The idea of being self-aware has been around most likely since the beginning of time. And yet, according to Harvard Business Review article, What Self-Awareness Really Is, it remains a challenge for most people.
It seems that most people believe they are self-aware, but according to research conducted by The Eurich Group, only 10-15% of the people studied fit the criteria of being self-aware.
So where are you? Are you part of the 10-15% or is it possible you are in the 85-90% group?
To find out, let’s start by taking a closer look at the definition of Self-Awareness. According to the Eurich Group, there are two categories of self-awareness.sea
Your internal self-awareness includes your ability to recognize how your thoughts, feelings, values, strengths, weaknesses, passions, etc. impact those around you.
Paying attention to your internal self-awareness is directly linked to greater effectiveness, relationships, and overall satisfaction.
Your external self-awareness includes your ability to recognize how other people view you.
When you have external self-awareness, relationships benefit. You are able to connect with others and show greater empathy.
Interestingly, there is no correlation between the two. Most people are high one, but not both. This creates four possible combinations.
Read each of the following to see which sounds most like you.
You are mindful about who you are and what drives you, but you don’t challenge yourself to solicit feedback to learn how others view you.
You are able to fully expand your self-awareness by turning inward paying attention to who you are and what drives you, and you seek to uncover blindspots by soliciting feedback from others.
You are so focused on what others think of you that you place a priority on pleasing others over recognizing who you are and what drives you. You may be skiled at image management, covering up the internal version of you to match what you believe others want.
You aren’t sure what you stand for, what matters, and how others see you. You may feel like you are in a continuous loop trying to find your way and ending up lost.
Having high Internal and External Self-Awareness is beneficial to your professional and personal life. There are some very practical things you can do to start to elevate both.
To focus on your External Self-Awareness:
Think about where you would like to get some outside feedback. Maybe it’s how you come across in a meeting. Or how you present an opposing idea. Or maybe it’s how you enter the house after a challenging day.
Actively solicit feedback from someone you trust this week. Ask questions that require courage to understand how others see you. Be careful to not defend your position. Just listen and thank the person for their honesty.
Reflect on what you learned from this feedback. What surprises you? What inspires you? What changes would you like to see in yourself?
To focus on your Internal Self-Awareness:
Throughout the day, pause to turn inward and notice how you are feeling and what you are thinking. What patterns are noticing? What new patterns do you want to create?
When turning inward, try shifting your questions from Why? to What? For example, instead of saying Why am I feeling this way? try these questions:
What else am I feeling?
What other situations make me feel this way?
What is the message in this feeling?
What’s important to me right now?
What questions keep you focused on what will help you move forward with a growth mindset.
Make a list of your values. Share them with someone you trust and talk about how your values influence how you perceive different situations and how you make decisions.
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