5 Reasons Why Self-Awareness is Important
There are many great ways of improving yourself. One of these ways is to seek the positive attributes you possess and appreciating that a part of you. Another important way of becoming a far better person is by acknowledging your weaknesses and actively performing on improving. These two methods of self-improvement define what it means to be self-aware. Being self-aware can assist you to relate well with people and increase your ability to realize your goals. These aren't the sole benefits of self-awareness, however. Here are some more reasons why it's important to be self-aware.
Human beings are social beings who thrive on relationships. People who are self-aware are very successful when creating relationships. This is because they're ready to realize exactly what they need in everyone they meet. That certainty comes from knowing oneÕs own abilities and challenges. Self-awareness also promotes emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence helps us relate to the feelings of other people. Lacking this skill can leave us in conflicts with others. The best thanks to improving your level of emotional intelligence are by learning your own emotional patterns.
Promotes versatility and open-mindedness
Knowing yourself is often very crucial to affecting the approach that you simply wear issues. Self-awareness in itself is the ability to actively seek to concentrate on the body and mind to understand your natural response to varying. This consciousness can thus assist you to have a transparent focus when handling issues. You are also ready to accept opinions, feedback, and criticism from people without being subjective. Ultimately, you're ready to have multiple solutions to one problem.
People who are self-aware are fast thinkers. They understand themselves and are ready to specialize in the challenges of the day without hindrances. Without understanding yourself, there's an enormous challenge where you're held back by uncertainty. This leads to time wastage caused by pondering over many various courses of action even when a swift decision is required.
Improves leadership skills
One of the foremost important attributes of an honest leader is swift decision-making. A leader should also be impartial and confident. All these are things that we gain by becoming self-aware. Knowing yourself removes internal fear and you're ready to specialize in important matters.
Promotes Overall Objectivity
Being self-aware promotes objectivity. People who are self-aware are also self-confident. This means that they will easily make decisions without being clouded by poor judgment.
The Power of Self-Awareness
my name is will sparks and I want to 00:08 talk to you about the power of 00:10 self-awareness 00:11 I believe that self-awareness is 00:15 critical for not only reaching our 00:17 highest personal effectiveness in 00:19 reaching our highest potential it's also 00:22 critical in the way we connect with 00:24 others the way we're able to collaborate 00:25 manage our emotions manage our triggers 00:29 self-awareness is foundational I believe 00:31 for reaching our highest potential 00:35 unfortunately I believe our culture has 00:39 narrowly defined self-awareness today to 00:43 talk about it in only terms of your 00:45 strengths know your strengths play to 00:49 your strengths we live in what I call a 00:52 strength finders culture everyone gets a 00:55 trophy and that's an important part of 00:59 the self-awareness equation but knowing 01:02 your strengths is only half of that 01:05 equation it's only half if you're going 01:09 to celebrate your light you have to also 01:13 understand the darkness your darkness my 01:16 darkness so what I want to talk to you 01:19 about this evening is an experience that 01:23 I had twenty-two years ago at the hands 01:27 of the late dr. Jerry B Harvey during my 01:31 graduate studies when he not only 01:33 dramatically increased my self-awareness 01:36 he introduced me to call Young's concept 01:39 of the shadow in 1996 I started the 01:46 doctoral program at George Washington in 01:48 organizational behavior and development 01:50 and I was going to study under dr. Jerry 01:53 Harvey those of you some of you may know 01:56 his classic movie and article the 01:59 Abilene paradox the Abilene paradox is 02:02 essentially a kind of follow-the-leader 02:05 syndrome we get into in business 02:07 organizations everyone nods in agreement 02:10 with the leader I'm sure you all can 02:12 relate to that 02:14 and we self-censor what we really think 02:16 and what we really want to say and Jerry 02:19 said we would get on the road to Abilene 02:21 following the leader it's grounded in 02:23 classic codependency dysfunctional so