In my latest post, I explained how I discovered that not all my impulsive behaviour was having a negative impact and, in fact, some impulses were having a positive impact – reacting to crisis situations quickly and calmly, starting an unpleasant task immediately in order to get it out of the way (ironing), screaming with fear at the top of my voice when I did my first Zip Line in Alaska – the screams turned to laughter and enjoyment after about 5 seconds and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and did 4 more Zips that day.
As my awareness developed, I was then able to use a simple strategy of rating my emotional reaction on a scale of 1 to 10 and reality checking if I could turn the dial down a few notches before choosing a response. It really surprised me how easy it was to do and I actually enjoyed taking back control of my responses.
Over time, developing my impulse control has had a positive impact on my relationships – both personal and professional – because I listen more effectively, consider my responses, manage my impulse to get my voice/opinion heard. By developing awareness of the situations or events that I am most likely to react impulsively has enabled me to prepare and be ready to put real effort into managing my impulses in those situations.
A real measure of my success was when after many unsuccessful attempts to buy Ed Sheeran concert tickets over the last few years; in the middle of a meeting I received a text that I had a ticket. 10 years ago I would have been shrieking with excitement but instead, I managed my impulses and delayed the gratification until after the meeting.
Developing your Emotional Intelligence is a rewarding challenge. Partnering with a coach makes the journey more exciting than challenging and offers a trusted and supportive space to plan and navigate through the choppy bits. My Impulse Control score increased to Average (from very low) which was fantastic. I continue to build on it – the shoe shopping still needs more work.
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