The very first time I completed the EQi assessment, the results were an eye opener – and some were rather challenging to take ownership for. The harshest reality was how much my Impulse Control needed development. My coach was fantastic in how she supported me with what I found challenging and reminded me that every EI skill can be developed.
To this day, I still feel a little discomfort in the pit of my stomach when I remember that first session when we discussed my EI results, it was embarrassing and right next door to shame – how could I have not been aware of my impulse control or lack of same? Do I really speak without thinking, act without thinking, and react to events impulsively????
How could this be, I value courtesy and respect but this impulsive behaviour was in complete conflict with these values. (The irony was not lost on me – I was impulsively reacting to this information and judging myself way too harshly!!) My coach tapped into my discomfort and flipped the session around by developing strategies with me to build this skill. It felt at first like an impossible task but I went with it and figured I had nothing to lose.
The first step was to develop my awareness of when I behaved impulsively. This took a lot of conscious deliberate action on my part but with practice, this became much easier to do. It became evident over time that there were certain situations that “triggered” emotions, which in turn caused an impulsive response e.g. being surprised, getting very good (or bad) news, impulsive shopping (particularly shoe shopping), hearing statements from others that contained the phrase “you should…..” and so on. I also started to notice physical sensations in my stomach that were a signal to me that I was about to react to something.
This piece of work also highlighted that not all my impulsive behaviour was having a negative impact. In fact, some impulses were having a positive impact. More on this next week!
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