I was well into my adult years when I enrolled in graduate school and began the second phase of what has become lifelong learning. It was there that my awareness developed through classes with others who were making something of their lives. Writing classes and workshops deepened my awareness and took me down the path of introspection.
Four years of Executive coach training supplemented by twelve years of coaching developed my appreciation for the many benefits of aligning my strengths, gifts, and values. I understood the importance of having my needs filled and for one of the first times in my life, I gave myself permission to invest in self-care on a regular basis. I moved out of my comfort zone and became more engaged in my community, provided scholarships for students with disabilities and students in inner-city Christian schools. Increasingly I took leadership positions and spoke before groups.
Through this greater engagement came association with high-achievers and friendships with community leaders. My contributions of time and support fell into alignment with causes I am passionate about. I was asked to serve on boards for arts organizations and numerous others. All this increased my awareness. It also changed my life.
“Self-awareness is so important for job performance that 83 percent of people high in self-awareness are top performers and just two percent of bottom performers are high in self-awareness,” according to Bradberry and Greave’s book, Emotional Intelligence (2009).
Indeed, self-awareness is the key to more effective living whether you’re employed, unemployed, retired, volunteering or being a stay-at-home parent. Self-awareness developed through frequent reflection and positive action is essential to personal development and fulfillment.
Developing awareness is a process well worth the effort it requires and one that will make you stronger and more confident in most every facet of your life. Like all behavioral changes, this too requires time and patience. The following questions are basic to the process. List as many answers to each as come to mind, then distill your answers down to the best five for each question. Next, develop an action plan to address each issue and monitor your progress monthly.
- What do you know to be true about yourself?
- To become the person, you want to be, what qualities must you work to improve?
- Are you focusing your time, attention and energy on ways to improve or allowing yourself to be distracted by time wasters?
- Who are you spending time with that keeps you from becoming the person you want to be?
- What actions must you take now, to very intentionally master self-awareness?
The best thing you can do to improve your performance is to become more aware of what motivates you and influences your decision making. Increase the quality of your inner circle of associates. It is the mastery of self-awareness that allows people of achievement to become more effective leaders and project confidence while remaining open to new ideas and opposing opinions. The time to start is now!
© Judith DeLapa High-Impact 2016