Why do some people with a seemingly lower intelligence do better than those with a high IQ? How do they get more breaks, have more opportunity, and find more beneficial relationships than someone who can outscore them on every test? The answer is simple. They have mastered one key to success that many people have not: emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence is the defined as being aware of your own emotions, knowing how to control them, and handling relationships with empathy and good judgment. If you think that being aware of your own emotions isn’t important, and that you can just outsource or get away with handling relationships poorly, think again. Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, says that IQ only plays into about 20% of all success, which leaves 80% to other forces.
Those forces include mastering how you react to your thoughts, how you react to situations, how you handle conflict, how you handle problems, how creative you are, and how you interact with people who can help you achieve the success you want. If you can’t do those things with emotional intelligence, then finding success in all areas of life is going to be very hard for you.
The bottom line is if you are stuck or you haven’t been able to reach the type of success you want, you need to learn about emotional intelligence. Understanding its important and developing it will help you get the key to success that propels you forward much faster than you may have ever gone. So, let’s talk about why it’s important and how to achieve emotional intelligence.
It Influences How You React To Yourself
Research has shown that emotional intelligence can impact your life greatly when you are able to react positively to your own thoughts and keep your emotions in check. It can impact your cognitive skills, such as memory, learning, and decision-making, and it can impact your health by reducing negative emotions that cause physical stress on the body.
We have so many thoughts in a day it can be hard not to get overwhelmed. Considering many of those thoughts are geared towards worry, fear, stress, or anxiety, letting them control our emotions is obviously a way to keep ourselves in a poor state of health that drains our energy and limits what will do for success.
An important aspect of having a high level of emotional intelligence is being able to manage your happiness. People with a low level of emotional intelligence may not know when to be happy. They often think that you either have to be happy all the time or upset all the time. This all-or-nothing attitude develops from not being self-aware and understanding how important emotions really are to our success.
While emotionally intelligent people are definitely happier than people who are not, they understand that all emotions serve a purpose, and that being in tune to them and allowing them to happen is the best way to figure out how to move forward in a positive state.
Developing emotional intelligence will help you get to know yourself in an intimate way. You will not look at yourself and how you interact with this world in the same way, and you will not be able to make the poor choices that you made before which impacted your success negatively.
It Influences How You React To Conflict And Problems
People who have a high level of emotional intelligence are able to deal with conflict, failure, and rejection in a constructive way. In fact, research has shown that the most success businesses are run by people who are emotionally intelligent and able to act assertively and constructively without flying off the handle.
The reason it is so powerful for resolving conflict is because you simply become aware of the root problem and control how you react to conflict. Anger and resentment are pushed aside as the real reason for the conflict becomes clear.
It Influences How Creative You Are
When you have emotional intelligence, you can move past the anger, hurt, and conflict, and get creative. An emotional state is where creativity is least abundant. The emotions hold us back from thinking outside of the box and coming up with new angles to help us have more success.
Not only is your creativity stumped because of anger, fear and stress, but because of a biological processes in the mind. When you experience fear, for example, your limbic system is activated, which shuts off the cerebral cortex – the area of the brain that helps you problem solve.
It Influences How You Interact With Other People
People with emotional intelligence are capable of making other people feel better and motivating other people to do what they need to do, despite how those people are behaving. Their ability to be self-aware allows them to deal with other people in a way that is compassionate and constructive.
Emotional intelligence is the key to success in your life and everyone else’s life. It is the key to developing a better world full of people who are able to handle conflict and deal with it in a way that benefits everyone. It is (without trying to sound totally dramatic) the key to success for the survival of the world.
How Can You Measure Your Current Emotional Intelligence?
Not sure where you stand with your emotional intelligence? There are many quizzes out there that can help you discover where you are at, such as http://testyourself.psychtests.com/testid/3038. It takes about 45 minutes to do, but that is time worth spending when it comes to developing the one thing that is the key to success in your life.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to have self-awareness, self-management, relationship management, and social awareness. All of these are key to success in all areas of your life. You may have some emotional intelligence in some areas, but not in other areas. It’s important to determine where you are lacking and work on those areas for overall success.
Signs that you are emotionally intelligent include:
– Your vocabulary around emotions is large, which shows you understand your emotions and can clearly label them.
