Know Thyself: 10 Powerful Strategies for Greater Self-Awareness
Self-awareness is one of the core competencies of Emotional Intelligence. Know Thyself: 10 Powerful Strategies for Greater Self-Awareness is essential for your well-being, personal growth, and development. Self-awareness helps you understand and navigate yourself through your career and personal life. Awareness of your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors can help you develop better relationships, make effective decisions, and help increase your confidence and performance. In this blog, we will describe self-awareness, 10 powerful strategies for greater self-awareness, the key benefits of self-awareness, how to recognize it and explore the benefits of being curious about how others perceive you in the workplace.
To begin, self-awareness requires you to explore your inner world. It requires you to be present, conscious, and mindful of your emotions. Next, it is imperative to learn how to use emotions constructively and manage emotions effectively. This is important as emotions may appear in your voice, facial expression, and body language. Additionally, it is about identifying your thoughts, biases, or judgments and recognizing patterns or limiting core beliefs. Furthermore, it is about identifying values and aligning your behavior through actions.
Being self-aware also involves imagining and inquiring about how others perceive these qualities in you and being aware of the impact or influence you may have on others. Lastly, self-awareness consists of being able to recognize and take accountability when you have made a mistake and repair, of course, correct it.
Consequences of Lack of Self-Awareness
Without self-awareness, we become non-reflective, disconnected, and emotionally unaware. This leads to unawareness of how we think, behave, influence others, and perform. Relationships in and outside of work suffer.
Strategies to Cultivate Self-Awareness
To cultivate self-awareness, one must self-reflect on one’s emotions, thoughts, strengths, values, purposefulness, passions, aspirations, goals, drives, behaviors, blind spots, limitations, and weaknesses.
Increasing self-awareness is an ongoing and continuous process requiring effort and patience. Some methods for increasing self-awareness include:
- Using the STOP acronym. Stop, Take a Step Back, Observe, and Proceed Mindfully.
- Practicing a stance of curiosity and getting to know your inner you.
- Practicing mindfulness helps you focus on the here and now, with moment-to-moment conscious awareness of your thoughts, emotions, and sensations. It enables you to pay attention in a particular way and develops your capacity to observe and describe internal experiences, which helps you communicate more effectively. When mindful, we participate more fully and learn to focus on one thing at the moment. Furthermore, mindfulness enables you to notice any judgments and challenges you to shift towards a non-judgmental stance.
- Seeking feedback from others. This helps you increase self-awareness by helping you gain perspective and focus on ways of improvement.
- Practicing active listening by understanding what someone is saying, understanding their perspectives and insights through introspection, and responding thoughtfully and effectively.
- Dedicating time and space for self-examination by looking inward to examine thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
- Practicing self-inquiry by asking open-ended questions such as my values, goals, passions, experiences, blind spots, etc.?
- Identifying core values guiding principles for how you want to “be” and “act” in any situation. What do you stand for in the world? What values best guide your behavior? What legacy do you want to leave behind?
- Identifying strengths. A helpful tool may be the Gallup Strengths Assessment.
- Participating in a workplace Verbal 360-degree assessment. This is an excellent performance indicator of an individual’s strengths, skills, behaviors, and areas of improvement.
Benefits of Self-Awareness
It helps increase your emotional intelligence and self-management skills, leading to better communication. It can also foster empathy and help build more robust and satisfying relationships with those around you. By being self-aware, you can also increase your creativity, job satisfaction, confidence, and decision-making. Additionally, self-awareness can be beneficial in reducing burnout and achieving a healthier work-life balance.
Although self-awareness is an internal process, it can be recognized in a few ways. These include the following:
- Being curious and receptive to reflection.
- Taking responsibility and accountability for actions.
- Being open-minded.
- Being able to self-assess situations.
- Embracing failure and mistakes.
- Possessing humility.
- Exhibiting empathy towards others.
- Inviting feedback from others.
- Understanding the impact of one’s behavior on others.
- Being able to self-reflect, learn and grow.
Perception at Work
Understanding how colleagues or the management team perceive you is essential for becoming a successful leader.
Curiosity is Our Superpower
Curiosity is our ally in developing your workplace self-awareness skills. You might consider asking your colleagues and management team the following questions:
- How do you view me overall?
- How would you describe my strengths and weaknesses?
- Do you view me as a team player?
- How do you think I do performing my role?
- Do you view me as reliable?
- Do you view me as communicative?
- Where do you think I can make improvements?
Engage in a reflective journaling session to gain insights and self-awareness.
Self-awareness is a valuable workplace skill that can powerfully affect your professional life. Knowing Thyself and prioritizing the 10 powerful strategies for greater self-awareness can clarify one’s emotions, thoughts, strengths, values, purposefulness, passions, aspirations, goals, drives, behaviors, blind spots, limitations, and weaknesses.