Self-awareness is a key tool to help you reach higher levels of job satisfaction, become a better leader, improve relationships with colleagues, and manage your emotions better. It’s also positively correlated with higher levels of overall happiness.
And yet, so few of us are are truly self-aware. Luckily, we can do something about this. We can make an active decision to start to develop and nurture our self awareness. The power of this can be quite astounding. Understanding the impact you have on others and others on you, can really help you unlock hidden potential. Self awareness is the first thing I work on with my clients. To then watch them develop, grow and succeed is amazing.
If you make a conscious decision to nurture you self-awareness, you can evaluate how your past, your personality, values, passions, and goals fit into your current environment and emotions — and how to align them better. You can also understand how other people view you, creating stronger, more meaningful relationships with those around you at work and play.
Self-awareness can help you become happier and more productive at work and as a leader, and can help you find your true passion and purpose.
If you’re still unconvinced that self-awareness is a valuable trait to cultivate, here’s a list of general benefits of being self-aware.
Benefits of self-awareness
- Understanding how your past impacts on where you are now, can really help you start to overcome some long standing limiting beliefs.
- Improve skills by recognising what you do well and what you need to improve
- Raise happiness levels by aligning your values with your actions
- Become a better leader by understanding how you are viewed by your peers and your teams.
- Strengthen work and personal relationships by managing stress and emotions more effectively
- Increase work satisfaction and decrease stress by doing what you love and less of what you don’t.
What is self-awareness?
When you focus on yourself, rather than your environment, you compare yourself with your standards of what’s right. These standards specify how you ought to think, feel, and behave. They are, essentially, your values and beliefs.
You feel enhanced self-esteem or discontent depending on how well what you do matches up with your values. If you’re dissatisfied, you might make changes to what you are doing, to better match with your values and beliefs. For instance, you might notice you are unhappy in your current job or business and recognise you value creativity, but don’t have the opportunity to get creative and follow that passion. This may then lead you to look for other creative outlets, such as exploring a new hobby, a side hustle or even a job switch.
There are two types of self-awareness, which are important to note: internal self-awareness, and external self-awareness.
Internal self-awareness is something already mentioned — it is how clearly you see your values, passions, and aspirations, and how well those standards fit with your environment and your reactions (which include thoughts, feelings, behaviours, strengths, and weaknesses).
Essentially, internal self-awareness is recognising your current job doesn’t match your true passion for marketing, or finance for instance. Or that the culture of the business does not fit with how you want to treat people and be treated.
External self-awareness, on the other hand, is the ability to clearly see how other people view you. People who know how others see them are typically more empathetic. Leaders who can see how their teams view them are usually more effective, and have stronger relationships with them.
External self-awareness is recognising your impact on team members when you give feedback or direction. Or realising your team are unhappy by the information you shared in the last meeting.
The definition of self-awareness
So self-awareness is the ability to focus on yourself and how your actions, thoughts, or emotions do or don’t align with your internal standards. If you’re highly self-aware, you can objectively evaluate yourself, manage your emotions, align your behaviour with your values, and understand correctly how others perceive you.
How to become more self-aware
So how are you supposed to start becoming more self-aware?
The PrimePersona PowerPod takes you through a structured process to help you really develop your self awareness and help you work out where you need to be in life. Plus it gives you the added boost with HynoPods for you to listen to daily and really boost your progress. It follows a proven method and includes the following, which you can have a go at;
Go back in time then focus on the future
Firstly look at your life history, this really helps you to understand what brought you to where you are today. Did you follow your passion or just happen upon your current career?
Start to lay the foundations and destination you want to head towards by thinking about what you want your life to be like in the future. By understanding how you want to live your life, you can start to see what isn’t working for you right now.
Understand your personality
Taking your MBTI personality test can be a real eye opener. You can discover your personality type, your motivations and values, and find practical info for choosing a career and improving relationships based on your type. Plus it might just contradict with how you view yourself, encouraging you to re-evaluate your true strengths and weaknesses.
