Once You Know Better, You Do Better

Self-improvement is impossible without self-awareness; it’s the starting point. Understanding your own needs, beliefs, desires, strengths, weaknesses – everything that makes you tick; everything that makes you unique is critical.

In my last blog, What Really Matters! I discussed the second emotional intelligence competency, Self-Actualization.
Let’s move onto the third competency, Emotional Self-Awareness

Emotional Self-Awareness is the ability to stay “in touch” with your emotions. As you get better at recognizing and understanding your emotions, you gain power to control them as opposed to being controlled by them.

Let me ask you, do you believe your emotions are in control of you, or are you in control of your emotions?

Perhaps you believe that it depends on the situation. The fact of the matter is – it’s not the situation; it’s the way you respond to the situation.

Self-awareness is the first step. Acknowledge your emotions, not as good or bad, right or wrong, but as a source of information that can improve your decision-making.

I know that sounds simple, but it’s not always easy. So how can you raise your own self-awareness?

  • Ask others how they perceive you; what do they think makes you tick – your strengths, challenges, and what’s important to you.
  • Put this feedback and newfound awareness into practice as you work towards making any changes you deem necessary. Just remember – be patient. It normally takes 30 days to learn a new habit or change an old one.
  • Try to identify your emotions throughout the day, and put a label on how you are feeling. This will help you build your emotional vocabulary as you become more familiar with the ebb and flow of your moods.

Emotions are a powerful tool.

If this post has you curious and you’d like to learn more, watch my video on leading with emotional intelligence (training program available in both face-to-face and online delivery formats).

Join me next time as I begin to break down the emotional intelligence area of Self-Expression, and explore the first competency in this area, emotional expression. Until then, be aware and be better prepared.

Her focus and passion has been on integrating emotional intelligence, leadership, and personal development to empower women to have the determination and courage to get out of their own way, to live the life they have always wanted to, and to be the best version of themselves.

Carolyn is a popular guest speaker at national and international seminars, conferences and retreats. Feel free to visit her at or check out her latest blog at


Carolyn Stern

Carolyn Stern specializes in helping professional women get unstuck, maximize their potential and achieve more. She is a successful entrepreneur, self-development professional, author, university professor, corporate trainer and coach, as well as a Certified Emotional Intelligence Facilitator/Instructor.

See all posts by Carolyn

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