‘If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self awareness, if you aren’t able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are-you are not going very far’-Daniel Goleman
I’ve been passionate about personal growth for most of my life. I’ve built and pursued a plan for growth every year for the last 20 years.
I’ve been told that…
- Self awareness.
- And self regulation all come with age.
I don’t believe this to be true.
Sometimes age comes alone.
In other words, as we continue to live – decade after decade, there is no intentionality to get better – no passion to become better versions of ourselves or to live a life of purpose.
I can share on a personal level; I would not have achieved any of my dreams or goals if I had not been dedicated to continual development. If you want to grow and become the best person you can be…
You’ve got to become intentional about it!
This is why I write these personal development articles.
I personally practice all of the ideas, tools, and self-reflective questions I share in all of my articles.
I am far from perfect but relentless in my pursuit of personal development and growth.
At the same time, life is busy and complex…
Most people run out of time in a day before their ‘to do’ lists are done.
I’ve been asked during many formal and informal coaching conversations, which skill or competency is most important or critical to achieving the pinnacle of personal purpose, leadership, or self mastery.
While there is not a magical answer that will guarantee success…
I often share that developing EMOTIONAL MASTERY will spill over into other areas of your life…
- And connection.
In fact, I believe one of the top personal development skills you will need to thrive today – in a time of uncertainty, information overload, and fast paced decisions, is emotional mastery.
Sometimes, we go through our lives…
- Not confident.
- And unable to handle things when life brings us challenges, barriers, and roadblocks.
I am sure you have witnessed friends and colleagues who appear to be on an emotional rollercoaster.
Throughout the day, they are up and down – riddled with doubt, fear, hurt, anger, and reaction.
They never appear to get to the point where they really connect and have solid feelings about themselves despite the situation.
- It’s a constant battle to feel good.
- It’s a constant struggle to avoid playing the victim.
- It’s a constant internal fight to manage their emotions.
Here are 3 ways to Develop Emotional Mastery…
So you can have a constant feeling of…
- Self empowerment.
- And emotional consistency.
‘Learning to stand in somebody else’s shoes, to see through their eyes, that’s how peace begins. And it’s up to you to make that happen. Empathy is a quality of character that can change the world.’-Barack Obama.
I believe it is our responsibility as leaders and influencers to become more informed about the emotional world of others.
Empathy is the ability to emotionally understand what others feel and see things from their perspective.
Most people have never really observed the feelings of others because they are constantly in their own world.
Some are in a tragic place where everything is about, ME…ME…ME!
Regardless of who they are interacting with…they are always thinking:
- How do I feel?
- What do I think?
- What about me?
- What does that mean for me?
- I wouldn’t have done that or said that!
- My situation/life is worse than yours!
I genuinely believe that people lack empathy because they have lost the connection with themselves.
When that connection is lost… they lose their relationship with humanity-the feelings of others.
The feelings of others can give us perspective amid feelings of ourselves.
Often, people don’t know where to start when trying to develop a sense of empathy.
I always recommend to my clients, to volunteer in some capacity.
When people are struggling, it brings you to a level of gratitude and appreciation.
Consistently volunteering in your community helps to develop a concern for others.
If you don’t have a concern for others, it becomes exceedingly difficult to have a concern for self.
And if we don’t have a concern for self, we don’t develop our emotions, we keep shoving it down or pushing it away.
Developing emotional mastery means connecting with other people’s emotions – seeing how they feel and paying attention to what they are saying.
Instead of making assumptions, seek to understand.
Turn on your world view lens…
And zoom in…
To people’s emotions, when you are spending time with your spouse, kids, friends, and colleagues.
In every meaningful interaction ask yourself…
What are they feeling?
Then, seek to understand and ask…
- Is this what you are thinking?
- Is this what you are feeling?
The more you are able to identify the emotions of others, the more you will learn something about yourself.
I believe that to develop a greater connection with yourself…
You need to build a greater and stronger connection with other people
2. SELF AWARENESS
The number one lesson I’ve learned in coaching people is that…
They do not realistically ‘see’ themselves.
They have a false sense of who they think they are and how they are perceived by others.
Now, what I find interesting is that we can quickly see and judge others with no problem.
It’s as if we view others with a different lens – a critical lens.
We can listen or look at somebody and quickly judge and say…
- Why did they do that?
- I wouldn’t have done that.
- That’s the wrong way – they should have done it my way.
Our fast and furious way of judging others is a way to diffuse or disguise our own disfunction and all of the stuff going on in our lives.
We have become very blind to ourselves.
As a result, we use our judgement of others to mask who we really are and how we feel about ourselves.
I recommend an interesting book called ‘Trusting Yourself: Growing your self awareness, self confidence, and self reliance by M.J. Ryan.
It provides guidance and tools on the journey to self trust and self awareness.
The book is available on amazon.ca:
I believe that one of the attributes of authentic and inspirational people is they are very self aware about who they are.
Self-awareness involves being mindful of different aspects of the ‘self’ including traits, behaviours, and feelings.
The more we know and understand ourselves, the more we will be and act the same in every situation.
In other words, we will be comfortable in our skin.
Take out your journal and ask yourself these powerful questions to strengthen your self awareness muscle:
- When am I at my best?
- What kind of person do I want to be today?
- What situations make me feel terrible, and what do they have in common?
- What is working well in my life and work today?
- If I change nothing, what will your life look like 3 months from now?
- When negative thoughts arise, how do I deal with them?
- How do I stay grounded when I feel overwhelmed?
3. SELF RELIANCE
‘Self Reliance is the only road to true freedom, and being ones own person is its ultimate reward’-Patricia Sampson
To develop emotional mastery, you need to be in charge of your EMOTIONAL WORLD.
This means you do not have to REACT to other people’s negative emotions.
For example, you don’t need to respond with anger, pessimism, or jealousy when people are demonstrating these emotions.
You need to be independent – in control of your thoughts and feelings.
Moving through life constantly adjusting your emotions to everybody else by modelling or mirroring them, can slowly become a disaster.
This is because you are constantly on an emotional rollercoaster, and you will have trouble getting off the ride.
Self reliance means…
- Being in charge of your life.
- Realizing,ONLY you have the ability to change things!
- You are in control of your attention, focus, actions, and time.
Emotional mastery means you are not mimicking the negative sentiments of others.
If you are going to develop emotional mastery in life, you will not let others manage your emotions and give them your power!
You will generate and direct your emotional states and how you feel moment to moment.
A tool I often share to develop self reliance is through ‘self talk.’
It means you tell yourself how to feel, how to respond.
How would my best self respond to this situation?
Emotional mastery is also about giving yourself ‘ques’ like…
- Telling yourself how to think, feel and act.
It comes from telling yourself what to do consistently.
If you make this a daily habit, over time, your brain and emotions will fall into a state of connection.
Your mind and heart will begin to trust each other, and one does not take over the other – they are in sync.
Generate the emotions you want to experience in the moment.
Change you focus and talk yourself out of the negativity, anger, or bitterness.
These are the fundamentals of developing great self mastery and emotional control.
In summary, emotional mastery is developing
- Self Awareness
- Self Reliance
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These tools will help you grow, reach higher heights so you can become the best version of you!
I sincerely wish you the best on your journey to enhance your life!
George Andreas, Founder