When we are not aware of our feelings our feelings own us. People vote primarily based on fear. Politicians and advertisers effectively manipulate our emotions to get our vote or to encourage us to buy their latest and greatest product. We lash out in anger or we play small fearful of what would happen if we owned our magnificence. Fear of success is real. We go through life unaware of our anger and unaware of fear. As a life and relationship coach, I work with clients on self-awareness and self-awareness requires being aware of our feelings. We sabotage our success by not owning our feelings.

Are you at the effect of your feelings?

Self-awareness starts with knowing how you feel. When you don’t know how you feel, you become at the effect of your feelings and emotions, they control you instead of you controlling them. I recently talked with an angry man who said he could not help lashing out at others. How many times have you heard someone say, “I can’t control my feelings?” You can’t control your feelings but you can control your actions. You feel angry. Anger is a power and useful emotion. Anger can stir us into action in a way that sadness or fear does not. The feeling is just a feeling. You are the one in control of your words and your actions. You are responsible for what you do and say regardless of how you are feeling. Feelings are never an excuse for bad behavior.

Emotional Intelligence and Feelings

Emotional intelligence has been a big deal since Daniel Goleman’s groundbreaking book, Emotional Intelligence. Daniel Goleman recognizes that we need to not just have a high IQ or be book smart but we also need people skills. These skills he calls emotional intelligence include: self-awareness, empathy, compassion. People with emotional intelligence skills tend to be happier, have better intimate relationships and more successful careers. Most of us have never been taught feeling vocabulary. Yet teaching and learning these “soft skills” is often looked down upon as being less important.

Can Not Owning Our Feelings Can Sabotage Our Success?

People who lack emotional intelligence tend to be more depressed, have less job satisfaction (and earning potential) and a lower quality of intimate relationships. We can’t NOT have feelings. We may have become numb to our feelings. We may not be aware of our feelings, but they’re still there. The good news is that these skills can be taught. We are so much more effective when our head and hearts match and when we operate from a place of self-awareness. People with good emotional intelligence skills are more successful at work, have a better quality of intimate relationships and in general are happier. Aren’t these skills worth learning?

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