Meriam-Webster Dictionary defines Self-Awareness as "An awareness of one's own personality or individuality."
How many of reading this can say we are self-aware?
Becoming self-aware is not an easy task. Many of us probably feel like we know ourselves – strengths, weaknesses, areas needing improvement, etc. Heck, our lifecycle is one big experiment in assessment and evaluation.
Yet in the new age of social media, information bombards us from every angle. External messaging tells us where to shop, who to vote for, the newest hot spot for families, where to spend your hard earned money, etc.
Sound familiar? This unending stimulus challenges even the most resolute among us to be present and attentive in our engagements with colleagues, family and friends. This seismic change in daily information flow if fundamentally changing how we live our lives, and often not for the best.
People take various approaches to "figuring out" who they are; self-help courses, career counseling, traveling, continuing education, and new challenges like completing a Tough Mudder. These experiences are ways to explore deeper motivations that may shed light on the fact that many of us need external validation – hence the beauty of the internet, providing immediate satisfaction via the dopamine cycle that the internet provides.
In my previous post titled "Scaling Your Gratitude" I provided a model for self-evaluation, i.e. figuring yourself out.
Here’s some excerpts from the post:
First, perform a skills inventory that help identify your passion. What are your talents and how do you apply them to "pay the bills".
Second, perform a self-awareness audit: You may be familiar with the traditional concept of an audit. However, this audit is different. The intent is to evaluate your strengths and areas needing improvement. The best way to do this is by requesting feedback from colleagues, friends and family. Asking those that who know you best to provide feedback. This "self-audit" is valuable because people do not self-assess enough, and when they do, the focus is often on the negatives, not their strengths. Once you finish your self-audit, what’s next?
Boost your self-awareness with these tips:
- Celebrate Your Wins
- Boundaries and Priorities
- Shiny object syndrome
- Design your Environment
- Life experiences/mentor/counseling
- Be appreciative
How do set create a positive environment to be successful:
- Set priorities
- Set boundaries
- Put your phone away
- Learn to do nothing
- Journal non-productive thoughts
- Brain Dump when your brain is racing
Take specific action steps to better relationships by:
- Ask More Questions: Listen 2 x as much as speaking
- Put Others First
- Don’t Procrastinate – do it now
- Engage in Self-Improvement – do one thing every day
Self-awareness is more than an experiment with personal exploration. It’s a broader pursuit of living outside of your own immediate needs and being present, genuine and appreciative of the many gifts in our life – people, health, livelihood, etc.
In a world that revolves around the next ‘like’, having perspective on your strengths and how to apply them, can lead to a more fulfilling life experience for you and those that you care for.
by: William Smith