Andrea, a 34-year-old therapist is excited about finally building her private practice but is consumed with self-doubt and the victim of constant negative thinking.  Creating a sustainable financial base is critical to her success but she finds herself feeling as if she's a hamster on a wheel; consistently questioning if her next move is the best, while seeing her funds dwindle. 

Andrea's inability to honesty assess her own behavior and identify the source of the emotions driving those behaviors, is our starting point in our work together. Our goal:  helping her reach a state of self-awareness, especially when she was feeling most stressed to help her clear her mind of old, negative messages.  

Keep reading below to learn more about my work with Andrea in helping her build her Emotional Intelligence through mastering competencies so she was able to reach her goal of establishing a thriving practice.


The first and most important part of Emotional Intelligence is Self-Awareness. And, it's the step to which we tend to return consistently to begin the reappraisal process of identifying the emotions we're feeling and how they are affecting our behavior.
Below are the first two steps to gaining competence in EI:
  1. Self-Awareness 
  2. Self-Management



Developing the ability to honestly examine and "name" our emotions so that we may understand how they affect our behaviors, and ultimately affect reaching our goals, is critical. This is particularly difficult when we're under stress and more emotional, as Andrea (above) was, due to her financial constraints.  

There's more at work here, than meets the eye though. While we may be able to understand the surface emotion of fear in terms of the financial difficulties, that doesn't really address why she seemed to be having certain negative thoughts that led to behaviors that weren't in her best interest.  

Drawing the link between what we're feeling and how they manifest in our behaviors, is hugely important to our success. Having emotions is normal and expected, acknowledging them making them work to our advantage is our goal in Emotional Intelligence.

With an understanding that fear was one of Andrea's primary emotions driving her behaviors, we sought to understand her behavior and what was keeping her from experiencing success. There are a myriad of emotions at play that can mask negative behaviors including (but in no means limited to):
  • Being unduly influenced by others
  • Dwelling on isolated events 
  • Being overcritical
  • Focusing on, or expecting, negative feedback and 
  • Taking on too much responsibility, 



In developing mastery over self-awareness, you have learned above, that the goal then is to take a deeper look at how those emotions are affecting your behavior. This then, leads to the goal of being able to regulate or manage your emotions so they work for you and not against you.

In Andrea's case, we found that she was particularly focused on expecting negative feedback and she even self-identified that she was "playing the victim" (she didn't come from money, had no connections, etc.). 

This in itself, wasn't the issue, as we could reframe those negative thoughts into positive ones, which is one component of what we did. The issue relating to her behavior, was that behaviorally, she was engaging in what's known as displacement in which she found that she was doing busy work; small tasks, in her case, that were low-value and thus low-conflict. Her awareness also opened up the fact for her, that she was suffering from a fear of failure: If she didn't make that sales call, she couldn't get rejected, therefore, these low-value tasks, while making her feel as if she was accomplishing something, didn't get her anywhere closer to her goal.

There's another interesting dimension to fear of failure: We may be concerned that we will fail, certainly, but alternatively, we may feel that if we do succeed, that that success wouldn't bring the ultimate reward that we're seeking.


If you feel as if you're always in situations, or with certain people, where you feel unwanted emotions that affect your behavior and want to better manage the oucome, I can help you:
  • Develop the ability to determine what you're feeling and why
  • Discover the link between your emotions and your behavior
  • Recognize passive-agressive behavior in others as well as yourself and how to effectively manage it
  • Appraise your strengths and limitation so they work for you and not against
  • Develop self-assurance in who you are and what you want
  • Manage emotions that are distressing, no matter the situation
  • Think more clearly under pressure
  • Become results-oriented in order to meet your objectives
  • Persist in obtaining your goals, despite setbacks

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