Deepening Self Awareness for Emotional Intelligence and Leadership

Erika Petrelli
Erika Petrelli

The Power of Self-Awareness: A Key to Emotional Intelligence in Leadership and Life


Self-awareness is the foundational cornerstone of emotional intelligence in leadership and life. It is the critical first step towards deepening our understanding of ourselves and our impact on others. In this blog post, we will explore the insights shared by Erika Petrelli in her enlightening talk about self-awareness. We will delve into the specific strategies and actionable steps she provided for enhancing self-awareness and, in turn, improving emotional intelligence.

The Internal Judge and Defensiveness

Erika emphasizes the importance of eliminating the internal judge and defensiveness as the first and most crucial step towards self-awareness. The internal judge is the critical voice within us that often leads to negative self-perception. By silencing this judge, we allow ourselves to view our thoughts and emotions without bias, enabling deeper self-awareness. Moreover, shedding defensiveness when receiving feedback from others opens the door to valuable insights into our blind spots and areas for improvement.

Seeking Feedback and Getting Curious

Getting curious and seeking feedback are essential components of self-awareness. Erika encourages individuals to bravely ask trusted individuals in their lives for feedback, specifically in identifying potential blind spots and areas for improvement. By doing so, we expand our perspective and gain valuable insights that contribute to a deeper understanding of how others perceive us.

Self-Reflection and Gratitude

Erika highlights the significance of internal curiosity when analyzing our thoughts and emotions. By asking "why" and "what" questions, we can uncover the root causes of our feelings and thought processes, leading to enhanced self-awareness. Additionally, the practice of gratitude significantly contributes to self-awareness. Actively practicing gratitude forces us to be present in the moment, heightening our awareness of our surroundings and internal state.

Paying Attention to Repeated Messages

Lastly, Erika stresses the importance of paying attention to repeated messages from the world. When we hear the same feedback or notice recurring patterns in the messages we receive, it serves as a sign for us to pay attention. By acknowledging and acting on these repeated messages, we deepen our self-awareness and gain valuable insights into our behaviors and impact on others.


In conclusion, self-awareness serves as a powerful tool for deepening emotional intelligence in both leadership and personal life. Erika Petrelli's insights provide actionable steps for individuals to cultivate and strengthen self-awareness. By eliminating the internal judge, seeking feedback, fostering curiosity, practicing gratitude, and paying attention to repeated messages, individuals can embark on a journey of profound self-discovery and enhanced emotional intelligence. Ultimately, embracing self-awareness empowers individuals to step into their leadership roles more effectively and lead a more fulfilling life.

In her closing remarks, Erika encourages the audience to actively engage in the journey of growth and success. By subscribing and participating in the community, individuals take positive steps towards achieving their personal and professional goals, aligning with the overarching theme of self-awareness and continuous self-improvement.

With these valuable insights and strategies, individuals can embark on a transformative journey of self-awareness, leading to heightened emotional intelligence and impactful leadership growth.

Remember, as we deepen our self-awareness, we pave the way for authentic connections with others, improved decision-making, and a deeper understanding of ourselves. Join us in this journey of growth, self-discovery, and success.

We can't wait to hear about your experiences and the positive steps you're taking towards achieving your goals through self-awareness and emotional intelligence. Here's to your continued growth and success!



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Erika Petrelli

By Erika Petrelli

Erika Petrelli is the Senior Vice President of Leadership Development (and self-declared Minister of Mischief) for The Leadership Program, a New York City-based organization. With a Masters degree in Secondary Education, Erika has been in the field of teaching and training for decades, and has been with The Leadership Program since 1999. There she has the opportunity to nurture the individual leadership spirit in both students and adults across the country, through training, coaching, keynotes, and writing. The legacy Erika strives daily to create is to be the runway upon which others take flight. If you enjoy these blogs, you should check out her interactive journal, On Wings & Whimsy: Finding the Extraordinary Within the Ordinary, now available for sale on Amazon. While her work takes her all around the country, Erika calls Indiana home.