I 02:28 was thrilled to be going moving up to 02:31 the big city of Washington DC studying 02:34 under the great dr. Jerry Harvey his 02:36 books were the textbooks and my master's 02:38 program I just finished my masters in 02:40 organizational psychology I was beyond 02:43 excited I was 27 I was arrogant brash 02:48 full of ego ready to take on the world 02:52 there was one small problem there was a 02:55 fly in the ointment and that was I was 02:58 going through a divorce but my friends 03:01 and family had assured me that what 03:03 doesn't kill you makes you stronger I'm 03:06 gonna compartmentalize this get through 03:08 it and I'll go on to hopefully do great 03:11 things 03:12 so my very first class in that program 03:15 was with dr. Harvey and I decided to 03:18 write my final paper on the dysfunction 03:22 of codependency in my failed marriage 03:25 from my perspective so I wrote this 03:29 paper I turned it in the last the last 03:33 class he handed out the grades is one of 03:36 these classes where you had to sit in a 03:37 circle I hated that class because 03:39 there's nowhere to hide and now I teach 03:43 those classes but at the time I hated it 03:45 and so he's handed out the final grades 03:48 and dr. Harvey started with the person 03:49 directly to my right and he went around 03:51 the circle handing everyone their final 03:54 grade and he got to me and I'm looking 03:56 up at dr. Harvey and he's staring down 03:58 at me and in front of the entire class 04:01 he says son you're going to need to come 04:04 to see me for your grade and the class 04:08 winced I mean you could hear this ooh 04:12 not good so the next day his office hour 04:17 started at 4:00 p.m. I was there at 358 04:20 and I knocked on his door and dr. Harvey 04:23 who referred to himself as a 04:24 bible-thumping Southern Baptist was 04:26 reading the Bible 04:28 without even looking up he just pointed 04:30 at the chair across from his desk and I 04:33 took the took my seat nervous anxious 04:36 ready for the bad news to be to be 04:39 candid when he literally finished 04:42 chapter and verse he turned to me and 04:45 said William son what are we here to 04:50 talk about and I said well dr. Harvey 04:53 I'm here to talk about my paper and he 04:58 said nope let's try this again 05:02 son what are we really here to talk 05:05 about and in my is called young calls it 05:09 the fog of illusion my 27 year old ego I 05:13 thought hmm I suspect professor Harvey 05:17 would like my feedback on his class it's 05:25 a wrong answer but I gave it and it both 05:31 irritated and amused him but mostly 05:34 irritated him and I'll give you the 05:38 pg-rated version of what he said back he 05:40 says essentially said son let me be 05:42 really clear with you I don't give a 05:43 damn about your experience in my class 05:46 or your feedback I'm going to ask you 05:49 one more time however before I fail you 05:52 from this class son what are we here to 05:55 talk about with that I thought well at 06:00 this point I have nothing left to lose I 06:02 might as well take my medicine get out 06:04 of here and go back to Charlotte North 06:06 Carolina 06:07 so feeling deflated I said well dr. 06:10 Harvey I guess we're here to talk about 06:12 my divorce and a little slag ran crossed 06:17 his mouth and he said I'll give you a 06:18 b-minus on that answer because son we're 06:21 here to talk about you and he held that 06:25 stare and that point for just a second 06:28 too long and I remember thinking this is 06:32 going to hurt and it did I won't bore 06:37 you with all of the details but 06:38 essentially he said tell me how this all 06:40 happened and I gave 06:41 the version from my perspective we were 06:45 both from a small town we had been high 06:47 school sweethearts we had started out as 06:49 equal partners going to take on the 06:50 world and little by little this 06:52 dysfunction of codependency took root in 06:55 our marriage I felt like I was 06:59 responsible for everything making all of 07:02 the decisions I wanted an equal partner 07:04 I wanted someone to push me to challenge 07:05 me and all of that eroded and over the 07:08 years that we were together it unraveled 07:11 in this classic dysfunction he nodded in 07:16 agreement with some of the things I said 07:17 he winced in agony with others but after 07:22 I had finished he said well son let's 07:25 end the suspense I've got good news and 07:30 bad news for you the good news is you 07:34 made an A on your paper and based on the 07:38 amount of red ink on that paper that 07:40 really surprised me because it looked 07:42 like his pen had exploded all over that 07:44 paper but I let that sink in I made an A 07:50 on my first paper with dr. Harvey