Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Importance of Emotional Intelligence

Don't define your world in black and white, because there's grey in every story. Be who you are, but aspire to be better!

The Jedi Code
There is no emotionthere is peace
There is no ignorance, there is knowledge. 
There is no passion, there is serenity.
There is no chaos, there is harmony. 
There is no death, there is the Force.

Even though I've always identified with the Dark Side, I've been told on several occasions that I'm a Jedi when it comes to controlling my emotions. Not that I am an emotionless robot with no feelings, but I rarely let my emotions affect my behavior or my decisions. In my recent years as a young professional, I've learned that emotional intelligence is far more valuable in the workplace than IQ. It's not enough to be smart anymore. Emotional intelligence helps you connect to others in the workplace and in your personal life, ultimately helping you maintain a successful work/life balance. 

My sister recently had a "Lunch and Learn" at work discussing emotional intelligence, and it absolutely fascinated and inspired me. I couldn't help but engage my sister further in the topic, hoping to gain more insight. Emotional intelligence has always been something that I value highly and work toward improving every day. 

Too often, we bring the emotions at home to work and vice-versa. When an individual isn't able to control their emotions it can impact their ability to communicate and throw off their work/life balance. Emotions are a key driver of day-to-day behavior, so it's important to become more self-aware of your feelings and keep them under control.

As a child, I was bullied, which created residual emotions that I still struggle to control every day: depressionfear, and insecurity. I didn't always have a high EQ (like IQ, but for emotional intelligence), but it's definitely something that I've developed over time and continue to work at each day. Learning to be more self-aware of my emotions allowed me to deal with them head on, despite adversity. 

It doesn't have to be full blown depression, but simply "feeling down" on most days doesn't feel good. There will be days when your energy will be lower than normal. You'll worry too much, feel distracted, and just not feel "up" to doing anything that you normally would enjoy.

Whether it's as simple as introducing yourself to a stranger or skydiving, it's okay to feel anxious and scared. More often than not, your dreams and desires will scare you. Every important thing you want in life will require you to take a risk at some point or another, because the most rewarding entities exist on the other side of fear. 

It's hard to cope when you feel like you're not meeting the goals and expectations you've set out for yourself. No one wants to feel inadequate. Sometimes we feel intimidated by the abilities of others, making us question our self-worth and affecting our self-confidence. 

By being more self-aware, I'm able to recognize my feelings as they occur. Over time, I've learned to identify triggers, such as situations or certain people, and I do my best to avoid them. I accept my emotions for what they are and try to maintain composure while considering how my irrational behaviors could potentially affect those around me. One impulsive action may feel justified in the moment, but it can also turn into something that you deeply regret later on. 

It's important to be kind to yourself and stay motivated, despite any setbacks. You have absolutely no control over the actions of others, but you have full control over yourself. I love the saying by Wayne Dyer: "How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours."

When it comes to dealing with the emotions of others, I choose to be as sensitive, compassionate and understanding as I can. If someone is angry or frustrated, I do my best to not take what they say or how they act towards me personally. If someone is sad or upset, I listen to everything they want to share and acknowledge how they feel and why they feel that way. 

Rather than passing judgment, I prefer to listen and do my best to fully understand their dilemma. I empathize, show remorse, and ensure they know that I'll always support their decisions and be there for them. It's always been important for me to approach life with a level head. I'm not afraid to take initiative when needed. I can identify what's important and make informed decisions. I do my best to connect with everyone around me in a way that nurtures and empowers them.

The most important thing is to show your support and to validate their feelings. I only offer advice or help when asked. I do my best to show empathy and remorse, without over-stepping my boundaries. This helps build rapport, trust, and respect. 

This is my personal take on the qualities you should be aware of when dealing with your emotions as well as the emotions of others, whether you're at work or in your personal life. I know that there are other important emotions that people struggle with in their day to day lives, such as anger or guilt. 

I'm generally a happy and positive person, so I'm very sorry that I don't have any insight for other emotions. Hopefully, I've given you enough to identify the emotions you currently struggle with to find new ways to be more self-aware and control them. 

If you have any additional insights on emotional intelligence, please feel free to comment below. I'd love to discuss this topic further and gain more insight, especially concerning any other emotions that I'm not particularly familiar with.