Emotional Intelligence: Overcoming Your Personal Barriers

  • Devon 

This article is, more or less, my thoughts and ideas based on “Emotionally Intelligent Entrepreneurship” by my good friend, Haroon Bhatti. I’m really excited to see him get some content up here on Freydom Sites so I can share it with you, on the topic of emotional intelligence he is one sharp cookie.

Without further ado, here’s my refinement of his ideas from a more personal perspective. Definitely be sure to check out his original article once you read this.

Finding Something Better

Everyone wants to be in a better position than where they’re at: more money, success, love, freedom, but very few take steps to actually even attempt it.

There’s always some excuse, some reason as to why. It’s never a great reason, but it’s always enough to keep from getting started. What’s important to understand that whatever this reason is it’s not the REAL reason. There’s something much deeper going on, and until you address that there will always be a new reason to not take the leap.

That deeper issue may just be your Emotional Intelligence.

What Is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence is little more than understanding what you’re feeling.

We’ve all been in that situation as a child where we were instructed to keep a tight lip. In spite of an injustice we witnessed or the action of another we were told that what we felt was inappropriate, so we stuff it away.

This can be healthy if it’s to refrain from damage which could be done by an emotional outburst and that energy is more constructively dispersed later. If not dispersed however it’s something that becomes dangerous when you get so good at it you don’t have a good sense of what you feel anymore.

When your default response is helpless acceptance you might fall into this category. You’ve become so good at stuffing aside your emotions they don’t even phase you in the moment. However they come back and manifest in ugly, unhealthy ways.

This is an extreme example of poor Emotional Intelligence.

Having strong Emotional Intelligence will help you identify emotions as well as their sources. As with the earlier example a lot of people get caught up on reasons why they can’t get started: The economy isn’t good, my mom’s sick, I don’t have enough starting capital.

If you take some time though and with a little Emotional Intelligence you might be able to identify the real emotions behind it:

You’re scared, and that’s okay.

Stop Hitting Yourself

If you’re not working with your emotions, you’re working against them. Getting into a fighting arena with your emotions is like boxing with Mike Tyson with a blindfold on.

When you develop the Emotional Intelligence to understand why you feel what you feel and where it comes from it gives you a frame of reference, a guide on how to take care of your emotions.

Have you ever stuck a fork a light socket? If you did you probably didn’t do it again.

The response was immediate, painful, and you knew exactly what caused it.

Now imagine how confusing it would be to feel things that are immediate and painful, but you have no idea what’s causing it? What would you do? Do you accept the pain as part of life? Do you blame the nearest object or person for the pain?

Mike Tyson punches you in the ribs, but because you’re blindfolded you have no idea what’s going on, so you bring your arms down to protect your ribs as a reaction. Next thing you know you get punched in the nose, and you wake up moments later with a huge headache.

Take The Blindfold Off

Take off the blindfold and learn how to spar with Mike Tyson in a fun, cooperative way and you might become one of the best boxers ever. Of course by blindfold I’m talking about building Emotional Intelligence.

How can you do it? It’s really quite simple.

  • Start small, how are you feeling right now, doesn’t matter what you’re feeling or that you’re even accurate, just try and label how you feel.
  • Next, try to work out the source ( or sources ) of this feeling. Do you feel content? If so is it because of the comfy chair you’re sitting in? Or how about annoyed? Is it because of that email you got over the weekend?
  • Now that you know possible sources of this emotion, ask yourself “Do I want more or less of this emotion”?
  • Depending on whether you want more or less, seek to lessen or increase sources of this emotion.

Next, is the most important step:

  • Do this on a regular basis.

It doesn’t have to be every day, but even if you started just doing this once a week you can start to find ways to make huge but simple changes.

Not everything can be easily removed or increased, but having the emotional intelligence to know the source will assist you to prepare for it. It’s one thing to get punched in the face and see it coming, it’s a whole ‘nother thing to get hit without expecting it.

It is my hope that after reading this article you have a stronger idea on your emotions, and begin a journal of exploring where they are coming from.

That does it for today’s post. Remember to check out Haroon’s original article, which is more focused on the business side of this knowledge.