Self_AwareRecently, I asked a group of young adults in a college setting, “how many of you are self-aware?” The whole class (forty-three) put up a hand. “Really,” I said (in a tone reminiscent of “suuuuure”).

I then asked them to write down their answers to the following questions:

  1. List three positive events from your childhood. What beliefs did you adopt as a result of each event?
  2. List three negative events from your childhood. What beliefs did you adopt as a result of each event?
  3. List five of your greatest strengths. Which of these strengths are you using, daily?
  4. List three of your greatest weaknesses. Which weaknesses interfere in your daily life?
  5. List three personal accomplishments; the ones that fill you with pride. How often do you think about these accomplishments?

They could not.


Now, try answering those questions for yourself.

Self-awareness cannot be taken for granted.  Self-awareness is about knowing your emotions; it is about understanding your thinking patterns; it is about acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses; and it is how you impact other people.

Socrates’ famous saying to “Know thyself” is still relevant today. 

If you find yourself engaging in any of the following activities, you have lost touch with your self-awareness:

  1. Your perspective is the one and only.
  2. You motivate others through criticism.
  3. You prevent others from challenging your ideas.
  4. You are micro-managing your team (or any group you lead) and doing it all.
  5. You do not let people get to know you.

Indeed, self-awareness is important for your personal development, self-improvement, and well-being at work. 

Quite frankly – your depth of self-awareness equals your breadth of success.

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