Self-awareness is important, but it can be somewhat difficult to achieve. The reason is because in most cases, we rely on ourselves to evaluate or monitor our attitudes and behavior. This is virtually impossible. Without a good system for evaluating our impact on the people and world around us, we are predisposed to alienating and offending others if not careful. It could pay handsomely to learn to realize our conditioning and find ways to improve our level of self-awareness. It could result in a positive impact on people and the organizations in which we work.
We develop habits early in our lives that impact our attitudes and behavior. Our parents, guardians or other adults raise us with noble intentions doing the very best they could based on what they knew. They brought their own conditioning, which often led to a passing on of ideas and behaviors to children. We subsequently follow the model that we see without question and end up emulating those behaviors.
I’ve heard it said that many illnesses are related to heredity, but there are also a relatively high number that result from poor diets passed down from generation to generation. Culture and perspective are very important when we think of conditioning and the ability to become self-aware.
The previously mentioned conditioning is based on our past experiences related to family, home, church, school, community, work, etc. We develop perspectives and ways of viewing the world, and we establish certain habits or behavioral patterns of which we aren’t aware. The ways we speak, act and behave are things of which we become unconsciously competent or incompetent. We can’t see ourselves. Without a good feedback mechanism, we operate blindly, and we alienate rather than connect, motivate and relate well with others.
Here are a few suggestions for gaining a better understanding of your current behavior and conditioning as you move towards becoming more self-aware.
- Request feedback by asking good open-ended questions.
- Listen intently to the person sharing the feedback and accept it graciously.
- Reflect on what you heard and note any revelations.
- Establish a SMART goal in an area that you identify as most important.
- Take action.
- Periodically reflect and restart the cycle by requesting feedback.
Self-awareness isn’t instantaneous. It doesn’t just happen overnight. It’s a journey. It’s a journey that is life long. You can improve your level of self-awareness with practice, but the process must begin with gaining a really good understanding of your current attitudes and behavior. After asking and getting feedback, take action. Attitude is critically important in the process. The people that you love, lead and serve can help you move from self-not-aware to self-aware, and they will be beneficiaries of any improvement that you make. Becoming self-aware is actually possible, but it typically takes work. If you’d like help in this area or would like to discuss this topic further, reach out to us at Right Path Enterprises.