in my 07:53 first class and that 27 year old ego and 08:00 shadow kicked in so he began to give me 08:03 some compliments about it's one thing to 08:05 know a subject but you have actually 08:07 emoted on it you've you feel the emotion 08:09 of it and you've cited all of these 08:13 sources you've gone back to the Greek 08:14 philosophers you've got Freud you've got 08:16 young you've got Frankel William one day 08:19 you can teach this and he continues to 08:24 give me accolades and this is probably 08:26 one of the most embarrassing parts of 08:28 the story if there is a most 08:30 embarrassing as he's giving me these 08:32 accolades my shadow comes right over me 08:36 and I began looking at his office 08:40 remembering the rumor I heard when I 08:42 first started the program dr. Harvey was 08:45 getting close to retirement 08:48 and he was looking for his successor 08:51 and the Dean had agreed that dr. Harvey 08:56 could pick one of his given his clout in 08:59 the field and I thought this is it 09:03 this is why I'm called into his office 09:06 it would be too painful for the rest of 09:09 the class most of which were much older 09:11 than me and had been in the program 09:12 longer to hear all of these acolytes 09:14 they've just be too hard for them and I 09:18 have literally looking out of his window 09:20 going to blocks aways the White House 09:22 you've got the quad right here I would 09:24 probably change the paint but overall it 09:27 feels good it fits and of course he's 09:32 setting me up and he sees that and right 09:36 when he's got me where he wants me he 09:39 clears his voice hmm I think to regain 09:43 my attention and focus he said but son 09:46 if you will recall I did say I had some 09:49 bad news and as I had been glancing 09:53 through my paper as he was giving me 09:55 feedback I noticed that at the very end 09:57 of the paper 09:58 he cited call young and I just glanced 10:03 at it thinking hey yeah that's right I'm 10:04 I'm now colleagues with Jerry he's just 10:07 appointed me and pretty soon it's good 10:10 old Carl he said let me remind you 10:14 though that I do have bad news and the 10:16 bad news is I'm gonna give you an F in 10:19 life dr. Harvey was a social 10:23 psychologist and he said son I agree 10:25 with you your ex-wife is codependent 10:29 that's highly dysfunctional your 10:31 assessment is accurate there's only one 10:34 thing worse and it's you you created 10:40 this dysfunction and you have the 10:42 audacity to come into my office and try 10:46 to manipulate me into colluding with you 10:49 that's for your family and friends to 10:51 tell you everything's going to be okay 10:53 my job is to hold up the mirror and show 10:56 you what you've done 10:57 he said play with me for just a moment 11:00 that's what he said play with me for 11:01 just 11:01 I bet that you had to have the last word 11:05 in every argument check I bet you gave 11:10 unwanted and unsolicited advice check 11:14 and he said I bet when you had an 11:17 argument you were always right which 11:21 makes her always wrong check and now you 11:28 expect me to feel sorry for you I don't 11:31 feel sorry for her and he said while 11:35 we've got this time together 11:37 let me give you just a little more 11:38 feedback and at this point I thought why 11:42 not you know bring it 11:43 I was deflated I probably had turned 11:46 white or green I literally remember 11:48 feeling like had been punched in the 11:50 stomach 11:51 he said I feel like I owe you one little 11:54 bit more of feedback son I don't think 11:58 you're going to graduate from this 11:59 program he said you've got a South 12:02 Carolina chip on your shoulder that's 12:05 going to make it virtually impossible 12:06 for you to absorb the kind of feedback I 12:10 plan to give you so I don't think you're 12:13 gonna get through past me was this quote 12:15 he said but I promise you this for 12:18 however long you're in this program if 12:20 you'll take that time and figure out why 12:21 the hell you had to do that to her 12:23 you'll get your money's worth out of the 12:25 program and do the rest of the world a 12:28 great big favor 12:30 whether you graduate or not and then he 12:34 turned his back and he opened back up 12:36 the Bible and began reading that's how 12:38 was dismissed and as I walked out of his 12:41 office just for good measure he began 12:44 humming Amazing Grace 12:50 so that night guess what I do call my 12:54 friends they meet me at a bar in 12:56 Northern Virginia we have more than a 12:59 fair share to drink they collude with me 13:01 they do exactly what I need them to do 13:03 we agreed that the great dr. Harvey 13:06 turned out to be the great hypocrite to 13:08 claim to be religious