For a long time, one's IQ (Intelligence Quotient) was considered the leading determinant of success (financial and personal). However, as more studies looked into the lifestyles and success factors of those with high IQ's, it became clear that this theory did not bear itself out. Many with high IQs had lives that were filled with work and relationship failures.

In 1995, a new concept in success and happiness was introduced in a book by Daniel Goleman called "Emotional Intelligence." In what was labeled "a groundbreaking concept," Goleman coined the term "emotional intelligence" and defined it as the ability to develop and sustain loving relationships with others, be highly self-aware yet have empathy for people and situations outside of themselves, and have a strong sense of altruism--giving back.

Based on brain and behavioral research, people with high EQ were shown to be those who truly succeeded in their work and personal lives, establishing flourishing careers and lasting, meaningful relationships.

As humans, we are highly emotional beings. We tend to run more off of our emotions than our intellect. I see this all the time in my hypnotherapy and coaching clients. Logically, what they are doing doesn't make sense, yet they continue to do it anyway and don't know how to stop.

What we are creating in our lives is the result of actions and our actions are based on our emotions. We tend to act more on things that are charged with emotion (E-Motion = Energy in Motion). Therefore, it makes sense that the ability to feel, identify, communicate, use, learn from, and manage our emotions will allow us to navigate life more easily and create more of what we want in our lives and less of what we don't.

Whether one's EQ is genetic and fixed or can be developed as children or even adults is still under debate. However, I am of the opinion that it can be developed with good resources and training. Why do I believe this? Because I have worked with hundreds of clients to do just that and have seen great transformations occur as a result.

One client recently reported, "As I am remembering more to stop myself when I'm feeling emotional and step back from the situation, I am able to respond instead of react. This is helping me immensely to stop the cycle of anger and resentment that has caused me to have unsatisfying relationships or to go off and indulge in food that is unhealthy or unnecessary."

Before they start working with me, most of my clients are living at the mercy of their roller coaster emotions, based on past programming and external circumstances. They are constantly reacting in unconscious, knee-jerk, habitual ways that create more drama and undesirable outcomes. One of the ideas I emphasize most often and emphatically with them is that the ability to manage their emotions is one of the greatest skills they can ever develop.

If you would like to know more about Emotional Intelligence or determine what your EQ is, you can pick up Goleman's book. There are several on-line tests you can take as well--some free and some paid. Learning to raise your EQ takes time, practice, patience, good tools, and guidance. I would suggest working with a professional who is familiar with this concept and has the tools and experience to be able to assist you with the process.

Author's Bio: 

Lisa Smith is a Certified Wellness Coach and Master Hypnotherapist, author, speaker, and trainer with a private practice, Life by Design, LLC in Virginia Beach, but serving people across the country. Along with general hypnosis and NLP, she uses the principles of Emotional Intelligence to help people create more healthy and successful lives. For more information and free tools, visit or call 757-631-9940.