The 5 steps to greater self-awarness
It is estimated that over 83% of top business performers have high levels of self-awareness, while only 2% of unsuccessful business performers have high self-awareness.
Self-awareness is extremely important for effective communication and decision making through identifying and then enabling change to limiting thoughts or behaviours.
Here are 5 steps towards greater self-awareness:
1. Take the time for self-reflection on your thoughts, emotions and behaviour. This is a highly energy intensive act which will therefore deflect energy from other areas in your life and work. This can create tension and eventually lead to slippage. It is important therefore you allocate designated time to do this.
2. Gain a greater understanding of your emotions. We know that simply putting your feelings into words has a calming effect on your brain. So it is important we learn and expand our emotional language, eg, when you say you feel positive does this mean bold, keen or hopeful? Or when you say angry do you mean enraged, irritated or worked-up?
3. Know your own strengths and weaknesses. Have you taken the time to consider these? And have you had them confirmed by others? Gaining external (constructive) feedback is a key way to better understand your own strengths and weaknesses and how others perceive you. It is only by knowing your own strengths that you can take them from good to great. And it is only by knowing your own weaknesses that you can own them and so improve on them.
4. Get to know your own personality traits. This will strengthen your understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, your emotional reactions, your thoughts and behavioural patterns, and much more. Importantly you will begin to understand why these are as they currently are.
5. Practice, practice and practice. There is an old saying ‘practice makes perfect’. That is incorrect. Striving for perfection is a fool’s errand. Practice makes permanent. For any new habit to form; a new way of thinking, doing or feeling, we need to spend time practicing the new approach as well as ensuring we are not doing the old approach. The less we do something the weaker its hold on us will be. The more we do something the stronger the hold on us it will have.
Bringing it all together
The above 5 steps are by no means easy and it is recognized any change works best when done through some kind of purposeful relationship, either with a counsellor, mentor or coach. The benefits of doing this work though to you, your life and family, your business and colleagues can be immense.
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