While I’m a big advocate of flexible work locations, one of the advantages of going into an office is the opportunity to have cool random conversations with people, and I love those. I recently had a conversation about self-awareness, which lead to the thought about how important it is for success.
What exactly does it mean to be self-aware? According to Psychology Today, self-awareness is defined as “the accurate appraisal and understanding of your abilities and preferences and their implications for your behavior and their impact on others.”
While the importance of being self-aware seems fairly obvious, it’s not something that the majority of the world has mastered. Jeff Kauflin writes that “95% of people think they’re self-aware, but only 10-15% truly are,” and that “people who are more self-aware tend to perform better at work, get more promotions and lead more effectively.”
If you’re self-aware, you know what you’re good at, what makes you happy, and basically what kind of person you are. Understanding this is key to putting yourself in the best possible way to succeed. Not only will you be better at evaluating opportunities that come your way, you will also be realistic about goal setting. Being more self-aware means that you’ll have a real and true understanding about how people view you.
There are a couple of ways that will help you become more self-aware. One is to go and experience new things. You don’t know that you don’t know, and you can’t say that you like or dislike something if you’ve never experienced it. My friend Jay Mandel recently said this in a blog post and it resonated with me, “The quest for mastery can help you define and refine your reason for being, your purpose”. I believe the journey of mastery plays a big part in achieving self-awareness.
Another way to become more self-aware is to make some really good friends. We all have friends that we consider to be good friends, but how many of them can give us criticism and get away with it? We all need an honest friend that can tell us what we don’t want to hear when it’s needed. If you’re someone that that doesn’t need this, then I would say you’re not very self-aware.
Obviously self-awareness is not the golden ticket to success, but it’s a good start. How self-aware are you?