When you think of someone who is an incredible leader, what words come to mind? Whether it’s inspirational, motivating, charismatic or something in between --- it’s usually describing someone's emotional intelligence (EQ), rather than their intellectual ability (IQ).

Emotional intelligence is defined as an individual’s ability to identify, evaluate, control, and express emotions. So why is it so important to learn how to develop emotional intelligence to have great relationships and be a great leader? Keep reading.

People with high EQ usually make great leaders and team players because of their ability to communicate, collaborate, and connect with the people around them.

Over the past 20 years there has been a lot of research on the benefits of EQ and how we lead our lives. Here are the 3 main categories:

1. Incredible leadership

Going back to the opening question, it’s obvious that most of us already identify EQ qualities as important aspects of outstanding leaders. The workplace is becoming more and more about how people can work together, and EI skills are necessary for successful collaboration, especially now, when our communication skills are incredibly important.

2. Excellent performance

Emotional intelligence is widely recognized as a valuable skill that helps improve communication, management, problem-solving, and relationships within the workplace. It is also associated with conflict resolution. listening, reflecting and responding to constructive criticism -- all crucial skills for high performance in the workplace.  a skill that researchers believe can be improved with training and practice.

3. Happiness

A large study done at University of California Riverside found that the factors that affect our own happiness include things like gratitude, positive social relationships, optimism, and a meaningful life. Interestingly, it didn’t show any related to IQ alone. 

If you’re wondering whether or not you’re a perfectionist, there’s a good chance you are one, at least to a degree. And even if you don’t check all the boxes for a perfectionist, it’s more likely than not that you’ve fallen victim to the all-or-nothing mentality at least once in your life. 

The word “perfectionism” is overused and often misunderstood. From my perspective, it’s rooted in a fear of failure and sense of “not enough”. How many of us have felt this at some point?

The truth is though, striving for perfect, only holds you back. It adds unnecessary stress on top of the highly stressful lives we already lead, it stifles creativity, and prevents you from taking risks and trying new things. Ironically, your fear of failure actually makes you fail by missing out on these critical opportunities for growth and learning. 

Maybe for you it’s a new website, an email to a new client, or a job interview.  Whatever you’ve been putting off, because of your fear of failure, is only preventing you from growing and stepping into an evolved version of yourself. 

Fear of all criticism is a paralyzing way to live. Nothing truly new, original, and great can be created without making many mistakes along the way. 

As an entrepreneur, I’ve had to learn that perfectionism only holds you back and it’s better to put something out there, fail fast and iterate because ‘done is better than perfect.’

Updated: May 26, 2020

Evolution: the gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a more complex form. What a beautiful thing it is to expand, transform, and grow -- and it’s something I’ve been diving deep into the past few months.

And yes, it can be uncomfortable, and messy, and difficult. Whether it’s in a relationship, the people around you, a career, or anything else, change ultimately helps us get unstuck, connect to our authentic self, and find more direction in life.

So when changes arise (because they will), what if you allowed yourself to explore the natural evolution process? What if you dropped the guilt, the shame, or the anger and just accepted it as a natural part of life instead. What if you actually WELCOMED it?

I recently moved in with my boyfriend and as excited as I am for this new chapter, the experience has been bittersweet. One one hand, I’m starting a new chapter and building a life with someone I love and on the other hand I am leaving behind a life, community and routine I worked hard to build. So it’s okay to feel both excited and sad. 

If you’re going through any changes yourself, allow yourself to grieve who you once were while stepping into who you want to be. You can do both. You have full permission to change and evolve while honoring your past. Sit in the uncomfortable feelings and I promise you, you’ll be okay. Keep doing the work. Keep showing up. Keep evolving - 

A caterpillar did not become a butterfly without a metamorphosis.

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