In the first part of this series we looked at Life successors: Quality of life, Effectiveness, Relationships, and well-being and how our emotional intelligence helps us grow and develop these very important parts of our lives.

How has practicing your emotional intelligence been going? Have you been practicing the top 10 tips suggested to Know Yourself better?

We first explored the pursuit of Know yourself. This is clearly seeing what you feel and do. Knowing your strengths and challenges, you know what you are doing, what you want, and what to change.

In part 2 we will dive deeper into Choose Yourself which is doing what you mean to do. Instead of reacting on autopilot, you know how to take action, how to influence yourself and others, and how to put these into action.

And the last pursuit is Give Yourself which is connected to your vision and purpose. Why you do what you do, why you move in a new direction, and why you should connect more with people. Your guiding light and northern star. This will be the final part of this series on emotional intelligence.

In the first article, we gave away a wonderful emotional intelligence gift. At the end, we will reveal what is on offer for all Cahya & Ailey readers, so keep reading J

Let’s dive into Choose Yourself. The point of this pursuit is to move out of reaction – to pause, evaluate and respond in the best way possible. So how do we practice this? We start with recognizing emotions and patterns (Know Yourself). Once this muscle has been built you will be able to start responding with intention.

When a situation is starting to heat up, take a breath, a sip of water, and hit the pause button. Very few situations require an instant reaction. Remember there are options. By tapping into our thinking and feeling we can explore more about our actions. We may not always get it right however we learn what works and what doesn’t.

By Choosing Yourself you are identifying the emotional costs/benefits as well as the tactical costs/benefits to you and others both in the long term and the short term. Here you are applying consequential thinking in your process of doing what you mean to do. You act with intention for the most beneficial outcome.

Another element of Choose Yourself is how you navigate your emotions. It’s not about controlling or managing as this implies we are trying to fix them. When I think of navigating I think of a sailor navigating his ship through stormy, uncertain seas. Emotions drive decision-making and behaviour. So rather than control your emotions allow them to give you insight and the data you need to do what you mean to do.

By exercising optimism you are looking at all the possible choices. This is a learned way of thinking and feeling and it gives you ownership of your decisions and outcomes. Being a solution-orientated approach it helps with innovation and allows you to take ownership of the future.

And the last element of Choose Yourself is engaging your intrinsic motivation. When one is operating from an internal driving force the motivation helps you develop and use long-lasting drivers.  Intrinsic motivation helps you stand up, challenge the status quo, take risks, and persevere when the going gets tough.

Here are 2 tools to help you develop your Choose Yourself pursuit. Weigh up the costs and benefits of a situation to self and others, both rationally and emotionally. Rationally being the data and facts, emotionally tapping into our emotions. The second one is by navigating your emotions you make a conscious choice. By not making a conscious choice you end up ignoring emotions that grow in complexity that end up being suppressed or exploding. When making a conscious choice we navigate our emotions by validating how we feel (naming), exploring our emotions (weighing up costs and benefits), and transforming what we are feeling (exploring our options & possibility and our intrinsic motivations).

Grab a piece of paper and let’s do some reflection on a current situation in your life. Write down a current situation in your life that you would like to explore. For instance, making a decision, having a tough conversation, or unpacking something that may have happened.

  • List your feelings, and explore them….. are there other feelings that would be more productive
  • Consider at least THREE options you have to make the situation better
  • What are the costs and benefits of each of these options
  • Which of them motivates you to take action
  • What can you do today to commit to action

So how can we get to “Choose Yourself” better? Here are the top 10 tips to do so:

  1. Check in daily with K, C, and G: What am I feeling (K), What options do I have (C) and What do I truly what (G)
  2. Know your final destination. Let’s get off autopilot and act with the intention of the outcome you want
  3. Hit the pause button. Slow down, breathe, and practice the great EQ tools you have learned
  4. Transform your emotions with your physical body. When you feel stressed take a few deep breaths, shrug your shoulders, open them and relax
  5. Call your emotions by name. Emotions are data
  6. Facing adversity? Use the 3 P’s: Am I thinking that this is permanent? “This will never end.” Am I feeling this is pervasive? “It is changing everything.” Am I giving up – or taking – too much power? “There is nothing I can do,” or “This is all my fault.”
  7. Practice the power of yet
  8. Strengthen your optimistic pathways. Write down 2 options for a challenge you may have this builds possibility and hope.
  9. Take a minute to do the math. What are the cost and benefits of this?
  10. Be driven by the fire within. Being driven by personal value than external forces is the hallmark of well-being.

I really believe that becoming self-aware creates opportunities for growth and change. Emotions play such a big role in how we show up in the world and they are the drivers behind our thinking and behaviour.

I hope this next part of this EQ series has been insightful.

Look out for part three and the final installment for more diving deep into emotional intelligence.