We cannot develop others if we cannot develop ourselves. Self-awareness is a necessary component for growth. In order for us to help others develop, we must ourselves be self-aware.
Successful leaders are self-aware. They know their strengths and weaknesses. Their internal motivations and triggers for negative self-talk or actions.
For each of us, our self-awareness journey starts somewhere. Likely with a manager or mentor that was self-aware. That helped us look past what we said or did, to the “why” of it. Helped us shift our mindset to within, vs focusing change on outside factors.
We know self-aware leaders and managers when we meet them. But not every person we work for will be self-aware. My first manager certainly wasn’t. It was many years before I found that level of insight in my direct manager.
Rather than wait for someone else to help us, we can begin our own journey to self-awareness.
- Be mindful – Be present in interactions, aware of thoughts and feelings in the moment.
- Reflect – Consider what motivated the thoughts and feelings. Were they valid and based in fact, or driven by emotion such as fear or impatience?
- Own your story – Know how you got to where you are, and how you are. Decide how you want the story to go forward.
How did you begin your journey to self-awareness? What steps would you recommend? Please share your experience in the comments.