Whether a person is faith-based or not, it is hard to deny what’s stated in Proverbs 4:23: “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” This is an exceptionally profound scripture wherein both believers and nonbelievers can find common ground in discussing its meaning.
Our “heart” self is better defined as our emotional self. Sadly, our emotional navigator and the lack of control (awareness) of such navigation can lead us on a path of destruction time and time again. Fear, hurt, anger, frustration and feelings of disrespect often send us into a tailspin of poor decisions. This spiral is based on information we perceive as being true during a temporary state of heightened emotion. Once we come down from the high of those feelings, our logical self normally takes over. We then resolve to deal with the shrapnel from the emotional war we have either waged on ourselves or others around us.
Many would dare to say that a lack of emotional self-control is not of concern to them. Truth is, under the right (or wrong) conditions, no matter how much we brag or boast about our self-controlling capabilities, this is simply much easier said than done. For the unrealistically optimist-type personality, even too much positive emotion can cause us to make decisions counter to our healthy well-being once the reality check appears.
From childhood, we learn to productively or unproductively deal with the emotional states in which we find ourselves. If our parents process emotions well, short of any psychological disorder, we will most likely do the same if our personalities mimic theirs. However, the slightest bend in the personality curve, coupled with real life experiences, can leave those same emotionally aware parents to a permanent state of “what the heck” when their children are more intense in emotional reactivity.
Being self-aware of our emotions, as well as those of other people, can significantly increase our health, happiness, overall quality of life and even our financial pictures. Alternatively, living in the smallest amount of emotional darkness can hinder our abilities to be the best “us” we can be in all realms of living.
When people say they are fine “just as they are,” this is usually an indicator that growth is clearly necessary. Humans can only reach full potential when constantly evolving to become better. That sense of better could mean anything from physical health, emotional health, relationship compatibility, financial outlook to spiritual growth. No matter how you look at it, growth is always a good and necessary thing. To imply that it does not need to take place because you are “fine just as you are” sends up a red flag on the denial flag pole of life.
To begin your journey to increased self-awareness, or as I say in my world, increased emotional intelligence (EQ), here are some things to keep in mind:
- Change does not equal the level of imperfection or faultiness as many believe it does.
- Growth shows you have simply conquered where you were and have increased your own self value.
- Seeking change only suggests you are open to the challenge of journeying to where you could be in life.
- To become better, we must learn what better is and how to get there outside of our normal comfort zone.
- Many factors affect our emotions – both internal and external – but they can be understood if we are willing.
- What we don’t think THEY see is usually the first thing they DO see.
- Emotional awareness includes physical signs too.
- Change is always a “for you” program because you reap the greatest benefit even if the world benefits too.
Today I challenge you to love yourself enough to grow and become emotionally aware for the greater good of you. If you don’t know how, be willing and open to seek coaching and increase the potential for a life you only dreamed of before!