Start to really think what your values are, your drivers and write them down. Add to this your strengths and skills and key personality traits. This can really help you then measure this against your current role and company, does it fit?
Know your blockers and deal with them
Make sure you have identified your limiting beliefs. You know, that nagging voice in your head telling you to stop, you’re not good enough, with all the what ifs that come along with self doubt. Then deal with them one by one. The PowerPod had a proven system to deal with them.
Know what it is that motivates you to get up and want to succeed then set some really good habits to keep you going.
Ask “What?” instead of “Why?”
When people assess their current state, emotions, and environment, they all too often ask, “Why?” Like, “Why am I feeling so sad? Why did my boss give me that feedback? Why isn’t my project going the way I’d hoped?” Odds are, you’re wrong about why you act, do, or think certain things. For instance, you might hear harsh feedback from a boss, and rationale it’s because you’re not cut out for the job, or harp on your insecurities — it’s hard for you to unbiasedly evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and come to a correct conclusion.
Plus, you don’t often factor physiological responses into the equation when you’re trying to understand your behavior. For instance, maybe you lost your temper at your employee because of low blood sugar or lack of sleep, not because you’re an unfit leader.
You are more likely to ruminate on negative thoughts when evaluating yourself. Self-evaluation through “Why” questions could leave you feeling depressed and anxious, while being entirely unproductive. Rather than asking “Why,” highly self-aware people ask, “What?” “What” questions are more productive, and focuses on objectives and future goals, rather than past mistakes.
For instance, let’s say you’re feeling frustrated at work. “Why am I feeling awful?” will likely only leave you feeling more depressed, forcing you to ruminate on negatives. On the other hand, “What are the situations at work making me feel bad?” guides you to recognising factors outside your control that don’t align with your passions or goals, and helps you strategise how to fix those situations.
Take some time with you
Give yourself the space and time necessary to self-reflect, by avoiding distractions. Try spending time reading, writing, meditating, or practicing other solo activities to connect with yourself. Try to give yourself 30 quiet, distraction-free minutes a day.
Mindfulness allows you to be present with yourself and observe your thoughts in a non-judgmental way. What better way to become self-aware than focusing, non judgmentally, on you?
Mindfulness forces you to focus on yourself on purpose, in the present moment. Next time you’re feeling frustrated at work, use mindfulness to check-in with yourself: what thoughts are going through your mind? How are you feeling? Simply being present enough to acknowledge your thoughts, feelings, and emotions, will help you become more acquainted and better at recognizing them properly within yourself.
Become a Better Listener, and Ask for Feedback
When you learn how to listen to your friends, colleagues, and managers without evaluating or judging them, you’ll become more empathetic and understand people better. Listening, by the way, isn’t the same as hearing — like mindfulness, the practice of listening takes purpose and control. Listening to the important people in your life should give you a true sense of how they perceive you.
You can translate those listening skills to yourself, too, and become better at understanding your own thoughts and emotions. Listening to others and yourself is critical to becoming self-aware.
Additionally, it’s important to ask for 360 feedback from the people you work with, or lead. It’s impossible to have true, complete self-awareness, if you only turn inwards — gaining different perspectives on who you are will help you see a truer, more complete picture
My PowerPod coaching program, helps guide you towards a better understanding of yourself and those around you. It’s a weekly process to create the change you want so you can be a success, personally and professionally.
Together we go on an amazing journey of self discovery, cleaning up your past if needs be, building your foundations and creating your action plan to achieve your dreams.
We move forwards, dealing with the things that are holding you back, laying a strong foundation for you to take action!
Finally you create your own action plan using my proven formula. You will receive exclusive PowerPods to listen to daily to keep you on track. You can be part of the weekly check in online with our other lovely PowerPod ladies so you can support each other and share.
My passion lies with helping other women achieve their own personal success. I used this process when I found myself without a job! It changed my life! When you wake up and find yourself living the life you could only dream about, then you know you love what you do and do what you love!
Find out more here : https://primepersona.co.uk/courses/the-powerpod-12-week-program/