, you have a higher capacity to build a great depth in those situations. This also applies in business and pretty much when it comes to everything in your life.
If you have this capacity to hold emotion and to process it and to feel it, know that not the no emotion is bad, allow yourself to process even the negative emotions when you feel them because all emotions are there to be felt.
Every single one of them. We are emotional beings and emotions aren’t good or bad “they just are” and our ability to feel them and process them in a way that is aware and introspective just creates a greater human experience, right?
It also helps with our motivation. If you can create emotions in you and and move them and feel them and interpret them in a way that serves you then you are much more capable of being able to motivate yourself into doing whatever you require to do.
This is why Emotional Intelligence is such a major part of the work I do and why it is one of the cornerstones of the ALL WOMAN brand.
Til next time.