Career expert Nicole Lapin: This skill can help you get ahead and avoid burnout

You’ve likely heard of emotional intelligence, or EQ, and its effect on getting ahead in your career. It is connected to both better workplace performance and higher salary.

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People with high EQ excel at perceiving, understanding, using and managing emotions. Studies show that when people have roughly equal IQ and skill, EQ accounts for 90 percent of what makes some of those people more successful than others.

You also likely know that mental wellness is a state of psychological health and well-being. People who take care of their mental wellness are able to sustain a baseline of contentment while creating and maintaining healthy relationships. They also have the ability to cope with the demands of everyday life, and are resilient when stuff happens.

Here are four steps to master EQ and improve your career.

STEP 1: Find power in your problems

The way you view and talk about your problems can make all the difference. Unlocking their power requires that you first identify them. Then, reframe and manage them.

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It means harnessing the good while recognizing what is difficult for you and where you might need support. Often the only thing standing between distress and success is asking for help. And in order to do that, you have to identify just what it is you need help with in the first place.

STEP 2: Take care of yourself

Taking care of yourself is not selfish. Being “selfless” is not a good thing. Taking care of yourself, on the other hand, is a great thing. So, go ahead, be “selfish” and when someone calls you that, say “thank you.”

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STEP 3. Define what balance means to you

Don’t go overboard “leaning in” or you’ll fall over. What I’ve found actually actionable is to “lean out” of the things I’m not focusing on right now and not shame myself for it.

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Perhaps we can start replacing the phrase “chillin’ like a villain” with “chillin’ like a superhero.” I know it doesn’t have the same lovely rhyme to it, but it’s time to celebrate the dare I say heroic moments when you “lean back.”

STEP 4: Set boundaries

If you don’t set boundaries around your domain, which includes your time, your energy and even your feelings, people can and will take advantage of you. As many of the greatest female leaders out there will tell you, sometimes breaking that glass ceiling requires putting up some scaffolding first.

Excerpted from "Becoming Super Woman: A Simple 12-Step Plan to Go from Burnout to Balance." 

Nicole Lapin is the New York Times Bestselling author of "Rich Bitch" and "Boss Bitch." She is the host of the nationally syndicated business reality competition show, “Hatched.” She has been an anchor on CNN, CNBC and Bloomberg. Her latest book, "Becoming Super Woman," is available now.