Self-Awareness: The Pathway to Professional and Personal Success
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by Nancy Schnoebelen Imbs
published in ASAP

As humans, we are complex. Learning about ourselves is a journey and it’s that journey – exploring, understanding and fine-tuning ourselves – that develop us into successful, likeable people. Essentially, it’s all about self-awareness. Self-awareness is key to possessing high emotional intelligence and an important leadership skill no matter your rank and title in the workplace.

Self-awareness is the cornerstone of leadership. People with high self-awareness send an email asking for support on a project (or another request), and the email gets immediately answered with a positive response. People with high self-awareness are the ones we want on our team. They’re kind, empathic, smart and recognize the strengths of others.

“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.”
~ Michel de Montaigne

Self-awareness means you have a clear picture of your strengths and your challenges. You understand how your emotions affect others and how their emotions affect you. You know what makes you tick. It helps you behave with humility and be more meaningful in the moment. Having keen self-awareness affords you the ability to be more productive at work and with your relationships.

Being self-aware doesn’t just happen. You must cultivate it. Follow these tips to improve your self-awareness – and your professional and personal success.

Ask for Feedback about Yourself
We can all find ways to improve, and by asking trusted colleagues, friends and even family members for feedback about how you relate to others, for example, can be an extraordinary powerful tool. It’s that part of ourselves we can’t see, our blind spots, that those whom we’re close are uniquely positioned to be aware and share our strengths and weaknesses. Of course, we must take their feedback as way to improve and not as a criticism.

Review Your Core Values
Sometimes life gets in the way and we find ourselves in overdrive. Whether it’s working extra hours on a project, juggling family commitments or trying to keep up with day-to-day responsibilities, we can let our core values get buried in the hecticness of life. Take time to think about what’s important to you and make it a practice to review them regularly. Our core values keep us in check and guide us to a higher level of self-awareness.

Take a Personality Assessment
There are many personality assessments available to you that you can take online. A personality assessment can help you better understand yourself in ways you may not be aware. The information can be a useful tool, which can lead to behavior change and increased work productivity. More importantly, you’ll gain insights into a variety of your personality traits that will lead to stronger self-awareness.

Be Aware of Your Mood
By understanding how your mood impacts others as well as yourself is crucial to having high self-awareness. For example, you were well-prepared for your 10 a.m. meeting and left in plenty of time to arrive a bit early. However, you had no control of the traffic jam due to unforeseen construction that left one lane open and a bumper-to-bumper lineup. Rather than carrying your frustration and anger with you to your meeting, you were aware of your mood and didn’t let it impact the way you managed yourself. Being aware of your mood and adjusting it when necessary is self-awareness.

Take an Inventory of Your Habits
Jotting down what your do on a regular basis is an ideal way to increase your self-awareness. This simple, effective technique gives you a clearer picture of how you operate and what you can do to boost your self-awareness. Being mindful of your habits will open your eyes to find ways to adjust and improve the way you do things – a healthy step to self-awareness.

Learn a New Skill
As adults, we can become set in our ways. However, learning a new skill brings growth and benefits. Whether it’s tackling a new language, learning a new software application or taking up golf, committing to learning a new skill is a powerful exercise in mental flexibility and self-awareness.

Read, Read, Read
Treat yourself to a professional development book that appeals to you. Reading provides countless benefits such as mental stimulation, stress management, vocabulary expansion, problem solving, better writing skills – and self-awareness. What’s more, it’s a way to help advance in your career.

Contact Polished, today to fine-tune your soft skills and become more successful in your professional and personal life.