Often times when we look at certain people’s lives, be it a magazine success story or acquaintances on social media we think
- ‘they’ve got it sorted’,
- ‘I wish I had it worked out like so-and-so’,
- ‘now they’ve got their ducks in a row’.
And yet! Do they? I recall a few years back I had a collection of cards showcasing people who were inspiring leaders in their fields. Over the space of a year or two Tiger Woods, Oscar Pretorious and Lance Armstrong all went from inspiring icon’s in their field to being seen as very human. Time revealed they an area of thier life working but, clearly, things weren’t working in other areas of their lives.
Just this weekend I was chatting with a friend. She’d spend a holiday with someone whose life looked so good from a little way off and yet – when they chatted and she got closer in. This all together business women, mother, sister revealed her struggles and sore spots. It’s my experience that very few reach a place of acceptance or enlightenment where they embrace all of life where it is – as it is. Most people have something they would like to do better at. Live more balance, time with family, invest in their healthy or have more time/money/energy to include in their lives.
Life I think is like parenting: just when you get a handle on a sleeping routines; you get to welcome teething; and when that’s sorted you’re into bath or feeding struggles and so it continues. Life is dynamic and as you really feel empowered and on top of one thing then another challenge comes along.
Obstacles as Gifts
Our power lies in opening ourselves up to these experiences not as obstacles but as gifts. Tough, yes! Trying, often! Challenging, for sure! Many times, deeply enriching! If we don’t allow our identities and worthiness to be tied to the challenges or obstacles we can engage with them with a lightness, a courage and willingness to discover what we can learn about ourselves. We can get more clarity on our values and find how we can serve and contribute to expressing our whole selves in what we are doing.
I certainly know as a certified Emotional Intelligence trainer who has been working in the field for close on 8 years I certainly have a long way to go in what I’d like to integrate and apply of the knowledge I know. Just this holiday’s when I had a conversation with one of my brother’s he mentioned ‘I’m sure we were talking about this same problem last year’ I thought red flag! Something needs to change.
Do you have something in your life that is a repetitive challenge, that you talk about wanting but nothing changes. Maybe 3 weeks into the year and already your new Years resolution has fallen aside or do you have something you say is a priority but you haven’t managed to actually priorities with your time, money or resources. Today we’re going to explore to activities from my EQ Toolbox. One you can use in a relationship, families or working or project teams. I’ll talk us through that now and then you can use it for personal reflection (on a project you’re struggling with or can’t get of the ground. Perhaps it’s a personal habit you wish you could create. Or some part of your work – responding to emails, being attached to your phone 24/7. Maybe it’s money habits… over spending, or budgeting or saving. Reaching earning tagets. It could be around relationships: the school run with your daughter, the conflict resolution pattern with your spouse, or something to do with heath & fitness. You get the idea… what is worthy in your life of some reflection time that if you invested it may begin to shift and in years to come you’ll be forever grateful you spent this time.
Emotional Intelligence Skills
Just to talk EQ for a moment since we are unpacking Emotional Intelligence here. Covered in these exercises we’re using pattern recognition to open the door to new conscious choices or clearer intentions. Pattern recognition is one of the primary skills or competencies of EQ – it is the ability to recognise patterns between T, F and Action in no specific order. Pattern recognition makes up part of a self-awareness. We’ll be drawing on a second competency: optimism. The ability to recognise alternative choices and that how things have been in the past doesn’t dictate how things may be in future. This is a powerful part of resilience – so we building our bounce back factor.
So here are the two activities explained in the podcast:
What’s working? What’s not working? MORE THAN 1 PERSON (In a partnership, family or group)
- A safe, vulnerable, honest space to share and connect to each others experiences
- A listening and validating space is created (problem-solving IF NEEDED happens at another time)
- Happens as regularly as every two weeks or once a month.
- List a maxium of 2 things for each question.
What’s working? What’s not working? PERSONAL REFLECTION
- Choose what you are going to reflect on. A small incident, project or difficulty or a whole area of your life (money, relationship, work, health, parenting)
- Brainstorm without judgment
- List at least two things (or more in personal reflection) that are working and then for things that are not working.
Reflect on TFA (Thoughts, Feelings & Actions) PERSONAL REFLECTION
- Choose one of the things that came up from the exercise. It can be something that is working or not.
- In the order you find easiest list what thoughts, feelings or actions are happening around the one thing you’ve chosen.
- You can find an Emotion List in Episode 3 if you would like to access more emotion words.
- Be present to what comes to your awareness.
- ADDITIONAL ACTIVITY: You can also use the T.FA to set an intention of either how you’d like to feel, think or act in the situation going forward. You can chose one area or all three.
Final Question: What is one measureable tangible way your life would change if you this one area of your life/specific challenge changed?
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