Are you self-aware? If you’re like most people, you’re nodding your head. Of course, you are! You know yourself inside and out. You probably wish the people around you were more like you — self-aware. However, I bet you didn’t know the following statistic: Studies suggest that only 10-15% of people are actually self-aware. Now, I’ll ask you again: Are you self-aware?
First of all, what’s self-awareness? Well, there are several components to it. Simply put, self-awareness is recognizing and understanding your emotions, thoughts and behaviors. However, it also has a social aspect — understanding how others perceive you.
Without a doubt, self-awareness is critical in our personal and professional lives. It can help us make better decisions, develop more fulfilling relationships and enhance our job performance. However, why do so many of us mistakenly believe we are self-aware when we’re not?
One reason is our natural tendency to overestimate our abilities. Ever lose a prospect after thinking you would be sending over an agreement? (We’ve all been there, haven’t we?) This same bias leads us to believe we know ourselves better than we actually do.
How can you become authentically self-aware?
It all starts with being genuinely curious. Be open to learning more about yourself, your character, your strengths and your weaknesses. It’s okay to be vulnerable. Pay close attention to what motivates you, what your triggers are and what you can do to control your emotions better. Then I want you to write down what you discover.
Journaling is necessary to become more self-aware. But not just any journaling, mind you. Write about your feelings, not just what you did or what happened throughout your day. Journaling about your emotions will help you identify patterns in your behavior and give you an insight into how you tend to react in certain situations.
Finally, schedule some time to read every day. Read books, articles and blogs that provide insights into human behavior, self-improvement and personal growth. Investing time in these areas will give you the knowledge and tools to become more self-aware. I’d even encourage you to read about topics you usually wouldn’t, to mix things up.
If you want to improve your self-awareness, it’s time to get curious, journal everything and read more. And remember this: While only a tiny percentage of people are genuinely self-aware, that doesn’t mean you can’t be one of them. You must put in the work if you want to be more self-aware. It’s as simple as that.