Self-awareness affords you the ability to accurately perceive your emotions and understand your tendencies in situations as they occur. It’s really about getting to know yourself and understand what makes you tick as you develop.
Being aware of our emotions and learning ways to manage them will make a tremendous difference in our relationships and overall success in life.
The value of developing self-awareness
Paying close attention to emotions, thoughts, and behaviours will help you become more self-aware. We use our self-awareness skills to observe our feelings and judge whether our needs are being met. We can strengthen this skill by assessing our abilities and improving where necessary. The more we develop this the better we recognize how others see us.
Feeling thoughts and emotions physically
Each time a thought occurs, our brain produces chemicals that trigger reactions that we feel throughout our body. Normally we don’t realize how much they command our feelings because we’re continuously thinking in the same manner we breathe. When our emotions overwhelm us, our thoughts can turn the heat up or down, which has an effect on how we manage our emotions.
The impact on our career
Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing over 100 leaders across Canada for my new book on emotional intelligence. Interestingly, (but not surprisingly) most of them reinforced the importance of self-awareness and the role it plays in our career. The more we know about ourselves the better we can self-manage and meet the needs of those around us.
What stops people from embracing self-awareness?
Is a lack of self-awareness because “ignorance is bliss”? Maybe, but often people struggle with analyzing their behaviour for a variety of reasons; including:
- Not wanting to take the time to focus on areas of improvement
- Finding it easier to critique others
- Not wanting to do the work involved to make necessary changes
- Preferring to stay in their comfort zone
- Afraid of what they may learn about their selves