“Self-awareness gives you the capacity to learn from your mistakes as well as your successes. It enables you to keep growing.” – Lawrence Bossidy
The workplace is a dynamic environment that demands constant growth and adaptability. To thrive and succeed in such an environment, you must possess a crucial trait: self-awareness.
Self-awareness can be defined as the ability to understand your thoughts, emotions, and motivations with clarity and accuracy. It serves as a guiding light that illuminates our true selves, enabling us to make better decisions, manage our emotions, and build strong, collaborative relationships with others.
While self-awareness is essential, it can be challenging to achieve. Often, we unconsciously fall into the trap of distorted self-perception, either overestimating our capabilities or undermining our potential. Therefore, it becomes imperative to develop tools and practices that allow us to gain a clear view of ourselves.
Look In The Mirror
One such tool is the metaphorical mirror, which symbolizes self-reflection. Looking in the mirror, both figuratively and literally, can provide valuable insights into who we are and how we present ourselves to the world. It allows us to explore our feelings, values, and aspirations, helping us to understand our true selves without the distortions of ego or self-doubt.
When you take a moment to “look in the mirror,” you can begin the journey of self-awareness. Keeping a journal of your reflections can be a valuable starting point. Write down your thoughts and emotions, which can bring clarity to your experiences and highlight areas for improvement or growth.
My Mirror Experience
However, true self-awareness often requires an external perspective. Just as in a funny mirror story that I’d like to share:
I just got back from vacation a few days ago. When I’m on vacation, I hate shaving in general, so I usually don’t shave. I didn’t shave this whole time, so I finally got back, took a shower, and shaved. But I did it pretty quickly. Right when I got out of the shower, I didn’t actually look in the mirror to see how my shave job was. Recently, my mirror that I had in the shower broke, so I didn’t double-check my work. I didn’t know what it actually looked like. I just felt my face, thought it felt smooth, and moved on with my day.
Come to find out a few hours later, after I had already talked to a number of people, that I had a big patch on the side of my face that I missed completely. Then I came up and saw my wife and she’s like, “Hey, what do we got there?” (pointing at the big patch of unshaven hair on my face). Because I didn’t look in the mirror, I was completely unaware of something that anyone else who looked at me would be very aware of, but I was unaware.
This story illustrates how sometimes we miss certain aspects of ourselves that others can clearly see. It’s therefore important to seek honest feedback from trusted individuals that can provide invaluable insights into our blind spots. Embracing this feedback with an open mind and a willingness to grow can lead to personal development and improved self-awareness.
By inviting others to hold up the mirror for us, we demonstrate our commitment to growth and our desire to understand ourselves better, and as leaders can set the example to feel safe to receive that feedback. Embracing the insights others offer, even if they might be hard to hear, empowers us to make positive changes in our behavior and interactions.
Embracing Growth and Change
Ultimately, self-awareness is not a one-time achievement but an ongoing journey. It requires continuous exploration and a willingness to embrace change. Overcoming resistance to feedback and taking ownership of our areas for improvement will be challenging, but the rewards are worth it.
Self-awareness is a powerful tool for personal and professional growth. By reflecting on our thoughts, feelings, and motivations, we gain valuable insights that lead to better decision-making and emotional management.
How aware are you? Spend some time looking at your reflection, and see what comes up!
Watch more in the video below: