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What are the 5 Pillars of Emotional Intelligence?

All 5 Pillars are important, but some might be more valuable than others.

Every building needs a foundation. Your life operates the same way. When you understand the 5 Pillars of Emotional Intelligence, you can elevate your life!

The foundation of Emotional Intelligence provides you with a framework to better understand your emotions, thoughts, and behavior. They’re all tied together too.

It’s like any building.

Yes, you need a foundation, but you still need plumbing, electricity and a business to occupy that space.

So let’s get right into it!

Self Awareness

If you’re self aware, then you know yourself. You recognize your emotions, thoughts and abilities.

Why is this important? Great question.

I believe self awareness is the first step in personal growth. When you know your strengths, you can capitalize on them!

It’s why it took me 10 years to start a business. My friend was the missing piece. I needed a partner because I wasn’t experienced. When I’m not an expert on something, I’m a better team player. Now I’ve learned the landscape of entrepreneurship and I started my Mindset University.

According to a study by Green Peak Partners and Cornell University, 72 executives with revenues between $50 million and $5 billion were studied. They found that “a high self-awareness score was the strongest predictor of overall success.”

Most people with high levels of self awareness are extremely successful. They’re also more confident because they focus on their strengths. We all suck at a lot of stuff, but if you’re really good at one thing, go all in.

Self Regulation

Simply put, you know how to control yourself.

Self regulation is like self discipline. You know how to manage your emotions and behavior.

You can actually break this up into two categories:

  • Behavioral
  • Emotional

You know when you don’t feel like going to the gym, but you go anyway? That’s Behavioral Self-Regulation. You’re acting in your long-term best interest based on your goals.

Did you also have a conversation with yourself before you went to the gym? Maybe you were debating whether to go or not? Well, if you felt lazy but convinced yourself to go anyway, that’s Emotional Self-Regulation.

You can see there’s a connection between the two, so when you improve your self discipline, you take control of your life.


The reason behind our actions. Also known as, our purpose or why.

Our reasoning can be identified as a trait or state. Either you have a reoccurring patter of desire or your desire is based on a particular situation.

This is further defined through two types of motivation:

  • Intrinsic
  • Extrinsic

Intrinsic Motivation is personally rewarding. Extrinsic Motivation occurs when you want to avoid punishment or receive an award.

Obviously we want to improve our intrinsic motivation. If you only workout because your significant other pays you, then you’re going to live a very unfilled life.

There’s a place for Extrinsic Motivation, but not so much when developing your Emotional Intelligence. When you love personal growth, the journey itself is the reward.


Being aware and understanding the feelings of others.

Social Skills

We use Social Skills to communicate with other people.

Training Each Pillar

Understanding these 5 Pillars of Emotional Intelligence is pointless unless you actually apply the knowledge.

“Knowledge isn’t power, until it is applied.” – Dale Carnegie

I recommend you focus on Motivation first if you’re going to take action.

When you can develop your intrinsic motivation, everything else will follow. Think about it, if you’re not motivated to go to the gym then you can’t practice self-discipline.

You won’t get the chance to work on your social skills, develop self-awareness, or empathy.

So for me, everything starts with motivation. I review some strategies in my blog post about How to Develop Intrinsic Motivation so you can stay motivated and grow in all areas of your life.

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