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Self-awareness: The vital ingredient of development and success

Are you self-aware? Of course I am I hear you say. But do you really know yourself? Are you that self-aware that you are consciously aware of all of your behaviours in all of the different environments you function in? Are you aware enough of what makes your behaviour change? Do you understand why you feel the way you do sometimes? Can you see the impact you’re having on others by behaving the way you do?

There are so many ways to explore your self-awareness and it would be true to say that we can all become more self-aware. We just need to spend a little more time connecting with our emotions, our thoughts and our behaviours to examine what impact they have on us and others around us. To help you become more self-aware here are a few questions you should think about exploring.

1.     Who am I?

A massive question, but the one you should always start with. This can be answered in so many ways. You may think about your personal roles (Dad), your professional roles (coach), demographics (male, 40 years old), or characteristics (happy, confident, social). What we’re really exploring here is your identity. It’s important to know you have many identities and it is these that define you as unique or show that you’re similar to others. What’s most important though are those words that come to mind straight away. These tend to be the most important to you. They are what you think of yourself. Do explore more though so you can truly establish who you are.

2.     What are my values?

Again, this is a pretty huge question, but one that we have to answer. Knowing your values in life provides you with some guidance and should impact your decision making. Think about what is really important to you and ask yourself how you feel and what you think of those factors. You’re bound to consider values such as respect, trust, honesty and love, but don’t settle for the obvious. Really think about your non-negotiables. What must you have in all the environments you exist in? If that value was clearly lacking, then you’d really struggle. For me its loyalty, hard-work and care. I use these to drive me in what I do, and I require them from others too. Your values really are the foundation of behaviour so make sure you know them. They influence how you feel and how you think and this ultimately will impact how you behave.

3.     What am I good at?

Pretty obvious right, but you have to know your strengths. If someone asked you this question you should be able to respond immediately. Think broadly such as your social, physical and technical skills or your attributes and qualities, but be specific with your answers. Knowing your strengths is key for progression and success. You should maintain these strengths, always working on them to keep them at that high level, never taking them for granted and thinking you’ll always have them. Use your strengths to your advantage and allow yourself to utilise them often.

4.     What can I get better at?

No-one likes to think they’re weak, and no-one likes to be told they’re rubbish at stuff, but the reality is that you can’t be great at everything and there will be things that you simply are not very good at. However, let’s not focus on weakness, but on elements you could improve. You have to be aware of opportunities for development. There will be skills to work on, attributes to gain, and characteristics to build. Perhaps one of those areas you need to be better at is self-awareness and by having read this short article you have now learned something new and become more self-aware.

5.     What are my passions and interests?

This should be pretty simple to answer. Most people have a good idea of what they enjoy, what keeps them entertained or what drives them to succeed. It’s essential to give this question some attention because it reminds us of what is important to us or why we’re putting valuable time and effort into getting better at something. If you have a passion or if you have a strong interest, then you should give this frequent attention. Allow yourself to pursue these and connect with the fact that they make you feel good. This is your happy place so go their often with your thoughts or make quality time for them in your life.

So there you have it. Five questions to get you started, but don’t limit yourself to these. Ask as many questions of yourself as possible to build a really good understanding of yourself. By doing so you will learn more, appreciate more and become more than you already are. Check in with yourself often as answers to your questions will change over time and always be prepared to develop yourself by first developing your self-awareness.

If you have enjoyed reading this article and would like to know more about building your self-awareness or helping others to become more self-aware then please send me a message and lets work together.