Do you want to be a more effective leader? Be more in control of your success? Maybe even live a happier and more ‘at ease with yourself’ life in general? 

If you said “Yes!”, I have a question for you: How self-aware are you, really? 

I believe that self awareness is the key lever accessible to all of us that we can pull to achieve almost anything. Why? 

If we don’t know ourselves at our core; what our strengths are. What our weaknesses are. Our triggers are. Our drivers. And, of course, what our key motivators are – then it can be difficult to feel like we are having the impact on ourselves, our teams, and our relationships that perhaps we want to be.  

Today, we’re talking about what self-awareness is; the positives of being self-aware; how it can impact our leadership and our career success; as well as the negative implications on us, our teams, and our relationships, if we aren’t self-aware.

What Is Self-Awareness?

Self-awareness. It’s a term that’s thrown around a lot. It’s a term where it’s really easy to say, “Yeah, I’m self-aware. I know who I am.” 

But, do you really? How do you know that you’re truly self-aware?

Daniel Goleman is the guru in my mind when it comes to teachings around self-awareness. He’s written incredible books around self-awareness, and emotional intelligence in general. And his definition of self-awareness is ultimately that it means “...having a deep understanding of your emotions, strengths, weaknesses, needs, and drives. People with a strong self-awareness are neither overly critical nor unrealistically hopeful. Rather, they’re just honest – they’re honest with themselves and they’re honest with others. People with a high degree of self-awareness, recognize” – and this is key,  – how their feelings affect them, other people, and their performance.

So, I want you to think again: how self-aware are you?

Most of us think, “Yeah, I know what I’m good at. I know what I enjoy doing. I know who I am”.  Yet, we often think about it from a skill set perspective, or the roles that we play in life. 

What we don’t always step back and think about is who we are at a deeper level; not just the surface of what we are and what we do. How do I understand where my own thinking has come from? Where do my own belief systems come from? What are my drivers? What are my motivators? And how do they impact how I feel, which therefore, impacts how I show up, which impacts other people and ultimately drives my performance?

There are multiple layers when it comes to being a truly self-aware person, and we all need to continue to dig into those layers to begin understanding who we are. 

In some great work by Dr Tasha Eurich, she talks about 4 key self-awareness archetypes that are based on whether we have a high or low internal level of self awareness, and a high or low external level of self-awareness. Dr Eurich categorises these archetypes into: Introspectors, Seekers, Pleasers and Aware. If you want to know more about these, send me a DM and I’ll share some of this great work with you, or listen to the episode on my podcast called “How self aware are you, really?’.

How Self-Awareness Can Impact Your Leadership and Success

I truly believe that being self-aware is key to becoming an effective leader. As Brene Brown states; “our connection with others will never be greater than the connection we have with ourselves”. Therefore, we can’t drive change in others; we can’t drive greater performance in our teams, in our departments, in our organisations, until we are able to truly understand ourselves.

So, want an action?  

If you want to meet those KPIs, if you want to smash those deliverables, if you want to get the tap on the shoulder for that next promotion or job opportunity, then I would highly recommend that you step back and start thinking about: “Who am I? And what impact am I having on the people around me?”

Listen to the full podcast where I dive deeper into self-awareness, including the four key archetypes around self-awareness.