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The Benefits of Self-Awareness

Posted in Professional Development

Author: Jen Dugan

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” -Aristotle 

When you look in the mirror, is the person looking back at you the most authentic version of yourself or someone you don't quite recognize? When I was thinking about what to write, my mentor A.K.A, my father suggested "Self- Awareness." Plus, with many of us stuck at home, there is no better time to take a closer, more analytical look at the person inside!

Strengths & Weaknesses

If you understand your strengths, you are more confident (not arrogant), knowing you can add value to professional pursuits as well as your team. Weakness is not a fault; weakness is an area for growth, and you have an opportunity to learn if you see it as personal growth in yourself.  How do you approach it when you know you will need help? Typically, it can go one of two ways. You can push back, knowing that this is something that will take more time and energy because it is not one of your strengths. Or you sit down, look at the task, find what you can do on your own, and then set a game plan on what help you will need.

Can you identify your Triggers? You know, those situations when you can feel your cheeks getting red, your body language changing, and your thoughts begin to run wild, these are few examples of triggers. Having a deep understanding of yourself will allow you to either avoid the situation before anything happens or react to the situation calmly. You never want your lack of self-awareness to put you in a mental or physical situation where you don't have the tools to resolve an issue.

Increasing Self-Awareness
So, what can you do to increase your self-awareness?  As part of my nightly routine, I do two things, meditate, and write in my journal. Now for those who know me, meditation may seem like it is coming straight out of left field. But practicing meditation allows you to focus on you, your breathing, and taking the time to quiet yourself (a personal focus area for me). Secondly, journaling helps provide a release of your thoughts from the day and allows time for great self-reflection. 

Now these are just some of the things that work for me, but there are plenty of other self-awareness techniques to consider, such as: 
  • Write down your goals, plans, and priorities 
  • Ask trusted friends to describe you – down-to-earth talk 
  • Ask for feedback at work and when you're at home 

“Self-awareness is the key cornerstone to emotional intelligence.” - Daniel Goleman
Once you start working on your self-awareness, you will also grow your emotional intelligence. Having a good understanding of both, will make you a great leader, wonderful friend, and a happier you!

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