Self-awareness. Self-awareness refers to a person’s ability to understand their feelings from
moment to moment. It might seem as if this is something we know, but we often go about our day
without thinking or being aware of our emotions that impact how we behave in work or personal
situations. Understanding our emotions can help us reduce stress and make better decisions,
especially when we are under pressure. In addition, knowing and recognizing our own strengths and
weaknesses is part of self-awareness. Assume that Patt is upset about a new process being
implemented in the organization. Lack of self-awareness may result in her feeling angry and anxious,
without really knowing why. High self-awareness EQ might cause Patt to recognize that her anger and
anxiety stem from the last time the organization changed processes and fifteen people got laid off.
Part of self-awareness is the idea of positive psychological capital, which can include emotions
such as hope; optimism, which results in higher confidence; and resilience, or the ability to bounce
back quickly from challenges. Psychological capital can be gained through self-awareness and self-
management, which is our next area of emotional intelligence.