Skip to content

A simple look at self-awareness

Self-awareness is something I see is often ignored by leaders. Sometimes because they are in an auto-pilot mode and don’t have time to bother, sometimes because they have negative beliefs about it and don’t realize the benefits of it.

When it is not ignored, leaders find it difficult to develop.

However, self-awareness can be achieved with little actions on a daily basis. It doesn’t have to be a big heavy process. This requires time and patience.

What exactly is self-awareness?

Self-awareness is the ability, for each of us, to look at ourselves as an observer and to create a deeper understanding of how we think, feel and behave.

Self-awareness is important to develop for leaders, as it helps us see what are the beliefs that prevent us to create value, lead and develop teams for a great purpose.

It creates understanding about our – sometimes limiting – beliefs, so we can explore better ways.

Of course, it is not comfortable to shed a light on our imperfections, but by recognizing them and by developing compassion for our imperfect humanness, we get better at becoming more purposeful and create value for others.

So how to do this in a simple way?

How to increase your self-awareness, as leaders

Use your feelings as signals, clues about a limiting thought pattern. When you feel a negative feeling, take a note about it and identify what thought triggered it. We all have our own stories about events happening in our lives. These are our very own perceptions, based on our experience, our culture and education.

It is interesting to look at these stories: what you tell yourself about an event, and ask yourself if this story is useful for you or not.

You can do this by simply keeping a journal or using a notes app on your phone. When you find out a story that doesn’t serve you and your purpose, challenge it. We have the power to change these stories, to look at things differently.

For example, you can ask yourself: in this context, what are the stories that help me move toward my goal?

Open yourself to opportunities and possibilities. You have this power to think differently. Take it! The most successful leaders are the ones with this ability to step back and look at the context through several lenses.

The more you practice this, on a daily basis, the better you will get at it.

The four simple steps to follow, one by one

1. In the beginning, you can take 5 minutes each day, to reflect on your day. Or do it right after you felt a negative feeling. For example, after a challenging meeting.

Ask yourself: what were the facts? what did I made them mean?

It might take you some time to get used at it, but keep doing it regularly. See it as a good healthy routine, that will help you improve performance.

2. Once you are more used to it, you can start to challenge the thoughts. Use the question “is it useful? is it helping me achieve my goals?” If not, it’s ok. Just acknowledge it. No self-blame, no judgement.

This second step is important to make you realize the results you get, from these limiting beliefs. It will help you move to step three.

3. This next step is about exploring new possibilities, in line with your purpose. You can use prompting questions like:

  • What are the opportunities I don’t see yet?
  • What would my successful future-self think in this context?
  • What are three things that proove this thought can be wrong?
  • If I was {someone successful you admire}, what could that person think to turn it into an opportunitu?

4. Finally, practice. Practice the process and practice the new thoughts. Play with the beliefs that will steer you in the direction of your vision. Experiment the difference between your old ways of thinking and the results you get when you challenge them. Realize the benefits you get from it.

This is how self-awareness can help you: by discovering and exploring this power you have over your beliefs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to content