What’s possible if you were just 1% more self-aware?

Photo by Iván Tejero on Unsplash

Photo by Iván Tejero on Unsplash

Self-awareness used to be something only people who sat in meditation would talk about. Now the term self-awareness is trending high around the company coffee machine. What is so important about self-awareness?

The value of self-awareness is linked directly to your success. Self-awareness is infinitely a learnable skill. Studies have shown that self-aware people run more profitable companies. Self-aware people are happier. They live more fulfilling lives and enjoy better relationships.

Got your attention? This blog is meant to raise more questions than answers. After all, who am I to judge your level of self-awareness ;-).

You want to be more successful, are you willing to think about what it will take to increase your self-awareness? You may be thinking, this is too much introspection. A note on introspection; if done with a “WHAT” focus rather than a “WHY” focus, you will find yourself in a more positive mindset. When we think about our actions and we ask ourselves “why”, we are actually deflating our ability to see what is possible.

How often do you ask yourself "why do I..."? What if you change the question to "What if I...."? Doing this is actually part of being self-aware!

Is self-awareness important for you to learn? Dr. Tasha Eurich’s research suggests it is “the difference between people who plateau and people who meet and defeat challenge head-on”.

The amount of self-awareness is actually the bar you set for the level of success you achieve. Research shows 95% of people think they are self-aware when actually only 10% to 15% are self-aware when measured in the studies.

As a child, we learn to please. When we start our careers, we bring our pleaser mindset with us. Do you seek to do what others expect of you? Do you defer to others rather than speak up? This social mindset doesn’t consider self-awareness. You simply follow other’s expectations.

As we mature in our careers/life and gain confidence we begin to speak our minds. This is an authoring mindset. We offer up our ideas to contribute to the whole. The question is, do we bring our biases, our assumptions, and our beliefs into this discussion. Are you being fully open to all that is possible for the betterment of the whole, not just your own career/life? This mindset requires self-awareness.

Some questions to reflect on:

  • What would be possible if you step-up to author your career/life by being more aware of yourself?
  • What would it look like to express your own thoughts in a conversation at work or social event?
  • What would it look like to be weaving others opinions with equal values to your own?
  • What impact would the above have on your career?

Two ideas to contemplate:

1 - How can you move from the social mindset to an authoring mindset? What is one thing you can do today?

2 - How would your life change if you made a shift to weaving others opinion with equal value? Not everywhere, just consider trying in one situation or one area?

How do you know how self-aware you are and what is the success bar you set for yourself? Let’s start with your own self-assessment, what level of awareness do you feel you have on a scale of 1 to 5? 1 being low self-awareness and 5 being very self-aware?

Did you know there are two types of self-awareness?

Internal Self Awareness – what do you believe are your strengths, weakness, values, beliefs, etc?
External Self Awareness – what you believe to be how others see you?

Rate your level of self-awareness for each type on a scale 1 to 5. What opportunities do you have to improve your self-awareness?

Now, think about how you are showing up both in-person and online. With the plethora of opportunities to post about yourself, what is the difference between self-absorbed and self-aware? What are you saying to the world? The answer comes through self-awareness.

What if you were more curious about the person you interacted with? What if you posted online something for others to benefit from rather than an update on yourself? Some would refute this and say that is the whole point of social media; to let people know what is going on with you. Let me ask you, what do you feel when you read posts from your friends who exclusively speak about themselves?

Life is rich with experiences that help us deepen our self-awareness.

How do you walk into a room? Is this normal behavior? What if you changed the way you walked into a room by adding a smile to your face? What is the impact of that small change?

I am not saying that 100% of your time should be focused on becoming more self-aware. As noted, what if you could become just 1% more self-aware. It takes a willingness to be more curious about what is behind your behavior in a situation; work or otherwise.

How do you know what others see in you? You may not see the same things in yourself (lack of self-awareness). Do you have one or more trusted friends, advisors or anyone who has your best interests at heart and are unafraid to speak the truth to you? These are the people who can help you see, what you cannot see. This is one place to help improve your self-awareness.

As a coach, I am the trusted person with your best interest at heart and will speak the truth to you. The first step in my coaching process is exploring how aware my client is of their behaviors. Only from this knowledge can my client make the choice to learn and become more of who they want to be.

Sources; Dr. Tasha Eurich; Robert Kegan