Self-Awareness has been on my mind lately. Not that it hasn’t been on my mind before. Sometimes it’s regarding myself, but also regarding clients with whom I am working. There is nothing better than that Ah-Ha moment with someone when they put all the pieces together. Having that clarity can answer so many questions and help people move forward in their lives. It can be something simple or it can be something life-changing. “It’s a beautiful thing,” as Martha Stewart would say. The reason it was at the forefront of my mind recently was my work with my own coach and some self-awareness that I gained late last year that gave me clarity in several areas of my life. That is something that excites me!
I studied Self-Awareness when I got my certification as an Emotional Intelligence Facilitator. According to Daniel Goleman, one of the fathers of Emotional Intelligence, EQ is defined as: “The capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships.” There are four key components of Emotional Intelligence and Self-Awareness is Number 1. Everything starts with Self-Awareness. Self-Awareness is described by the following skills:
- Emotional self-awareness: the ability to read and understand your emotions as well as recognize their impact on work performance, relationships and the like.
- Accurate self-assessment: a realistic evaluation of your strengths and limitations.
- Self-Confidence: a strong and positive sense of self-worth
So why is Self-Awareness important? As I said, it is the key cornerstone of Emotional Intelligence and gives us the ability to monitor our emotions and thoughts and to understand ourselves better. There has been a lot written about Self-Awareness, TED talks dedicated to it and numerous studies have been done. One such study was done in conjunction with Cornell University examining 72 executives of large companies and found that a high Self-Awareness score was the strongest predictor of overall success.
How do you develop Self-Awareness? There are ways that you can cultivate better Self-Awareness. Here are just a few:
- Practice Mindfulness. Jon Kabat-Zinn says “mindfulness is the key to self-awareness.” We hear a lot today about mindfulness. It is about paying attention to your inner thoughts as they arise. You can practice mindfulness at any time you want, through mindful listening, mindful eating, and my favorite, mindful walking.
- Keep a Journal. Writing helps us process our thoughts. Writing can help us create more “headspace” as we get our thoughts down onto paper. My favorite is writing down things I am grateful for in a Gratitude Journal. There have been studies about how writing down things we are struggling with increases happiness and life satisfaction.
- Hire a Coach. A coach can give us feedback, point out our blind spots, give us a different perspective and act as an accountability partner. The coaches I’ve had over the years have helped me greatly with my personal growth and direction in my life. The inner work that is done through coaching is invaluable and certainly leads to more Self-Awareness.
Self-Awareness is a fundamental issue in positive psychology today and a large and complicated subject to address in a few brief paragraphs, but studies have shown that personal success and happiness ultimately comes from enhanced Self-Awareness. In my coaching practice, I help people who are at a crossroads in their lives, going through a transition or just trying to figure out what they want to do next in their lives and that leads to greater Self-Awareness. I offer a 30-minute Complementary Consultation for new clients. Call or email me today to schedule your consultation to see how I can help you.