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5 Ways To Increase Your Emotional Awareness

Impressions matter. It would be nice to think people take our work at face value and appreciate a job well done. Maybe they look at us and see through the beautiful being we all are. But how often does this really happen? How many times talent is skewed in favor of better communication and how many chances are lost because we succumb to our inner fears. Confidence can be paramount in the working environment and the way you bring up yourself can make the difference between success and failure. But the mistakes in the surface level always reflect underlying issues that shape the outer layers like the inner part of a Rubik’s cube. Solving the whole puzzle requires you to first solve that inner cube hiding inside.

Istill remember myself projecting concerns with every opportunity. I would evaluate every possible scenario, mistaking it for being considerate and thoughtful, when in reality it was fear getting the better of me and grabbing control. What if this goes wrong? What if it doesn’t work? All the while others would spend zero energy on future scenarios and would come along much more confident and capable.

Emotional Intelligence

Research has been conclusive on this. Emotional intelligence matters more than IQ and general skill-set and age and anything else you can imagine off. In all instances, there was no better indication for the level of success of an individual than his virtuosity with feelings. How counterintuitive. You can spend a lifetime sharpening your saw and shining your sword with glistening sparkle, only to get overpowered by sensitivity and attention to subtleties. Understanding emotions and feelings is simply where you should bet your money on. But what does it mean that exactly, and how does it manifest externally? Below are 5 ways to improve your relationship with them and those around you:

1. Noticing The Space Between Emotion And Action

Yes, there is a space between the two. When feeling anger, stress, or frustration you can recognize it first before reacting spasmodically. Understanding emotions means you’ve learned to recognize your buttons and what triggers you. Maybe you can even name them. Here is the angry duck again, or the frustrated victim. In every feeling, there is a narrative hiding behind it. There is a story. You are frustrated because you are asked of something you cannot fully control. You are angry because people get in your way from doing your best. Can you spot it before you give it the initiatives? There is no faster way to take control back at your hands.

2. Not Confusing Cause-Effect Relationships

It’s so easy to miss attribute the cause of things. People are blank filling machines. Where there is an empty space our minds are going to use imagination to fill it in with something. Whatever seems most suitable at the moment. Your mind is gonna suggest things that simply are not true. An ignorant comment from a peer may mean he wants to diminish you. Or getting the lower end of the stick means they are trying to take advantage of you. People feel the effect of actions on them and assume the cause after the fact. They come up with reasons and attach them to whoever was the initiator as if it was their responsibility. Many times they get it even further by attaching bad intentions as well. Now that may be true or not, but it’s crucial to realize the mechanism under which our brains work. My favorite example? Anytime someone makes the comment “hey, you look tired” or “you don’t look very well”. Most people will assume they are nagging them on purpose. This is an intention attributed to them afterwards. Most of the time the reality is that they said the wrong thing at the wrong time and they just tried to be helpful.

3. Being Assertive While Understanding The Risks

Being assertive is elusively simple. It’s easy when you feel confident and knowledgeable on a subject and you are marching on a smooth path. But most situations in life lack these rare ingredients that make up the confidence soup. Most often than not, situations are uncertain, failure is dressed up in custom and is shaking your hand. Nice to meet you there. What do you say we have a coffee together? It asks while looking you straight in the eye. But confidence is not dependent on the outer circumstances to the degree we would like to think. It’s built by acknowledging you have no control and there are many things that could go wrong and still moving forward. All the people you see confident and decisive is not because they choose to close their eyes in front of possible blunders and cataclysmic catastrophes. Shit happens all the time. But it’s that inner belief in your faculties that makes the difference. That inner trust that you can deal with anything that comes your way. What’s the next hurdle? I can surely find a way around it..

4. Knowing When Is The Right Time To Speak And When To Give Feedback

Yes, just because you spotted a mistake doesn’t mean you have to highlight it or point it up. Ok, you can see stuff, we get it. You have skills. But now you made us cry and feel bad about ourselves when we were only looking for some understanding. You managed to assert your superiority for 5 minutes losing a valuable ally forever. A job well done. But understanding emotions means that you understand the place others are coming from and their emotional state they are in. Are they really in a position to take criticism and advice? Most of the time if they want your opinion they are going to ask or it explicitly. No need to initiate anything yourself.

5. You Don’t Sabotage Your Own Success

How well do you know yourself? How accurately can you point out your fears and inhibitions and inner worries? People turn their eyes away from them so often. And with good reason, as they are some of the heaviest subjects to navigate through. But unless you manage to spread them out like pancake batter and take a good look at them, chances are they are gonna turn back and bite you when you least expect them. There are so many people wasting their potentials because of their inner limits. They think they are doing the best they can when in reality they just sit back and enjoy their King Throne of security and comfort — and mediocrity. Getting yourself out there is a risky business. Unless you are ready to face criticism and harshness, you won’t be able to sustain your welfare. But one can only laugh at them when he has honored his fears enough to move alongside with them, hand by hand.

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