What Is Self Awareness?
How well do you know yourself? We mean, really know yourself?
If you want to get ahead in the workplace, reach your career goals and be happy, you need to know yourself. Know your strengths, weaknesses, why you react a certain way, and what drives you.
We’re talking about self awareness.
Self awareness can be defined as “conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives and desires.”
OK, that sounds great if you want to be a HR professional or psychologist, but surely hard skills, experience and qualifications are better for helping you reach your career goals, right?
Self awareness is the most critical tool to help you reach your career goals.
It is proven to lead to higher levels of job satisfaction, help you become a better leader, build stronger relationships with colleagues, and better manage your emotions. With self-awareness, we can be better workers and get more promotions.
The best bit?
Self awareness is positively correlated with higher levels of overall happiness.
In other words, self awareness is the foundation to the success and happiness you desire – both in work and in life.
And yet, as one study estimates, only 10-15% of people are truly self-aware.
Here, we’ll explore what self awareness means, why self awareness is a must-have tool for success and how you can use it to get ahead.
What is Self Awareness?
You may have come across lots of different explanations of self awareness.
At its core, self awareness is about being honest with yourself, about yourself.
It’s your ability to notice your feelings, physical sensations, reactions, habits, behaviours and thoughts, as if you were another person observing you.
Here’s our favourite self awareness definition:
Self-awareness is knowing your strengths, weaknesses, actions and presence.
We’ll explore this more in a moment, but first let’s delve into the importance of being self-aware.
Why Self-Awareness is a Must-Have Tool for Success
Think of self-awareness not as something you have, but something you do. It’s a must-have tool you can use for your personal development. That’s why it’s become the buzzword for managers and professionals today – because it is proven to lead to higher success.
Gallup, a global analytics and advice company, surveyed a large group of people across the globe and found that people who use their strengths in everyday activity are three times more likely to report an excellent quality of life, and six times more likely to be successful in their careers.
Self-awareness can help turbocharge your career because it makes it easier to understand how others see you, and helps you understand other people better. You can read people more easily and understand why they are reacting a certain way to a situation, which helps you become a better co-worker.
Here are 5 reasons to practice self-awareness:
- Improve your performance by knowing and nurturing your strengths to give yourself a competitive edge
- Become more confident and clearer on who you are, and align this with your goals
- Raise happiness levels by feeling more energised and satisfied in what you do, and decrease stress levels
- Have an accurate description to use when describing yourself
- Better understand yourself – why you think, feel and do things in a certain way, maximising personal development and continued growth.
In short: Know yourself, get a better job, be happier.
How do you start becoming more self aware?
Know your Strengths and Weaknesses
To become more self aware, you have to start with your Strengths and Weaknesses.
Look at successful people and you’ll find that they have one thing in common: they focus on their strengths and manage around their weaknesses.
What are Strengths?
Strengths are a manifestation of talents and character traits. They are what you are good at without having to really try. That’s because strengths are hard wired into your brain.
Think of strengths as your unique natural potential; everyone has strengths but yours are unique to you. A bit like your own personal superpowers.
The more you recognise and invest in these traits, the more you can unleash your potential to become exceptional.
What are Weaknesses?
The best way to define weakness is as an activity that weakens you. They are the things you are inherently not as good at, or where you have to try really hard. With weaknesses, it just doesn’t come naturally.
We get it – it can be difficult to take a good look in the mirror and acknowledge your weaknesses. But knowing your weaknesses is key to self-awareness. You can’t turn a weakness into a strength, but you can develop ways to work with or around it to minimise the impact it is having on you and your work.
Let’s look at how this works in action.
Imagine you’re in a room filled with new people.
Some people love meeting new people and are energised by new interactions and conversations. It’s their strength.
Others shudder at the thought and feel drained by the process of meeting new people. It’s their weakness.
When you know yourself, you know whether meeting new people is a strength or a weakness. This gives you a better understanding of the unique abilities you bring to your work and your interactions with others. You can tap into these super powers during times where you’ll need to network and win people over.
Over to You
Achieving self-awareness is the start of your personal development journey. Here’s the catch, it’s also a lifelong process. The earlier you start to work on becoming more self-aware, the earlier you can use the knowledge to skyrocket your career.
Ready to become more self aware? Get started with Level 1 in your Hodie human skills journey – Reveal Your Superpowers to discover your strengths and weaknesses.