Part 1 – Going furthest together & Unfolding your own myth
High EQ Leaders live by the axiom “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. After all, Emotional Intelligence, in the words of Daniel Goleman, is a form of social intelligence and ultimately determines how effective we are in managing two very important relationships in our lives – that with our self and with others.
In this article, I will share how applying my emotional intelligence was instrumental to me realising my dream of publishing my first book. I will also provide you with some insights into how to stay inspired and to overcome self-doubt and procrastination, twin forces that will extinguish your most noble pursuits.
A great dream requires a great team
I used to think that writing a book, much like running a marathon, or winning a Formula 1 race was very much an individual endeavour. Learning about emotional intelligence made me realise that whilst doing this on one’s own is possible, doing it with a team can make it significantly easier, more enjoyable, more fulfilling and the end outcome infinitely better – the caveat being that we had the EQ to be an effective team player and leader in the first place, committed to the goal of make the whole greater than the sum of its parts.
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
– African Proverb
Unfold your own myth
EQ Strategist was founded by Sue and I in 2006 with a shared vision to touch at least a million lives with our work before our time was up. At our tenth anniversary, we realised that if we were serious about meeting this goal, we could not rely solely on doing this through our live talks, workshops and coaching. The greatest constraint relying solely on ourselves is that of time. But if we could immortalise our work by putting our knowledge down into print, we could positively impact a global audience by tapping into the wisdom, time, resources, reach and capacities of collaborative partners like Amazon, Booktopia and others. And so the goal was set to publish my first book within 2 years!
I’d rather have one percent of the efforts of 100 people than 100 percent of my own efforts.
– John Paul Getty
But before I committed to this goal, I had to overcome my greatest adversary – ME! Two essential ingredients of every great relationship are trust and empowering communication. One of the most significant barriers I had to overcome was self-doubt and to do so, I had to embrace vulnerability. Daniel Goleman defines Self-Confidence, a trait of star performers as “a strong sense of one’s self-worth and capabilities”.
Whenever I felt this old, familiar feeling, I realised that I was habitually cultivating this by dwelling on disempowering questions and negative self-talk like “Do I have something unique to share? After all, everything I wanted to share I had learnt from others. Why would anyone want to read my book? After all, I was no writer.”
Having a dream without the confidence to bring it to life is like having a great oak seed but not the capacity to put it into fertile ground. By firstly being aware that my self-doubt was created by me, or more specifically my disempowering habits and then constantly self-managing by reframing my questions into ones that were more empowering like “How is what I have to share valuable? To whom? How would it benefit them? Who would read my book that may not have read those of others? What evidence have I had to know for this to be true? Would it be worth the effort if only one person ever picked up the book and what I had to share would change their life forever? What would that mean to me?”, I found I was able to develop a steely resolve to take that first step.
Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.
So one way to strengthen self-confidence is to make time to reflect on powerful, empowering questions like the following (and to not stop until you came up with at least three answers for each)
- How am I worthy?
- What are my strengths?
- What am I great at?
- What evidence have I had in my life to know that I am deserving?
- How do I make a difference?
In Part 2 of this article, we will talk about flying with your WHY and standing on the shoulders of giants!
This article was inspired by an interview I did with Janice Muir, who coaches authors and who wanted to share my story of why I wrote my book (“What’s GREAT about this? How to be Resilient and Thrive through Disruption and Change”) with followers of her work. If you’re interested to hear this story, check it out below.