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Friday, September 8, 2023

How Self-Awareness and Emotional Intelligence Can Help You Make Value-Based Decisions

Making decisions that align with your values and beliefs can be challenging, especially when you face conflicting or competing demands, expectations, or pressures from others. However, being able to make value-based decisions can help you achieve your goals, live authentically, and feel more satisfied with your life. To do this, you need to develop two important skills: self-awareness and emotional intelligence.

Before we dive into the subject of self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and their role in making value-based decisions, let's take a look at what value-based beliefs are.  According to an article from the Values Institute; some values are innate to humans, some are instilled by our cultures, and others are developed based on our own thoughts and personal experiences. Values can be core or aspirational, meaning that they reflect who we are or who we want to be.

An important aspect of understanding your core values is self-awareness. With self-awareness, you are in tune with your inner self and understand your emotions and thoughts. This type of self-reflection will help you define (and sometimes redefine) your core values. It is these inner core values that set the framework for the actions you take in life.  Many people make life decisions based upon their core values and this is a crucial part of authentic living and emotional intelligence.

Affirmation: I am able to make decisions that align with my values and beliefs (Right-click for loop mode)

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What is Self-Awareness?

Self-awareness is the ability to recognize and understand your own emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. It also involves being aware of how you affect others and how they perceive you. Self-awareness is a key component of emotional intelligence, which is the ability to use and manage your emotions in positive ways.

Self-awareness helps you to:

  • Identify your values and beliefs, as well as your strengths and weaknesses
  • Monitor your emotions and reactions, and understand their causes and consequences
  • Learn from your experiences and feedback from others
  • Adapt to changing situations and challenges
  • Express your emotions appropriately and constructively
By utilizing self-awareness you can make decisions that are in accordance with your core values or value-based beliefs. This in turn results in a life with fewer regrets and one that brings you closer to your goals. It also helps to ensure you choose relationships that are healthy and beneficial therefore avoiding unnecessary conflicts or drama in your life.

Without first determining what it is you believe or what your values are, you will find many conflicts and roadblocks along your life's journey.

Fractal Flowers Art by Charisse Van Horn

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions, as well as those of other people. Emotional intelligence consists of four main skills: self-awareness, self-regulation, social awareness, and relationship management.

Emotional intelligence helps you to:

  • Relieve stress and cope with difficulties
  • Communicate effectively and empathize with others
  • Overcome challenges and solve problems
  • Build stronger relationships and trust
  • Inspire and influence others
  • Work well in a team and manage conflict
Fractal Flowers Art by Charisse Van Horn

How Can Self-Awareness and Emotional Intelligence Help You Make Value-Based Decisions?

Making value-based decisions means choosing actions that are consistent with your values and beliefs, rather than following external pressures or expectations. This can help you achieve your personal and professional goals, as well as feel more fulfilled and authentic.

To make value-based decisions, you need to use both self-awareness and emotional intelligence. Here are some ways how:

  • Self-awareness helps you to clarify your values and beliefs, as well as your priorities and goals. By knowing what matters most to you, you can make decisions that reflect your true self.
  • Self-awareness also helps you to recognize your emotions and how they influence your decision-making process. By being aware of your feelings, you can avoid making impulsive or irrational choices that may conflict with your values.
  • Emotional intelligence helps you to regulate your emotions and express them in healthy ways. By managing your emotions, you can reduce stress, improve your mood, and increase your confidence. This can help you make decisions that are positive and constructive for yourself and others.
  • Emotional intelligence also helps you to understand the emotions of other people who may be affected by or involved in your decisions. By empathizing with others, you can take their perspectives, needs, and concerns into account. This can help you make decisions that are fair and respectful for everyone.
Fractal Flowers Art by Charisse Van Horn

How Can You Improve Your Self-Awareness and Emotional Intelligence?

Self-awareness and emotional intelligence are not fixed traits that you are born with or without. They are skills that you can learn, practice, and improve over time. Here are some tips on how to do so:

  • Ask for constructive feedback from others who know you well, such as friends, family members, colleagues, or mentors. Listen to their opinions and suggestions on how you can improve your self-awareness and emotional intelligence.
  • Keep a journal where you write down your thoughts, feelings, actions, and experiences. Reflect on what you have learned from them, how they have affected you and others, and how you can improve in the future.
  • Learn new skills that challenge you to grow personally and professionally. For example, you can take a course on a topic that interests you, join a club or organization that aligns with your values, or volunteer for a cause that matters to you.
  • Meditate regularly to calm your mind and body, as well as increase your awareness of yourself and your surroundings. Meditation can help you focus on the present moment, reduce stress, enhance your mood, and improve your concentration.
  • Pay attention to your thoughts and emotions throughout the day. Notice when they arise, what triggers them, how they affect you and others, and how you cope with them. Try to label them accurately and objectively.
  • Pursue your passions that make you happy and fulfilled. Doing what you love can help you discover more about yourself, express yourself creatively, boost your self-esteem, and connect with like-minded people.
  • Practice mindfulness , which is the state of being fully aware of yourself and the present moment. Mindfulness can help you become more attentive, observant, curious, open-minded ,and non-judgmental.
  • Reflect on your experiences , especially those that have been significant or challenging for you. Think about what happened ,how it made you feel ,what it taught you ,and what it revealed about yourself and others.
  • Set goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Goals can help you focus on what you want to achieve, motivate you to take action, and measure your progress and success.
  • Use positive self-talk to encourage yourself and boost your confidence. Replace negative or critical thoughts with positive or constructive ones. For example, instead of saying “I can’t do this”, say “I can do this if I try hard enough”.
  • Work on building a growth mindset , which is the belief that you can improve your abilities and skills through effort and learning. A growth mindset can help you embrace challenges, learn from feedback, persist in the face of obstacles, and see failures as opportunities to grow.
Fractal Flowers Art by Charisse Van Horn


Making decisions that align with your values and beliefs can help you live a more authentic and satisfying life. To do this, you need to develop self-awareness and emotional intelligence, which are skills that can help you understand yourself and others better, manage your emotions effectively, and communicate clearly. By improving your self-awareness and emotional intelligence, you can make value-based decisions that are positive and constructive for yourself and others.

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