To develop Emotional Intelligence, we must start to become aware of and manage our emotions. Emotional self-awareness is the capability to identify our feelings at any time. Emotional self-management is the ability to decide the emotions we want to feel and change negative, draining emotions into positive ones. As we improve in these areas, we start to eliminate the negative emotions that inhibit a peaceful and harmonious life.
This chaotic world presents us with daily challenges. If we perceive these challenges as threats, they are likely to evoke negative emotions. Threats come in two forms: psychological or physical. It’s easy to recognize a physical threat: nearly slipping on the sidewalk, a car swerving and passing too close, a menacing dog running toward you, and so on. However, psychological or symbolic threats, while less obvious, can be just as powerful in arousing negative emotions. Perception is the key to symbolic threats. We might perceive a threat to our self-esteem or our security (“Did you hear about the layoffs?”). We might also feel as though we are being demeaned or handled unfairly. Or we might feel frustrated when we perceive that we are not going to be able to meet a certain goal.
When we develop the ability to manage our perceptions and eliminate the negative emotions that go along with them, we begin to discover peace in our life – the peace that was always there. When I have coached people in our Emotional Intelligence training programs, and they start to enhance their EI skills, they begin to experience peace, contentment, harmony and the ability to be resilient and flow with whatever experiences they come across. Peace is not lack of controversy, fighting or anger. Peace is a natural state for human beings. And we find it when we eliminate negative emotions such as anxiety, fear, worry, frustration, etc.
I believe that we are all looking for peace of mind – to be content and purposeful in our lives. And when we discover that peace is ours at any moment and it is deceptively simple to attain, we can live in harmony, contentment and joy no matter the circumstances.
Perhaps the ultimate benefit of building Emotional Intelligence is finding the peace of mind that has always been within. Nature shows us this everyday in trees waving in the wind, lakes and oceans, and fields and flowers. Some of our greatest poets and spiritual leaders have espoused this throughout the ages. And now we too can start our path to achieve peace of mind by improving both our emotional self-awareness and emotional self-management.
About the Author
As a professional Emotional Intelligence speaker, trainer, consultant, coach and author, Byron Stock delivers high-energy emotional intelligence training programs, that target today’s issues. Describing himself as “A Recovering Engineer,” Byron focuses on results, helping people enhance their Emotional Intelligence. To learn more about Byron’s practical, user-friendly techniques, visit byronstock.com to download a free excerpt of his “how to” book, Smart Emotions for Busy Business People.