Self awareness is more than our view of self. It is an awareness of our thoughts, feelings and actions. And, perhaps more importantly, how they affect self and others.
This is my final post in a series to help others take action to move into their desired future. Here are the five actions:
- Deal with past issues
- Address insecurity and identify reality
- Conquer self talk
- Confront unhealthy relationships
- Develop self-awareness
As a composite, self-awareness includes; self-regard, self-perception, emotional self-perception and how we impact others by our actions and feelings. When thinking of self-awareness many will err on the side of an inflated or deflated view of self. Self-perception is being honest about our skills, talents, strengths and weaknesses. As we interact with others they form an opinion of us.
Success in this area means that you are aware of your feelings, feel strong, and have confidence in pursuing your life goals.1
On a scale of 1-10 (1 being low and 10 being high) how would you rate your self-awareness? Perhaps a better question might be, is it possible to rate our own self-awareness?
We gain self-awareness through objective feedback and honest evaluations of how we impact others. Mentor, supervisors and coaches provide objectivity. There are also a variety of tools that lead us to understand self. Most assessments reveal facts. But knowledge can be quite different than wisdom, which is the very thing that would seem to define self-awareness. C.S. Lewis said,
True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.
Personality testing and strengths testing are very productive tools in understanding or confirming one’s self-awareness. Myers/Briggs (FREE TEST) identifies preferences and StrengthsFinder identifies top strengths. However, this is only the beginning. For example, if someone identifies as an introvert there are times when they must interact with others. In fact their success may demand it. As a coach I would not expect a client to be something they are not. In this example, more of an extrovert. I would explore how this client might develop some part of their emotional intelligence as a solution. Assertiveness and flexibility are two of 15 elements in emotional intelligence would be explored for benefit.
Self awareness is developed through practices in focusing your attention on the details of your personality and behavior. It isn’t learned from reading a book. When you read a book you are focusing your attention on the conceptual ideas in the book. You can develop an intellectual understanding of the ideas of self awareness from a book, but this is not the same. With your attention in a book you are practicing not paying attention to your own behavior, emotions and personality… more
Those competent in self-awareness understand and generally feel good about themselves. However, the process of gaining self-awareness can be very painful. One tool I use is 360 degree feedback. Those experienced in 360 feedback know how shocking the data can be. The self-aware understand how their feelings and actions impact those around them. As important as these two areas they know their goals and are busy working their plan.
If you haven’t grabbed my free workbook you can do it here.
1 The EQ Edge, Third Edition, Steven J. Stein and Howard E. Book