START WITH SELF-AWARENESS
In secondary school I would sometimes get into an argument with a colleague and the other person would say, “I know you better than you know yourself.” That used to get me so angry because I felt insulted, even then, it just felt wrong for someone to claim they knew me better than I did myself. Over the years I have learnt about myself and my peculiarities, and I can say without any doubt that self-awareness is one of the best things I have invested in. I now have a good grasp on myself, and I’m able to interact confidently with other people. Given how diverse our interaction with people will be, it is extremely important that we study ourselves so that every time we show up, we’ll present our best selves. It is about having a balanced view of your own personality and character, being conscious of your beliefs, emotions, motivation, your strengths and weaknesses, and how it affects your environment and the people in it.
Self-awareness is what will help you choose to work in your area of strength as opposed to just getting any job that is available. It will inform the kind of people you allow in your space because, having understood what your values are, you know who fits and who doesn’t in your life. If you lack self awareness, you’ll keep making the same mistakes and thinking the same wrong thoughts about yourself, and falling into the same wrong patterns. I love what Bill Hybels said, he said, “Self awareness allows you to self correct.” Simple. One of the interesting things I found is, 83% of people with high self-awareness are top performers, and only 2% of bottom performers have self awareness, which goes to show that there is a relationship between our results and self-awareness. How then does one become self-aware?
Believe me it doesn’t require going away to some far flung place to find the self; it’s doable even in the deafening noise of city life. To know yourself what you have to do is pay attention. It’s incredible how obvious some of our patterns are, yet we keep blaming them on other people or circumstances. For instance, someone who repeatedly gets fired. While there are situations beyond one’s control, it is worth thinking about why that person keeps getting fired. Do people keep complaining about your work? Your attitude? Or are you perpetually late to functions and somehow still conveniently blame it on traffic? Then it’s time to reassess what it is exactly about you that attracts those same results.
Self-awareness will help you objectively judge the role you play in creating the life you live, an advantage since you get to self-correct and produce after your true self.