3 Guaranteed Ways to Improve Self Awareness

Penny ZenkerAccountability, LEADERSHIPLeave a Comment

woman in red shirt and blue denim jeans sitting on brown wooden bench

How To Improve Self Awareness?

Being efficient and effective is directly related to your self-awareness. Many self-destructive behaviors, like procrastination and perfectionism, keep you from productivity. It’s because you are either unaware of the behaviors and how they affect you, or of strategies to change. On this article we will focus on how you can improve your self awareness.

We all know someone who is totally oblivious to how they show up to others. They, continually, get results they are not happy with and don’t understand why. We see, clearly, the reason why but they aren’t open to hearing it, so we say nothing.

Don’t be that guy or gal!

Self-awareness is a Fundamental Building Block to Success

Self-awareness doesn’t come easy, but it is the gateway to greatness. Any successful athlete, businessman, or performer will tell you, one key to their success is the ability to gain greater self-awareness. Once you start, you hunger for more because the results are undeniable.

At one time, Michael Jordan hired 4 coaches. Why? Each coach brings a different perspective and has the ability to see his blind spots. We all have blind spots. Like Michael, we have to have a hunger to gain awareness around what others see that we cannot. Tiger Woods is another example. At the top of his game, he hired a new coach to relearn his swing. That sounds crazy, right? He hit a plateau and had to learn a new way to surpass his old level of play. No matter how good you are, there is always better. High performers stay in constant pursuit of the next level, no matter what it takes.

So how does your self-awareness affect your success? Why does improving your self-awareness increase your chances of success?

What do we Mean by Self-awareness?

Being self-aware means that you are conscious of your feelings, desires, motives, and flaws. It shows that you are, not only, driven and goal-oriented, but also you possess maturity. If you can observe yourself with an outsider’s perspective, you are certainly capable of success in any area of your life.

woman leaning on wall looking beside mirror

Why Does Improving Your Self-awareness Increase Your Chances of Success?

By improving your self awareness, you enhance every area of your life; relationships, health, finances and create more fulfilling experiences. Who doesn’t want that?

1.Relationship Expand and Deepen – Your desire to improve and grow must become a passionate pursuit. People are drawn to those that push themselves to be their best. They want to be around people who set big goals and openly share their hearts. When you become passionate about your personal development, you will find your peer group expands, mentors appear and so does the opportunity to mentor others.

2. Get Better Jobs, Faster – Companies want to hire people who are self-aware and open to feedback because they correlate self-awareness with high-quality workers. When hired, those who are self-aware strive to help the company grow.  They look for growth opportunities and improvement. What we do in one area of our lives often reveals our mindset, how we think, and approach other parts of our lives. If you’re driven enough to implement regular changes to improve yourself, you’ll surely be driven to implement improvements in their company. Your openness and willingness to look and see things from other perspectives will help you to see any potential problems, ways to save money, or find efficiencies for the company.

3. Health Benefits – Just imagine what your health could look like with better awareness. For example, being more mindful of what you eat will lead you to eat more of the right things.You’ll know what foods make you feel good and which ones make you feel bad. That puts you in the driver’s seat of your nutritional health. There are many more examples, but for now, just realize awareness creates healthier choices.

How Does Self-awareness Affect Your Potential success?

Not being self-aware can be incredibly detrimental to your personal growth as well as your ultimate success in life. According to David Brooks, author of The Road to Character. We build our character over time by our external interaction with the world, what we decide it means to us, and how we interact with it. The result is our character. Our character develops from cultivating our strengths and confronting our weaknesses.

Here are 3 ways to boost your self-awareness:

1.Get Curious – You step into self-aware by reviewing yourself as objectively as possible. Review your behavior, not with judgment, but with curiosity. As you learn from yourself and others what works and what doesn’t, you can choose to change your behavior. Through this, you create growth and expand your character.

2. Practice it – Building self-awareness is a skill that needs to be practiced and re-enforced. We all know that if we don’t schedule time for something it won’t happen. Plan time in your calendar to reflect on what works well for you and what doesn’t. Make it a point to use that time to review a key meeting or interaction, to define an assignment for yourself each week, create a feedback session, or whatever will help you to keep practicing.

Many companies provide leadership training but why not include self-awareness classes as part of leadership training. Management training programs would produce better leaders and managers as a result. The investment will far outweigh the cost.

3. Seek External Feedback – Often, how you see yourself varies from how others see you.  Being conscious of how you interact with others and being open to feedback is key. Ask for feedback directly and be ready to receive it, openly. Your only response to it gets to be “Thank you” and “is there anything else?” Take it in and reflect on it. Later, evaluate the source and what was said then see what sticks. You only own what is true for you. Some of what they say reflects their challenges coming but nonetheless, all of what they say is valuable to how you interact with them and how you are perceived by them. It is hard to look in the mirror and see your flaws but see them as an opportunity to grow, not as an excuse to stay where you are. Live in a mindset that perfection is only found in growth and the pursuit of growth. It isn’t about perfection in your character, perfection lies in the facts that you are open and taking an active role in your personal growth.

So now it is your turn. On a scale from 1-10 (10 being best) how self-aware are you? If you asked four of the people, in your life, what would they say? What is in the gap?

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