What I Learned by Improving My Self-Awareness and Self-Management Skills

By Katie Corbett


Self-awareness and self-management are both aspects of emotional intelligence, also known as EQ. They entail recognizing and appropriately responding to your emotions. This is an important skill to have, especially in professional settings.


I first became aware of these aspects of EQ when I read “Emotional Intelligence 2.0,” by Travis Bradberry. As I went through the book, I put an action plan into place to grow and improve in these skills.


I grew up in a family where all of us wore emotions on our sleeves. While that resulted in love, affection, and encouragement being expressed, it was also regular for people to fly off the handle when they became upset or life got stressful. As an adult, I noticed these behaviors in myself and wanted to make a change. I decided that improving my EQ would be a great place to start.


While I was working at a nonprofit as a writer, my boss told me I needed to rewrite a piece of content. My stomach clenched and I could feel my body getting warm. I was frustrated. By paying attention to the signals my body was sending me, I was able to realize that I was experiencing negative emotions.


We were heading to an event in a few minutes, so I couldn’t do anything right then to resolve the situation. I took time in my office to cool down. Unfortunately, I did express some frustration to my boss before that cool-down period, but once I realized what I was doing, I put a lid on it for the event and apologized to her afterward.


My emotions still blind-side me at times. Knowing the signals my body is sending me has helped me get control of myself before I show my frustration to the world.


Have self-awareness and self-management kept you from saying or doing something you’d have regretted later? Feel free to leave a comment and share your story.


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