Updated: Jun 18, 2020
When talking about how to make a big life decision, a wise teacher once told me "Does it make you ring like a bell or thud like a sack?"
What my teacher was actually describing so eloquently is called Emotional Intelligence.
Emotional Intelligence is the ability to recognise your bodies natural guidance system. Often called listening to your gut instincts, this ability allows you to get out of your thinking mind, which is programmed by fear and designed to keep you safe by retaining the status quo.
The first step towards healthy Emotional Intelligence is recognising in the moment, when something doesn't feel right.
The second step is being able to name your emotional state in any given moment. For many people who spend long periods of the day in their heads, naming a specific feeling can be very challenging.
Learning a broader emotional vocabulary is a great way to expand your emotional range and thus be able to pinpoint exactly how you are feeling.
The third step is to take the courage to act on your feeling, in the knowing that the body is a better guidance system than the mind and should be listened to.
To act on your internal guidance system might mean that you need to speak out at the risk of being shut down or ridiculed, it may mean that you need to change direction, or stop what you are doing or it may be that you shouldn't trust that a person has your best interests at heart.
Whatever the outcome, it will be the best outcome from this situation for you.
Listening to your Inner guidance system means that your choices, behaviours and decisions are aligned to your values and you won't be suppressing yourself or going against your morals to suit a situation.
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