Since I decided to come out of my comfort zone
and write (my personal nemesis) I am amazed at how much help is out for all
challenges we may embrace.Certainly
media, the same media I whinge about every post has been significantly crucial
in spreading the word that anything is possible if we are armed with the right tools.
Emotional intelligence is one of those tools. The fact that it is so closely
connected with maintaining mental strength makes it a most appealing strategy
no matter your dream. With age it can be harder to keep going and staying
positive is exhausting especially if you suddenly choose left instead of the
right you have followed most of your life. Warning bells ring.
I consider myself intelligent so what was I
doing wrong. I had done the reading, I understood about mental strength didn’t
I? The trouble was I did understand, in
theory. I wasn’t living it. Knowing about the process isn’t enough, you
need to apply it. Emotional intelligence marries two important factors – emotions
and control. The process is ridiculously simple because it is based on
practical ideas but hearing the word emotional
immediately has us assuming all manner of things, mostly that we have entered
the airy fairy twilight zone. Then there
is the control word with its instantaneous
negative connotations, or are they? You
see emotional intelligence keeps us mentally strong, and mentally strong people
achieve. There is nothing airy fairy or negative
The Oxford Dictionary defines emotional
intelligence as “the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s
emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and
empathetically.” Many believe that
emotional intelligence is the key to personal and professional success. Instead of juggling constant upheavals, employing
EQ you stand back to allow yourself to find perspective. You are no less emotional or feeling. Instead
your emotions have consideration for yourself, others and the actual
situation. Your approach when led by
perspective is confident and inspires confidence.
As a writer and indeed with anything involving
the arts confidence is a huge factor.Creative
people place themselves in a position to be criticised or reviewed. It is the nature
of the profession.The constant
comparisons and demands are difficult to live daily without a strong sense of
self.I think everyone needs this but
those involved with the arts often appear more vulnerable.At an emotional level, confidence or lack of is
often compensated by what seems over the top behaviour. Creativity often walks hand in hand with flamboyancy
which can appear as attention seeking. A better understanding of EQ (emotional
intelligence) would help balance how this is viewed. It has certainly made me think
more about my own behaviour. Following posts by Dr Travis Bradberry I have understood a
lot more about myself and that life is not about what we do but rather about
what we don’t do.
His latest post gives insight into how emotionally intelligent people navigate their lives. A significant thing people with mental
strength don’t do is stay in their comfort zone. Richard Branson in his discussion on the comfort zone says that humans, creatures of
habits, build lives on ‘patterns of thought, emotions and behaviour. Unfortunately for many people these patterns
lead to complacency, which impedes growth.’
Somehow you convince yourself
that the day will come and everything will miraculously change. I wasn’t complacent; I was fooling myself. I was busy trying to get others to pat me on
the head for my possible one day cleverness. Ooops! I was forgetting that mental
strength doesn’t beg for attention. It
doesn’t need ego stroking, or validation to step up and into where you want to
absence of attention though, we can be less inclined to be around people,
withdrawn even. A little bit of validation is very nice. Dependency can breed resentment. I know I can
be quite short or impatient with people that don’t take my desire to write as a
serious vocation. If I like what I am
doing why do I need outside validation?
The problem arises because knowing
and doing are two separate things. I
am a sook and although I do get on with things I struggle on my own without
that praise. Do I need it though? I said
need not like. No wonder I hate being outside my comfort zone. Letting go of
this idea completely is difficult. Can it
be negotiable? Can we guarantee insecurity won’t have negative consequences? I for one am not sure I can do that without
mental strength don’t hold grudges. Whilst I really do try to remember this, Nico,
my hero in Unexpected Obsession does hold grudges and still manages to be
successful at least until Lia came along.
Instinctively smart enough not to hang around negative people because
they sap your energy he had to learn holding grudges was just as detrimental.
In his mind he wasn’t holding grudges, he was being logical and avoiding those
he considered not worth knowing. He hadn’t
considered changes may have occurred. Nico dealt without empathy. Sometimes EQ
needs to be fine-tuned a little.
Emotional intelligent people set limits to avoid confusion but in a
format still conducive to maintaining relationships. We can’t avoid them. My female lead for
instance knows despite compelling circumstances self-pity means a loss of power.
recognises it creates a victim. She never
feels entitled to deserving better treatment even from Nico. She knows there are appropriate ways to treat
people and her reaction ultimately controls what they do. It is too easy to let entitlement deteriorate
into jealousy, envy and a tendency to believe past missed opportunities are to
blame for everything.
It seems emotional
intelligence lives, or is trying to live in my characters. I am hoping there is
a subconscious transference from character to author. Hey, it’s possible. Mental strength doesn’t close the doors on
new ideas. I am hoping for osmosis from
fictional characters. Or can it be that
I am practising rather than theorising through my characters? I feel sometimes that furthering my understanding
of this topic has made me a better writer at least where motivation is
concerned. Hey, I’ll take any
outside comfort you need a healthy and honest dose of self-awareness. It means a good hard look at your work and
recognising what is missing and what may never be there, and accepting you can’t
blame other people, or your past for not succeeding. It means looking at life and admitting you
chose safety; or rather you let your fears choose. It means embracing you can
now do it differently. I have always
done things that involved writing in some way but managed it in the shallow end
of the pool. Sometimes theoretically conversant (really, who do I think I am?)
with the idea of the comfort zone I even went as far as the middle of the pool;
the deep end remained in the distant. I
am now out of my comfort and guess what I hate it but I don’t fear it.
I delved into EQ sooner? More and more I am inclined to think it has to do with
presentation. Having it put before you in clear, concise language instead of subject specific
jargon predisposes us to open our minds.
I personally love the KISS principle – Keep it simply, Stupid. Did
you know emotionally intelligent people don’t let others limit their joy, and
they don’t limit the joy of others? Who wouldn’t want that to be a part of
their lives? Wish me luck as I keep trying to put theory into practice.