– You know your strengths and weaknesses and can clearly articulate them.
– You are conscious of your tone of voice and how you use it with yourself and others.
– You are conscious of your body language and how you use it with others.
– You like to try to figure out why people do what they do, and you label their behavior in context rather than judgment.
– You can stay aware of your emotions and manage how you behave (calm, cool, and collected) despite them.
– You can pick up on other people’s emotions and understand what is really going on with them.
– You are flexible in life and can adapt easily to change.
As you can see, all of the above points are important for success in life. When you understand and get control of your emotions, you will have more success in your life. When you know your strengths and weaknesses, you will have more success in your life. When you can understand why people do what they do and become more flexible in life, you will have more success in your life. It’s that simple.
How To Become More Emotionally Intelligent
I’m sure you’re starting to realize how important emotional intelligence is to your success. You should be excited to start taking action on it, because it will benefit your life in so many ways. Not sure where to start? Use the following tips.
1. Start Talking About Your Emotions
Ignoring how you feel is detrimental to your emotional intelligence. If you are not aware of your emotions, then you can’t handle them in a way that is appropriate. The more you talk about your emotions, the more you can accept them as a part of you and figure out why they occur and what you can do to work through them in a constructive way. This is when you will start to develop a self-awareness that impacts your whole life.
If you are not sure where to start, look up the hashtag #IAmNotJust. You will find a lot of tweets on Twitter and pics on Instagram from Lady Gaga and like-minded people who are sharing their emotions, which is starting a conversation about the multitude of emotions we feel and how they don’t have to dictate our lives in a bad way.
2. Start Treating Yourself Like You Would Others
You have probably been in a conversation where you have beat yourself up and in the same breath told someone else not to beat themselves up for the same thing. This is a sign of lacking emotional intelligence around your own emotions. It’s important to always treat yourself like you do others. When you step back and view yourself as someone else, you will gain much more insight into your emotions, and you will have a much clearer vision of why you are having those emotions and why you shouldn’t beat yourself up.
3. Start Empathizing With Your Emotions
When you start to sympathize with the reason you are having the emotions, you gain clarity on how to make them work better for you. For instance, if you are angry all the time, then you may have gained some clarity that your anger really stems from fear. When you understand those fears, you can start to look for solutions every time you feel anger and quickly diffuse the situation.
As you start to empathize with your emotions, you will find yourself gaining so much insight on what triggers certain emotions, what keeps them around, and what techniques you can use to create more positive, self-serving emotions for your success in every area of life.
4. Start Empathizing With Other’s Emotions
Once you become aware of what emotions you are having and why, you will be able to see why others are reacting in the way they are and how you can influence them in a more positive way. This means removing judgment, taking into account everything that is happening to them – which may require talking to them – and then coming to a reasonable conclusion.
5. Learn To Read Body Language
When someone is obviously sad, but you label them as angry, you are going to cause conflict in that relationship. For instance, if a sales person is feeling stressed and you quickly label her as rude, then you may feel bad about how you are being treated, be rude back, and start a fight in the store that stresses her out even more.
Research shows that body language makes up about 60% of communication. Some people think that it’s higher. But the fact is that facial expressions, movements, and actions often speak louder than words to us, so you need to understand exactly what yours are saying.
A Note On Emotional Intelligence
Sometimes it can feel almost impossible to balance out our thoughts and get a grip on our emotions, even when we have a full understanding of where emotions stem from and how they impact our lives. If that’s the case for you, it’s important to go to the doctor to make sure that there is not some sort of hormonal balance happening.
A friend of mine was living with hypothyroidism, but she didn’t know it. She owned her own business, but she was such as emotional wreck all the time that she could focus on what she was doing. She couldn’t interact with herself and other people effectively even though she thought she had a high level of emotional intellect, and she couldn’t understand why. She started to think that she was just doomed to fail, and then one day she went and got a blood test that clearly showed she was living with hypothyroidism. Her hormones were making it impossible to put her emotional intelligence into play! Once she got her hormones in check, life became much easier and her success has increased exponentially.
Therefore, if you can’t get a handle on your reactions and emotions, seek help. There may be more going on than just your inability to handle things in a rational way.