How Understanding Yourself Can Make You a Better Writer
Successful people all around the world are trained to develop their emotional intelligence skills. Now even big companies are starting to promote the emotional IQ of their staff. Why? Could it be that they care? Or perhaps they have come to realise that the way employees are treated significantly affects their bottom-line – profit. But cynicism aside, it goes without saying that people would prefer to work in a company where they are treated fairly as individuals. By promoting enhancing their personal emotional intelligence, companies are making themselves more appealing as employers.
As a freelancer and your own boss, you should be employing this tactic, too.
Why is emotional IQ so important?
There is a general consensus that emotional IQ is the key to both personal and professional success. It all starts with the fundamental building block of a clear understanding of ourselves. By knowing yourself better you are able to recognise your
- self-made blockades
- peak performance triggers
- when you produce your best work
- triggers for self-doubt
With all this in mind, you can then plan individual days to suit your best and worst times for working. Even more than this, you can draw up your entire “business plan” for your career as a freelancer: Where I want to be in 5 years time. Armed with this vital information, you will be able to support yourself and maybe at times even outwit yourself to being more productive and successful.
For a quick test to see just how good your emotional intelligence is now, I have listed 5 ways in which you can analyse and develop your emotional intelligence today.
Five ways of developing your emotional IQ
- Are you shirking responsibility? Hold yourself accountable when you make a mistake.
- Do you lack self-confidence? Start living by your own values.
- If you’re an attention-seeker, practice humility – step out of the limelight and observe for a change.
- Look at yourself honestly – is there room for improvement?
- How do you react in different situations? Do you instantly panic in times of stress? Learn to be the chilled-out writer.
Are you doing any of these? Take a good honest look at yourself, it can help you grow. Having an awareness of your actions and feelings will empower you with confidence and equip you with the means to take control of your writing career.
5 main areas of an improved emotional IQ
- Self-awareness – when you are self-aware you know how you are feeling and you understand how these “moods” are affecting the quality of your focus and the content you create.
- Self-regulation – you are able to “control” your emotions and actions. I don’t mean “control” in the robotic sense, more as working with them and not being overrun by your emotions.
- Motivation – successful motivated people tend to forgo rewards that can be gained in the short term in favour of long-term success. See the bigger picture.
- Empathy – your ability to understand others. We are not islands – although some of us may live in solitude with our books and hermit-like writing frenzies – we are inextricably linked with the world around us. Developing your empathy, for example, will go a long way in helping you develop characters for your novel or understand situations in the world around you.
- Social skills – writers are not known for their good social skills. In fact, we are often the weirdos in the corner observing tittle-tattle at parties or the social pariah that type in our PJs all day drinking gallons of coffee with our minds in a galaxy far far away. So please make a special effort here as it will help you when you network and push your work out there… without your slippers on!
Improved emotional intelligence is the X-factor in writing success
Recognise your emotions, understand them and see how they are affecting your work ethic and even how you are impacting others in the world around you. Understand how you project yourself, your own personal image and what are you attracting or repelling.
Takeaway: I seriously recommend understanding yourself that little bit better. By working with your highs and lows, and recognising your triggers, you can become your most powerful weapon in your strategy as a freelance writer, blogger or creative.