The Super Power That Is Self-Awareness
Any time I get the opportunity to speak on stage in front of an audience, speak to a group of students or team, work with clients or have a conflict in my own life, I hone in on the matter of self-awareness.
Self-awareness is the foundation of great leadership, authentic happiness and inner success. It’s the core of high performance and quality living.
Self-awareness has been cited as the most important capability for leaders to develop, according to the authors of “How To Become a Better Leader,” which was published in the MIT Sloan Management Review.https://www.forbes.com/sites/ellevate/2018/02/15/self-awareness-being-more-of-what-makes-you-great/#5279af0b40dd
Imagine living in a world where you didn’t have a pinch of self-awareness. Rough sailings ahead, my friend.
You’d constantly make the same mistakes, you’d never own your actions, you’d have no comprehension of time, patience or empathy, and you’d be pursuing experiences that lack true meaning. In other words, life would be more chaotic than a Kardashian Christmas i.e. a total disaster.
Good news though! Self-awareness is a developed trait. We can learn to become more self-aware, and with that, learn how to become stronger communicators, thus view life from a much healthier vanish point. By actively engaging in this process, we shift our focus from increasing our life span to increasing our health span, focused on maximizing one’s life, and placing our attention on becoming a true ‘5-tool performer’.
The benefits of being truly self-aware are quite substantial and look as such:
- You know what you like to do, as well as what you don’t like to do
- You understand long term gratification
- Fulfillment blockers (anger, envy, resentment, sadness) don’t last longer than a few minutes – You recognize yours and others emotions
- Your behaviour is managed according to the environment
- You rely on your inclinations and don’t give into uncommon impulses
- You aren’t entitled
- You understand competition is healthy and a necessary part of life that provides order and mental fortitude
- You realize your life is your fault – the successes and the failures
- You actively fix your problems
- You stop waiting for the ‘system’ to get easier and work around your needs
- You see the value in becoming more likeable and a stronger communicator
- You accept that consistency is needed to thrive
- You understand structure is not a bad thing, but a necessity for a clear mind and soul
- You realize discipline = freedom
- You stop passing blame, making excuses, and rationalizing
- You do more of the things that actually make you happy, and less of the things that don’t
- You stop doing what makes others happy, but makes you miserable
- You realize life is about being happy above all else
- You live in balance, with the awareness that greatness takes sacrifice
- You know what your life’s values are
- You live life in accordance to said values
- You never stop learning, or think there’s nothing left to learn
- You engage in difficult challenges, understanding the benefit that comes from these experiences
- You understand too much comfort is a mask for complacency
- You stop trying to consume more, more and more
- You see the necessity in saying ‘no’
- You pursue passions that make you feel full, and stop engaging in inauthentic stimulating activities
- You pursue a life of fulfillment
- You respond with an open mind, not in a reactive, defensive manner
- You realize the power of being in the now
As you can see, the list of benefits are virtually endless, and rather empowering.
Before you do anything else to better your life, take the time to reflect and learn about yourself; your wants, needs and desires to live your most fulfilled life.
Here’s a few straightforward tips on how to become more self-aware:
- Keep a journal about your emotions: Write down how you’re feeling and why
- Make a ‘fulfillment’ list, outlining the activities in life that make you feel fulfilled, and those that don’t
- Make a list of your values (independence, time with family, growing businesses, mindfulness, exercise, healthy eating, growth, adventure etc.) – Be sure to create a life that allows you to nurture these values regularly
- Be honest with yourself
- Seek feedback from those around you that you trust
- Lean into discomfort
- Keep the compound effect in mind – every action/reaction leads to a new action
- Audit yourself regularly: Are you happy, fulfilled, full or are you understimulated, underperforming, and unhappy with who you are
- Break down your day: Write out successes of the day and 3 ways to improve tomorrow, with 2-3 small intentions