In my last article, we talked about how for real long-term success in business, career and personal relationships – having great emotional skills is not only important but absolutely necessary. We also noted a very important caveat. In this article we’ll start looking at a framework(1) for developing your emotional mastery for great results in life. We’ll first quickly overview what’s involved then I’ll start giving you some practical techniques and exercises.
The Emotional Competence Framework(1) has two main areas; Personal Competence and Social Competence.
In Personal Competence there are three areas;
And in Social Competence, two areas;
- Social Skills
Today, we’ll just look at Self-Awareness; what exactly it means and how to get better at it. Now, you might think, “Well, of course I’m self-aware, after all, I do know I exist!” But what we’re talking about here are several things;
- Being able to recognise your emotions as they arise – can you name it? If a person can’t accurately name their emotions they become slaves to unknown forces. For example, if someone says they feel ‘out-of-sorts and restless’ that isn’t accurately managing the emotion. They might end up going to the fridge and snacking all day or distracting themselves with TV or video games, and still not shake the feeling. Why? Because they haven’t accurately identified To be able to recognise, for example, that “Oh, I’m feeling lonely and neglected” allows the person to take appropriate action – such as call or meet a friend, rather than running to the fridge or ruminating. It sounds obvious but not being able to accurately name your emotion can lead to all kinds of trouble – overeating, addictions to social media, drinking too much, drug abuse and more (in varying degrees). The simple skill of naming an emotion allows you to begin to have mastery over it. Naming is actually the first step in dealing with toxic ‘Dragon States’ in the ‘Accessing Personal Genius / Self Leadership Training.
- Why are you feeling it – is it an overreaction, is it appropriate, is it useful? Being able to recognise the cause of an emotion and the links between what you’re feeling and what you’re doing is an often overlooked skill. Have you ever looked back on something and considered that you overreacted? Or in retrospect you think you should/could have handled things better? A good technique to clarify your self-awareness is to build on the first bullet point above by creating a cause-effect sentence with the word ‘because’. For example, “I feel lonely and neglected because I have things on my mind I need to share with a friend”, or even more simply, “I feel lonely and neglected because I haven’t had a nice conversation with anyone yet today”.
- Awareness of your strengths and limits. Being aware of your strengths and limits will allow you to take realistic action when necessary. Overplaying strengths or underplaying weaknesses will lead to bad decisions that can result in all kinds of real world disasters!
- Self-confidence and self-esteem. A strong sense of both self-confidence and self-esteem is a critical aspect of your Self-Awareness. And are subjects in themselves! For more on confidence and esteem check out this article or this video.
In Neuro-Semantics we have a massive set of tools for mastering your emotions and every other aspect of ‘self’. Check out the training page to find the right skillsets you need. As always, make sure you’re signed up for my email updates and leave a comment below if you have any success stories about mastering yourself. And any questions, either comment below or contact me privately, you can always firstname.lastname@example.org
- ‘Working With Emotional Intelligence’ – Daniel Goleman