Self-Awareness. Get to Know Yourself
Self-awareness is the foundation of Emotional Intelligence. It enables us to understand our strengths, weaknesses, and guiding values. It also enables us to more accurately perceive how others see us.
Leaders who engage in developing self-awareness were able to identify signs of potential conflict and intervene more effectively. They also report feeling more patient and focused, and being able to recognize and respond to other’s emotions more constructively.
Self-awareness is the hidden ingredient in lasting success.
Here’s why self-awareness is so fundamental to our personal and professional success. We perceive ourselves and other people in the present.
Our perceptions are forming continuously and automatically. Because our minds are always churning, we often don’t realize we have the ability to influence the churn. . . In fact, whether we intend it or not our brains are forming mental habits and patterns based on our perceptions. Our habits form whenever we do something over and over. This repetition creates neural pathways in the brain.
Self-awareness allows us to be more present from moment to moment. This present moment of self-awareness enables us to see mental habits and patterns of behavior and importantly decide whether they are helpful or not.
Self-awareness might just be our most important tool for gaining access to our agency, our ability to influence our choices rather than going through life blindly. For example, we can choose better responses when we feel upset. We can switch from anxious and upset to calm and curious or from tuned out to listening empathically.
Daniel Goleman’s model of Emotional Intelligence defines “self-awareness” as the ability to recognize what you are feeling and how this impacts your outcomes and relationships. In the broadest sense, self-awareness refers to our capacity for introspection, to be aware of our mind’s contents, reflect on them, and be aware of awareness itself (sometimes called “meta-cognition”).
Self-awareness not only describes our mind’s ability to be aware of its own contents but also what’s going on around us and our reactions to all of that. Neurologically, self-awareness includes our ability to recognize what’s happening physiologically—to read the sensations within our body.
We need self-awareness. Without it, we struggle to manage our impulses, our motivations, and our reactions.
The absence of self-awareness means we let our habits take over. The problem with running on autopilot is that we end up defaulting to a set of unquestioned reactions. These reactions don’t allow us to pause long enough to consider our situation and choose that more skillful response.
What is your level of self-awareness? and how is it serving you?