Are you self aware? For years I thought that life and leadership began with mindset. I thought that is where it all began. You learned about fixed vs. growth mindset and then charted a path on how you would obtain and maintain the growth mindset. On my journey I often consume books, articles, and speeches that in one way or another have supported this piece of my philosophical foundation. Recently I have read something that has made me think that something comes before mindset.
How does one get to that point? How does one come to the realization that they have a fixed or growth mindset? A recent book I have read has just rocked me and the bedrock to my life and leadership principles. It will also fundamentally change how I teach and coach others on leadership. The book “Insight” by Tasha Eurich is going on my all time list and will be a foundation of my life and leadership principles.
The book is all about the all important but overlooked trait of self-awareness. The book states (and I agree) “the most important, and yet least examined, determinant of success or failure at work and in life is self-awareness. Self-awareness is the ability to understand who we are, how others see us, and how we fit into the world. Research shows that while 95% of people think they are self- aware, the real figure is closer to 10-15%. We all can tell when others lack self-awareness but we tend to be terrible judges of our own knowledge, performance and abilities.” Without self-awareness we have no idea what skills we have or need to improve on in life. So I will ask you again? Are you self-aware.
One can think they have a growth mindset and that they deal with mistakes, challenges, and feedback well but it seems like 85% of us would be wrong. Without self-awareness we wouldn’t really know if we were getting better or getting worse at anything. We wouldn’t know who are true friends are and who has best interest at heart. We wouldn’t know if our significant other is happy in the relationship. We wouldn’t know how to conduct ourselves around other human beings. No one can really know 100% of what others think of them and that is ok. However, The more self aware you are the more you can know, absorb, and deal with what others think about you. You can improve on what you are deficient and know for sure you are working on the right things.
Like mindset this is foundational in regards to continuous learning. As you know I feel continuous learning and growth is the core of life and leadership. You may be asking yourself … How do I become more self aware?
Like any other skill your self-awareness can be worked on. I will be posting much more on self-awareness but for now take ten minutes today and honestly ask yourself these questions. What are my strengths? What are my weaknesses? Where do I have room for growth? What am I most passionate about? Then ask your best friend, spouse, or trusted co-worker the same questions about yourself. It is a small action item for tremendous insight.