to claim to want 13:10 you to be vulnerable so he can help and 13:12 when you are too poor metaphorical salt 13:14 in the wound like he did was not only 13:17 unprofessional it was unethical it was 13:20 immoral everyone rallied around me what 13:23 a jerk 13:25 moved back to Charlotte thank goodness 13:28 you only spent the money for one 13:29 semester and not all the way through the 13:31 program you know yes it's an expense but 13:33 it could have been a lot more expensive 13:35 and I was going to move back to 13:37 Charlotte the next morning I woke up a 13:42 little bit later than normal with some 13:44 bloodshot eyes staring back at me and 13:47 out loud I literally said he's right 13:52 even when my friends were colluding with 13:55 me like I wanted them to at the bar I 13:57 knew there was something gnawing at me 13:59 that would not let me go he was right 14:03 not only did I admit that I realized 14:06 that he knew me better in three and a 14:07 half months than I knew myself that was 14:12 a defining inflection point for me and 14:16 that conversation stayed with me to this 14:19 day I still experience emotion telling 14:21 it dr. Harvey passed away in August of 14:24 2015 and he and I corresponded 14:26 frequently and I told him about this 14:28 article that is now a version of this 14:31 talk that I was publishing and also a 14:33 chapter for a book and how much I 14:35 appreciated the greatest gift anyone had 14:37 given me and he wrote me back actually 14:38 his wife had to type the email but it 14:40 was classic dr. Harvey he said William 14:42 for God's sake 14:43 I would hope by now you would know I 14:45 take no credit for any growth you've may 14:47 experience during your time with me nor 14:50 any blame for future regression 14:52 I believe that from this experience 14:59 there are three takeaways that I think 15:02 that we can all apply going forward and 15:05 the first is the recognition that the 15:07 kind of self-awareness I'm talking about 15:09 true self-awareness hurts it does not 15:13 comfort it disturbs and it disrupts and 15:16 that's why we avoid it that's why we 15:18 stay in the shallow end of the validate 15:22 me play to my strengths self-awareness 15:24 pool but if you truly want to grow and 15:25 develop and enhance your self-awareness 15:28 I believe you have to be willing to go 15:30 to the deep end so it does discomfort 15:32 and disrupt but it's in that disruption 15:35 that we're afforded an opportunity for 15:37 true growth and development the second 15:40 takeaway that I have from this 15:41 conversation that I try to apply is that 15:45 we have a moral obligation I believe to 15:48 give constructive developmental feedback 15:51 to those in our lives and so often and 15:55 I'm guilty of doing this too we don't we 15:58 sugarcoat the truth or we avoid it 16:00 outright we don't want to see that 16:02 person for reaction they won't be able 16:03 to handle that they're going to get 16:04 angry at me we have all of these excuses 16:06 to self-censor 16:08 the feedback that could be their f and 16:11 life story and a turning point for them 16:13 so I actually believe we have a moral 16:16 obligation to provide constructive 16:17 feedback to others and not care a little 16:21 bit less about how they react to it and 16:23 care a little bit more about this 16:25 obligation that we have the third 16:27 takeaway I have from this I believe that 16:30 personal transformation transformation 16:32 not incremental improvement but 16:34 transformation can only occur when we 16:37 have the courage to face our own shadow 16:41 to look at the dark as well as the light 16:43 and to see ourselves for who we really 16:46 are because when we do that even though 16:48 it was excruciating and very painful 16:50 that morning that I said out loud he's 16:53 right in addition to the sadness and the 16:56 guilt I also felt an incredible sense of 16:58 liberation to loosely quote call young 17:04 we don't become enlightened by trying to 17:07 be perfect many of us have been 17:09 socialized to believe that sit up 17:12 straight 17:12 be a good boy or a good girl make good 17:15 grades and that's important but it's 17:20 when we have the courage to acknowledge 17:22 and embrace that darkness that other 17:25 side I think is where true growth is 17:27 available to us so I'll close with this 17:32 question for you 17:33 we all have an F in life story on some 17:37 level what is your f in life have you 17:43 acknowledged it have you embraced it or 17:47 are you still hiding behind it hiding 17:49 behind your shadow trying to be perfect 17:52 what will be available to you when you 17:54 do have that courage to face it and to 17:57 embrace it 17:58 thank you 18:07 you