Self-awareness refers to being conscious of your feelings, personality and individuality. Being self-aware means you have good knowledge and judgement about yourself.

Understanding yourself is an important first step to job-readiness.

What is emotional intelligence?

“Emotional intelligence is the ability to monitor one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior.”

Peter Salovey and John Mayer


Four elements of emotional intelligence

Select the + buttons below to learn about each element.

Self-awareness refers to your ability to:

  • Recognise your emotions
  • Be aware of how your feelings impact your decisions
  • Notice patterns in your behaviour
  • Understand how your actions impact others
  • Identify your triggers
  • Know your strengths and limitations

Improve your self-awareness by:

  • Practising mindfulness – being in the present moment and noticing your emotions
    Journalling to analyse emotional experiences

Self-management refers to your ability to:

  • Manage your emotions and express them in healthy ways
  • Control your impulses (respond, rather than react)
  • Be resilient and cope with challenging situations

Self-management is important – not only does it build resilience to get through challenging times, managing your own behaviours also helps to get effective outcomes – both from yourself and others.

Improve your self-management by:

  • Developing strategies to cope with your triggers
  • Practising calming strategies when you feel overwhelmed (e.g., deep breathing, visualisation, progressive muscle relaxation, acupressure)

Social awareness refers to your ability to:

  • Recognise emotional cues
  • Understand others’ emotions and needs
  • Empathise with others
  • Communicate effectively
  • Anticipate other peoples’ responses

Improve your social awareness by:

  • Actively listening to others and asking questions to better understand their experience
  • Putting yourself in their shoes
  • Looking for emotional cues in their body language and tone of voice

Relationship management refers to your ability to:

  • Develop and maintain good relationships
  • Work collaboratively in a team
  • Resolve conflicts
  • Inspire and influence others

Improve your relationship management by:

  • Recognise the nonverbal messages you send
  • See conflict as an opportunity for growth, rather than a threat

Activity: Self-audit

Open your eLearning Workbook and go to Activity: Self-audit of emotional intelligence.

Reflect on the statements and respond honestly.

Note: If you haven’t downloaded the eLearning Workbook, select the file below to do so.


Self-talk refers to your ‘inner voice’ or ‘internal dialogue’ – how you speak to yourself. It’s influenced by your beliefs and biases. It can be both positive and negative.

Select the tabs below to learn the difference between positive and negative self-talk.

Positive self-talk is your inner cheerleader. It’s optimistic, focusing on the good.

Positive self-talk builds self-confidence, motivation and resilience.

Examples of positive self-talk:

  • I am doing the best I can
  • I am capable of achieving my goals
  • I didn’t succeed this time, but practice makes perfect. I’ve learnt from my mistakes and I’ll try again
  • This is a great opportunity for me to learn something new
  • I can get through this

Negative self-talk is your inner critic. It’s pessimistic, focusing on the bad.

Negative self-talk undermines self-confidence and can be demotivating. It can lead you to give up on tasks and prevent you from reaching your potential.

Examples of negative self-talk:

  • I should be doing better
  • I’ll never be able to do it
  • I failed and embarrassed myself. I should never attempt it again
  • I’ve never done this before – I’ll be bad at it
  • Nothing’s ever going to get better

Self-talk influences our emotions and behaviours. It has a direct impact on our self-esteem and self-confidence.

Noticing self-talk is critical to self-awareness. Turning negative self-talk into positive self-talk is the next step toward self-management.

You can replace your negative self-talk with positive self-talk in three steps.

The first step is to notice your self-talk.

Ask yourself:

  • What is my inner voice tell me?
  • Is it positive or negative?
  • Is it building me up or breaking me down?

Next, challenge your self-talk.

Ask yourself:

  • Is there any evidence to this thought?
  • Is there any other reason why this situation could have occurred?
  • What would I say to a friend if they were in my position?
  • Is this self-talk helpful or healthy?
  • Could I look at this situation from a different perspective? Is there a lesson to be learned?

Change the negative self-talk to positive self-talk.

Ask yourself:

  • If I would say something kinder to a friend to give them confidence, why don’t I adopt the same self-talk for myself?
  • How can I change this self-talk to be more helpful and healthier?
  • How can I be more optimistic?
  • What can I tell myself that will give me the self-confidence and self-esteem to persist?

Activity: Self-talk

Open your eLearning Workbook and go to Activity: Self-talk.

Complete the three steps to replace negative self-talk with positive self-talk.

Other ways to encourage positive self-talk: surround yourself with positive energy, repeat affirmations, accept compliments, and spend time with supportive and encouraging people who build your self-esteem.


Triggers are situations that cause you to feel overwhelmed, stressed, frustrated, scared or other negative emotions. Triggers can be noises, places, sounds, tastes or emotions.

Below are some common triggers.

Not feeling in control

Loud noises

Feeling left out

Spending too much time alone

Being yelled at


Triggers can create stress and impact your health. It’s important to be aware of your triggers to avoid them or develop strategies to manage them.

Activity: Triggers

Open your eLearning Workbook and go to Activity: Triggers.

Identify your triggers and develop strategies to avoid or manage them.