#awareness / #education / Entrepreneurial / Neurological

A crucial key to success, Emotional Intelligence; self-awareness.

Human Brain

Human Brain

Personal Reality is what you perceive to be true or real. Real Reality is what remains true despite what you perceive, believe or deceive yourself into clinging to.

So, I am not disputing that what you perceive is real or true does not seem very true to the point of actually being the reality you experience. Your mind is a powerful creative instrument and is able to create states and circumstances and phenomena that substantiate what you believe.

The question now arises; Why do you believe it? So, why do we believe our skewed perceptions even though they do not line up with objective reality or what actually is?

When you start waking up you begin to see that the meaning (your personal meaning, and anyone’s meaning for that matter) you attach to what is happening in any given moment is nothing but your perception of it. Your perception is based on your experiential history and your conditioning.

This dismantling of meaning sets into motion a lack of orientation to reality which you could describe as chaos. -TSebastian

Our emotions pave the roads in which we travel, behind the seat we follow. Emotional memory causes us to fight, flight or freeze. It also causes us to act out trauma and protect our ideas and images we have identified with.

If we take time to reflect, we can become more effective by taming this primitive throwback that resides in all of us. AKA the “Lizard” part of our brain.

“If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not 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 to get very far”. -Daniel Goleman in Emotional Intelligence

When we stop solving problems we become a problem, success and well being get thrown out the window. Besides that, It affects anyone we are working with if we aren’t fully functional. So how do we overcome this and learn to be more effective as entrepreneurs? Simply put, by going to the root of each of our problems we can learn to permanently tame our unpredictable lizard throwback reactions.

“It is well known that “problem avoidance” is an important part of problem solving. Instead of solving the problem, you go upstream and alter the system so that the problem does not occur in the first place.” -Edward de Bono

We can “alter the system” by learning to permanently disable our “buttons” so that they can’t be pushed, turning us into mindless automatons that react at the drop of a hat. Think how powerful that could be. We can learn to put our lizard brains to rest, with practice, and allow our thinking frontal lobes to reboot and come back online.

The five keys to Emotional Intelligence

1) Pay Attention & Take Notice

The first step is to take notice of every time you have a negative reaction. This is your lizard brain engaging. Negative reactions arise in many ways. The negative emotions we all experience are the most obvious; fear, anger etc. These type of emotions can run the gamut from a mild anxiety to a full blown panic attack or from mild frustration to outright rage. All of these type emotions are counterproductive and will not help you create your dreams or succeed as an entrepreneur.

So what does it mean to take notice? You must apply the faculty of self reflection, potentially through the practice of meditation, to become conscious and aware of how and when your buttons are being pushed. It’s as simple as just noting to yourself something like: “Oh yea, this always happens when someone says something like this to me”. Make a mental note of the pattern.

2) Question “Reality”

Becoming conscious of our lizard brains patterns of reaction gives us an edge of discernment. Often when we’re taken over by a negative feeling, we don’t see what’s really going on. This is called projection. We may have a tendency to blame another for our own feelings. Just ponder how silly this idea actually is. Can another person actually reach inside you and make you feel something? So we can get confused and in our attempt to end the bad feeling we learn to project.

Instead of this typical and completely useless response to a situation, we need to learn to step back and question our automatic projections. Questions such as; What is it I’m really feeling? Why does this feeling arise in this type situation? This questioning can bring us to a greater understanding of our lizard brain’s defensive patterns. It gives us some objectivity and insight. It also short-circuits our tendency to project.

Understanding is good. Understanding your self is self-knowledge. This gives you the edge of discernment which allows you to exercise self control. Your frontal lobes will then be more likely to regain control of your mind. Continued use of this move will allow some of your buttons to become less sensitive. You will definitely feel more together. And think how powerful that would be for you and your business when interacting with potential clients and customers.

These first two steps are very important and will serve you well when you’re out and about and in the business world. However, in order to really dismantle our reactivity and negativity, we need to go deeper. Setting aside a time for reflection or contemplation is the best way to really get at the roots of our debilitating issues. So here are a few more steps to focus more clearly.

3) Become More Familiar With Your Resistance

The main reason we are not fully emotionally intelligent or whole is because we are resistant to our own emotional content. And it is our resistance to it that holds it firmly in place. Someone wise once said; “What you resist, persists”. Going deeper means looking at our reactivity and emotional buttons with a lot of care and inquisitiveness. Become really interested in what makes you tick this way and why. The first two steps help you do this. In this step, we can take more time and attention to go deeper by asking more questions.

“The lizard brain is the reason you’re afraid, the reason you don’t do all the art you can, the reason you don’t ship when you can. The lizard brain is the source of the resistance.” -Seth Godin In Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

Ask definitive questions such as; Where does this feeling arise? How does it feel? What does it remind me of? What part of my history is tied to this? Try to think of more. This increases your understanding and allows you to adopt some self-compassion towards your issues. Then we go deeper.

4) Fully Feeling

It’s time to end our resistance. Ending the resistance is what will ultimately resolve the knot of reactivity in our lizard brain. Take as much time as you need to open up to the feeling. Allow the feeling to be OK. Even change your attitude and begin to appreciate the feeling for what it is. When you engage the negative feelings this way it allows them to loosen and flow. This is the beginning of resolution. Repeat when necessary.

5) Letting It Be OK

Ultimately, our attitude towards all of our failings, emotional reactions and negative feelings will determine if we grow through them or lock them in place. As you go through this process with individual issues and incidents, you will begin to adopt a non-judgmental stance toward yourself which is a state of non-resistance. You learn to let it be ok. Remember resistance causes things to persist. Your non-resistance and compassion towards your own inner baggage will begin to build a tolerance and empathy towards your fellow humans.

Reflection into ourselves become the mechanism for self-control and creating the life of our own design. For an entrepreneur, that resolution is life-changing.

Credits: TSebastian | 


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