With all the knowledge, skills, talents, and drive you may have, if you are not emotionally self-aware, you will not succeed at your life’s goals. You do not have to look far to find someone who has failed in this regard because they did not take the time to know who they were emotionally, how to control their emotions, and what motivated their emotions. You yourself may have experienced consequences due to lack of awareness of emotional strengths and weaknesses; perhaps you failed because you thought you were strong in an area where you were actually weak.
Knowing your strengths and weaknesses, embracing them, being able to control your emotions, and knowing what motivates you are all aspects of emotional intelligence. The concept was made popular in the mid ‘90s by Daniel Goleman in his groundbreaking book, Emotional Intelligence. Since this groundbreaking work, you hardly hear talk about self-improvement which does not include a focus on emotional intelligence.
If you are going to achieve your life goals and rediscover your passion for life, you will need to develop your emotional intelligence, or EQ. Three things should happen for us to grow in EQ: (1) we must become self-aware which will lead to (2) proper self-management (3) which should help our understanding of what motivates us.
Self-awareness is the ability to know your strengths and weaknesses and to be okay with them. You should be able to admit where you are weak and ask for help, as well as embrace your strengths.
Perhaps you believe that admitting weaknesses is a sign of weakness. In reality, to admit your weaknesses is really a sign of strength for it takes a strong person to admit they need help.
Here is the good news about weaknesses: we all have them, so there’s no need to pretend you do not have any.
As a self-aware person you take responsibility for your emotions. You do not place the blame on others for your anger, hurt, happiness or joy.
As a self-aware person you know you alone are responsible for your emotional responses or reactions to life or the actions you take. The challenges we face in life are not the problem, it is how we respond to them that will either make us or break us.
Self-management is the ability to control your impulses to use them for good. The emotion you feel when you get angry could be used for good or ill depending on whether you are in control of the emotion or the emotion is controlling you.
Every experience you have is first met with emotion then reason. As a result, you have the experience of having reacted to a particular situation and then in retrospect admitting you over-reacted.
As you develop your EQ in self-management, you learn to turn even the most powerfully negative emotional experience into something positive because you are in control of your emotions.
Relationships with family, work colleagues and friends are easily sabotaged because you allow others to highjack your emotions. To achieve your life goals, you must be in control of your emotions. You and only you are responsible for the emotions you feel and how you allow them to impact your life and the lives of those around you.
Motivation is what drives you from your core to pursue your life goals and live with passion. Not money, prestige, status, nor power drives you. Rather, the desire, drive, and passion to pursue your life goals are what drives you.
When you know what motivates you, you are not easily dissuaded to settle for compromises or second best of what you are trying to achieve.
Motivation is the result of knowing yourself and managing your emotions, so you make the best choices in pursuit of your life goals.
A word of caution in conclusion: Embracing your strengths and weaknesses, controlling your emotions, and knowing what motivates you is no guarantee that you will not make mistakes or fail at some things. You are still an imperfect human being who will get it wrong sometimes. When you do get it wrong, you will be the first to admit it, take responsibility, deal with it, and continue in the pursuits of your goals.
If you would like help in achieving your goals as a leader or in any area of your life, call us at 208-880-0307 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a complimentary coaching session. To read Errol’s other posts, visit Christ-Centered Life Coaching.