It is all about you

By Dr. Werner Barkhuizen

It’s simple - Look at yourself and realise that you are responsible for the outcome of any experience, situation, personal relationship, your career, your work success and most importantly, your own feelings.

You have the ability to manage the outcome of any situation by choosing to take control of your thoughts and your emotions. Psychologists know today that emotions can be controlled by means of thought. The resultant choices made by you and reflected in your behaviours;and your response to particular situations is your responsibility. This is understood to be emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence impacts performance in a myriad of areas, which includes, most importantly, your work.

Before we look at the performance side of emotional intelligence, where do emotions come from? Our responses to situations are primarily based on how our subconscious or nonconscious mind interprets the situation. Believe it or not, the nonconscious mind makes rapid choices, based on previous experiences and then stereotypes people, situations and experiences. So you really have little influence over this process unless you make a conscious choice to do so. The nonconscious mind is very rigid and it leads to the internal conflict we experience when we have to make choices and decide on appropriate action. This internal conflict causes the discomfort of a person or a situation - Your nonconscious says: “I think this person is not trustworthy” while consciously your mind says: “This person was referred to me by a trusted source and should be trustworthy”. This ambiguity causes the discomfort and resultant response to a situation.

Dr. Werner Barkhuizen is a registered psychologist and be contacted at [email protected] or

Curriculum Vitae - Dr. Werner Barkhuizen