Thursday, July 2, 2009

Self-Awareness Is Key to Your Success

“The more you know, the less you need to show.” - Anonymous

There are several ingredients essential for achieving success. Of which, self-awareness is one, which is key to success. People are more comfortable in knowing about others than about themselves. A few people have the habit of complaining, condemning and criticizing others’ behavior and nature. They cannot digest when others think and behave with them as they think that they are better than others. In fact, nobody is perfect in this world. We all have our strengths and weaknesses and being aware of the same will help us to become successful persons.

What is Self-Awareness?

“He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.” - Lao Tzu

Self-awareness is all about knowing oneself thoroughly such as attitudes, aptitude, needs, desires, goals, habits, emotions, strengths and weaknesses etc., In brief, it means knowing your personality. Self-awareness is nothing but being conscious about yourself and how you act and react in certain situations.

We all have low level of awareness but think that we know about ourselves better. It is, in fact, wrong. When you know yourself properly, you judge yourself properly and you take your judgments seriously. It requires lot of self-knowledge to be aware of yourself.

Merits of Self-Awareness:

“Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.” - William Faulkner

• People with self-awareness stands at better chances of winning the game because they know about themselves. If any mistake is made, they immediately take remedial action as they know about themselves.
• Self-Awareness improves your judgment and decision making skills. It helps in professional and personality development as you overcome your weaknesses.
• It bridges the gap between skills you have and you don’t have and exploits your existing skills up to the hilt.
• It helps in choosing the right career and ensures fast career growth.
• When you know more about yourself, most of the problems in your life are resolved automatically.
• You can become a successful mentor, facilitator, teacher, leader and role model with better self-awareness.

How to Know About Yourself:

“It's surprising how many persons go through life without ever recognizing that their feelings toward other people are largely determined by their feelings toward themselves, and if you're not comfortable within yourself, you can't be comfortable with others.” - Sydney J. Harris

• Take time to think things through. Spend some time to analyze yourself. Self-introspection is essential to be aware about yourself.
• Go for MBTI (Meyers and Briggs Type Instrument) test as it helps you find out what type of personality you are.
• There are several psychometric instruments to know your personality. When such instruments are executed by professional trainers then it becomes easier to know more about yourself.
• Take feedback from your colleagues, friends and relatives. Take their feedback separately so that the common qualities running across the thread can be taken as the correct characteristics.
• Go for meditation as it reveals about your mind. Or go to a serene place and think about yourself to take stock of your qualities.
• Take a notebook and write down your thoughts, ideas and insights. Record the same for analysis and evaluation.
• Take intrapersonal feedback regularly. For this, it is essential to engage in regular inner dialogue.
• Constantly monitor your actions and its fall out.
• Take the help of professional counselors, clinical psychologists and executive coaches who can provide you correct feedback. Find out the inventory of your interests and personality that help in developing your self-awareness.

Ron’s honest feedback about Susan:

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” Carl Gustav Jung

People have tendency to judge others. But they don’t accept when others judge them. Rather they would be shocked with others’ feedback about themselves. Let us look at an example where two colleagues by names, Susan and Ron who worked in an office. They had good relations and gelled with each other well. One day, Susan asked Ron to give feedback as she wanted to know about herself from the perspective of Ron. Ron was straightforward by nature and he analyzed Susan from several dimensions both personally and professionally and prepared a report containing her strengths and weaknesses. It took around a week for Ron to generate the personality report of Susan. He went to the extent of guessing the MBTI personality type of Susan based on her behavior, nature and intellectual temperament.

When Susan saw the report she could not digest and she did not agree with Ron on several areas. Ron clearly said that he was not perfect in assessment but offered feedback the way he provided to several students when he worked as a faculty member in a Business School. Since then, Susan distanced from Ron as she never expected her nature to be like that. It led to severance of their amicable relations finally costing their friendship. The lesson to be learnt out of it is people don’t accept about themselves when others offer their feedback because they think about themselves in a different manner. In fact, there is always gap between an individual’s imagination about himself/herself with that of others.


“The final mystery is oneself.” - Oscar Wilde
Self-awareness is all about being aware of your intentions, actions, emotions, feelings, attitude and aptitude so that you can channel them successfully for achieving all round success – be it personally, professionally and socially.

When you know yourself you grow as an individual. You develop self-acceptance which in turn helps others to accept you as an individual. You become self motivated and it leads to achieving success. Self-awareness enables you to grow in your chosen area of interest. To sum up, success comes to those who have better self-awareness about themselves as it helps in improving themselves by overcoming their weaknesses and reinforcing their strengths.

The End

1 comment:

Joseph Neeley said...

Self--awareness and success are not sides of the same coin. Success is a distraction and you can only become self-aware when you can see through that distraction.