Honest Assessments

Let's just dive in, shall we? Travis Bradberry notes that, "Emotionally intelligent people don't just understand emotions; they know what they're good at and what they're terrible at. They also know who pushes their buttons and the environments (both situations and people) that enable them to succeed. Having a high EQ means you know your strengths and how to lean into and use them to your full advantage while keeping your weaknesses from holding you back."

Those with a high EQ know and accept themselves.

In summary, those with a high EQ know and accept themselves. They are honest with who they are and don't hide it from themselves or others. Which is a bold move.

Our culture promotes strengths and shames weaknesses and we have internalized this to the detriment of our own emotional health. You are not allowed to be weak. Weakness is viewed as a liability. So we learn to hide it or seek to compensate for the areas of which we are ashamed. 

When the StrengthsFinder personality assessment came on the scene several years ago, it turned everything around. It allowed for people to accept the areas they were not naturally strong and pay attention to where they were naturally gifted and talented. The example author Tom Rach gives is that not everyone can be Michael Jordan. I will never be Michael Jordan even if I practice 16 hours a day; I simply do not have what is needed (the natural ability, the height, etc.) to play at that level of perfection. Instead of trying to be him, can I divert that level of energy and commitment to hone in on and improve the skills that I already have? 

There must be an acceptance of natural limitations which can be difficult. We may dream of the type of person we want to be or believe we should be and to find that reality doesn't reflect our fantasy can be painful. We can fight it. We can try to be what we think should be. But you can only do so by shaming yourself for not living into what this fantasy is. 

What if you take an honest look in the mirror, bravely accept that you are finite and limited as a human in what you can do? What if you take stock of the incredible strengths you've been given, celebrate those, and cultivate them? 

Oh, the real and available possibilities...

Tiffany Dang

Tiffany Dang, LPC, Austin, TX