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  • Writer's pictureDr. Lisa Gonzales

How Self Aware Are You?

Funny we get older, we either get so busy that we lose sight of who we are and what we stand for OR it has changed a few times. And for some of us, maybe its been more than just a few.

Self-awareness is knowing about our beliefs, our character, our motives, and our desires. Self-awareness is important because when we have a better understanding of ourselves, we are able to experience ourselves as unique and separate individuals. We are then empowered to make changes and to build on our areas of strength as well as identify areas where we would like to make improvements.

Self-awareness means the habit of paying attention to the way you think, feel, and behave. More specifically:

  • It means looking for patterns in the way we tend to think about and perceive what happens to, how we explain things to ourselves and make sense of the world around us.

  • It means understanding our own emotions and moods. Instead of trying to avoid or “fix” how we feel, we observe and stay curious about our feelings, even the difficult, uncomfortable ones.

  • It means paying attention to how we tend to act and behave in certain situations. What are our default responses to things? What are our habits and tendencies?

In short, self-awareness means paying attention to and trying to learn about our own psychology. Maybe you haven't been able to pinpoint why you feel off. Maybe there are idiosyncrasies you have that are tripping you up. Perhaps you have tendencies that cause friction at work. Any of these might help you focus in on your own self-awareness.

Take a look at the following questions and see if you can easily respond to them in the context of your work setting:

- What am I good at?

- What do I struggle with?

- What types of people do I gravitate to?

- What types of people drive me up the world? and why?

- What stresses me out?

- What relaxes me?

- What does success look like?

- What type of colleague do I want to be?

Strengthening one's self-awareness does have many benefits.

Decision making. Better decision making emerges from increased self-awareness. When are more in tune with our habits of thought and awareness, the more we can focus more on the longer than shorter term.

Improved communication. When you more clearly know what you believe and how you respond, you can respond more assertively and openly. It also enables us to be more respectful and empathetic toward others because we've also been listening and using communication to seek understanding and clarity.

Productivity. Imagine being able to do more, or at least more effectively. Being self-aware does that. If you can be honest with yourself and admit that you are a procrastinator, knowledge is power and acting on that knowledge can help you both professionally and personally.

Different types of tests, like Myers Briggs or Colors, can help you hone into your styles, but the true value emerges when you are able to see yourself and others in a work place and the value of the different styles on teams.

The more you can hone in on who you are and what you believe, the resulting introspection can help you improve your work abilities - because the more you can be honest, the more you can address whatever might be holding you back.

Food for thought for a Monday. Make it a great week!

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