How to Predict the Outcome Using Emotional Intelligence
Disappointments in life occur when we don't get the outcome we expect or believe is owed to us. "Disappointment is a sort of bankruptcy" according to Philosopher Eric Hoffer, when the soul uses too much energy on hope and expectation and is subsequently let down. Being let down can cause a lot of stress that is unnecessary and in hindsight could have been avoided. Life is not simply a game of chance where some appear to have the world fall at their feet while others struggle to receive a desired outcome whether it be in their work or social life. While there may not be a simple answer there are a few key element or strategies that increase the chances of you predicting the outcome and therefore having more control over the quality of the outcome.
Hard Habit to Break
I have struggled in the past coping with feeling that others seemed to get all the good breaks in life. I was unhappy and quite jealous of friends and colleagues who were often considered for promotions or just happened to meet the right person at the right time who had the exact information they needed or boosted them up to improve their overall quality of life. I believed I was unlucky and saw myself as different to them somehow.
Then one day I realised that the people I was envious of had a different outlook on life to me. They were positive and happy and probably other like minded people were attracted to them because of this. My moodiness and seriousness towards life was reflected back to me in my personal and work achievements. I needed to change.
The change did not happen quickly, I mean consider that I had inhaled this gloomy outlook on life from adults around me when I was growing up, my doom and gloom predictions were a bad and hard habit to break. But I persevered, read lots of books and soon discovered that there was one significant aspect of myself that could turn a lot of things around for me. My beliefs.
Our beliefs are very unique, personal and sometimes complicated. They can also be very static or forever changing depending on the individual and circumstances. It seems the older we get the more set we are in our ways and our beliefs. For example we do things a certain way because that is the way our parents did it and it worked for them, or we might believe, because of media reports, that travelling in a foreign country is dangerous when in reality millions of people do it every day and stay safe. When we stop and think how limiting some of our beliefs are we begin to understand that not everything is either all good or all bad and that in reality everything has the potential to be both good and bad and is dependant on our perspective of it.
Challenge Your Beliefs
How Beliefs Can Alter Consequences
Questioning your beliefs can be very challenging but don't be too hard on yourself. Take as much time as you are comfortable with. Remember that a lot of your beliefs will stem from your childhood. I am not suggesting that you let go of any of them, only that you question, honestly and just to yourself, how some of your beliefs are impacting on your well being.
- Do these beliefs enhance your quality of life and outlook for the future?
- Is this belief supported by proof or is it a gut feeling?
- Does it involve a negative assumption about a person or event and is this assumption based on fear or jealousy?
- Does it stem from rumour, or personal experience?
- How would the outcome or consequence look if you changed, or even suspended your belief about it?
When we are prepared to change or suspend our beliefs or assumptions, magic can happen.
One of my habits used to involve assuming that my family knew how I was feeling when I was out of work. They would leave the house in the morning not having made their beds and leave their breakfast dishes in the sink. I would angrily clean up after they had left and resent having to do it. I would still be angry when they returned home to a cooked meal and I would stay angry because neither of them seemed to notice that the house was spic and span. I assumed they were being lazy and expecting me, because I was out of work, to be their maid, and this made my blood boil. Eventually my husband asked what was making me angry and it was then he explained both he and the kids used to do the dishes and make the beds when they returned in the afternoon to save them being late for the train in the morning. My assumptions had been very wrong. I apologised for the misunderstanding.
- I had no proof that they were lazy or taking me for granted
- I was negatively assuming I knew why they were not making the beds
- It was based on a fear that I was being viewed as their maid
I really had a few choices open to me
- I could have left the dishes in the sink and the beds unmade and wait to see if they did them on their return and/or
- I could have communicated with them and discovered their routine involved doing these chores on their return
Instead, I assumed the worst and unnecessarily brought anger and resentment into my beautiful family life. In short I did not use my Emotional Intelligence.
Daniel Goleman-Emotional Intelligence
Emotional Intelligence- What is it?
Emotional Intelligence or EQ is really the self awareness of your own emotions together with the skill of appropriately using those emotions, at the same time being aware of your effect on others and other peoples emotions. It does not necessarily mean being 'nice' but it does mean appropriately managing them. If I had used Emotional Intelligence in the personal example above I might have foreseen that unless I asked some pertinent questions I would be left with assuming that my family were taking me for granted. My heightened emotional state affected the quality of my life and that of my family. If this had gone unchecked my resentment may have built and the overall situation may have worsened. My beliefs about the event were directly related to my emotions and my behaviour. Once I had more information my beliefs changed and I had a different view of the entire situation. I knew deep down that I was over reacting and most likely assuming a lot but I believe this stemmed from my own feelings of guilt over not having a job. Quite deep and insightful I know, but that is what is involved in being emotionally intelligent. The trick is to use it before your mind chooses to jump to conclusions by thinking 'unconsciously', in other words out of habit by using the same old worn out pathway.
When we learn to question our beliefs we open up doorways that inspire and create more options, for us and others. Our emotional intelligence becomes easier to access because we are willing to let go of assumptions and negativity and instead learn to think creatively. If we make mistakes we learn, laugh at ourselves and move on. Life wasn't meant to be difficult and so it isn't if you have the desired outcome in mind. Learn to think about the possibilities instead of the shortfalls and let go of fear and assumptions. The outcomes become more predictable because that is the point you start from. If you desire happy, fulfilling relationships, start with that. What is it about your beliefs you can change in order to achieve what you desire? Only then should you take action.
"When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change" Wayne Dyer
Predicting Future Outcomes
Predicting future outcomes is easier
- When you are mindfully aware of your emotions and behaviour
- When you are mindfully aware of others emotions and behaviour
- When you develop EQ and use it often
If you are able to determine that your emotions and behaviour are not enhancing your well being you are in a position to change them and challenge your beliefs about what is really making you unhappy. It then becomes a matter of mindfully changing your actions to match your desired outcome. Disappointments are bound to still happen because they are a part of life, however your will be better able to deal with your emotions and change the way you feel about disappointment, perhaps coming away with something positive. With a little effort a better outcome can be predicted for anyone.
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