In a series of surveys, American psychologist, Dr. Tasha Eurich, confirmed that while 95% of people think they’re self-aware, only 10-15% truly are. No one is perfect. We all have blind spots. As we consider whether we are actually self-aware, take a moment to reflect on the numerical evidence from Eurich’s surveys.
Benefits of Self-Awareness
Self-awareness is positively correlated with emotional intelligence, empathy, and compassion. As we become more self-aware, our friendships get stronger, largely because improved self-awareness often comes with the realization that communication skills are super important. As we illuminate aspects of our lives previously cloaked by reduced visibility, we make better, more informed, and more intelligent choices. Profound levels of self-awareness boost personal and professional capabilities exponentially.
The first of the two types of self-awareness is internal, focusing on what drives us from within. This ever-evolving progression recognizes how our attitudes, values, passions, strengths, weaknesses, and aspirations all come together to guide our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
The second type of self-awareness is external, focusing on what others see when they look at us, examining how we are perceived by the world around us.
Intention & “Why” vs. Impact & “What”
In nearly every aspect of abstract thought, answers to “Why” provide more meaningful insights than answers to “What.” With self-awareness, “Why” reflects on motivations. “What” reflects on the impact we derive through introspection and the inevitable course corrections we make as specific areas for improvement are illuminated during the self-awareness journey.
Helping Children Develop Self-Awareness
Learning to be self-aware is a very difficult process; there is no one-size-fits-all approach. We all have different lives and every person’s brain is wired differently. With children, we can start with the basics, helping them recognize their strengths and weaknesses. Over time, children learn that the way they treat others impacts how others treat them.
Children learn far more from dad’s actions than they do our words. If we want them to join the minority who enjoy the benefits of self-awareness, pursue it and model it in our own lives. Speak beyond merely strengths and weaknesses, dive into the good stuff; any relevant tendencies, idiosyncrasies, or proclivities that may serve us or be a disservice given the situation. If nurturing self-awareness is going to happen, dad can only water seeds if they are first planted.
When we experience anger or frustration, talk about those feelings and our plan to manage them. Tell children, with equal parts calmness and brevity, “I am enraged right now, and this is why. I’m going to leave the room and come back when I’m calm.” Let them see us processing our thoughts as we pray or practice mindfulness on our path to healthy response management.
When children face adversity, they often ask dad to help fix things. If they are capable, they’ll learn a lot more if we don’t rescue them. Every scenario is different; it’s healthy when dad offers guidance but allows them to work problems through for themselves. Teach them to pause before reacting, and that taking a step back can help us compartmentalize problems into smaller, more manageable pieces.
If they’re stumped, share a few words that dance around potential solutions. Witness their delight during the moment that a previously foreign concept suddenly makes sense. As they grow, foster their curiosity by asking open-ended questions that provoke deeper levels of thought. Give them the confidence that they can always come to us for guidance, and let the solution be theirs.
Experience & Power Hinder Self-Awareness
By seeing ourselves as wise and experienced, we invite complacency and overconfidence. We can enhance our self-awareness by reading Insight by Dr. Tasha Eurich and Self-Awareness by Harvard Business Review.
People in positions of power tend to overestimate their skills and abilities. Compound that with this: the more powerful the leader, the less likely that people will be comfortable giving constructive feedback, for fear it could hurt their careers. With fewer people to be candid, it is incumbent on folks who are in positions of power to find ways to solicit unbridled feedback from people who have their best interests in mind. If there are no trusted confidants, anonymous surveys can capture the raw data needed to help folks at the highest levels of leadership continuously pursue self-improvement via self-awareness.
With an open mind, invest energy in what can be learned. Don’t deny folks who offer constructive feedback. Don’t rationalize. Sometimes, we are so close to something that we cannot see clearly and unknowingly buy into our own false narrative. By striving to understand things from multiple perspectives, we can lift the fog of bias and reap the rewards of clarity.
“Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith.” —2 Corinthians 13:5 NLT
Knowing who we are and how others see us is the foundation for high performance, smart choices, and lasting relationships. One problem: most people don’t see themselves quite as clearly as they could. Fortunately, self-awareness is a surprisingly developable skill. Eurich shows us what it really takes to better understand ourselves on the inside—and how to get others to tell us the truth about how we come across.
The Way I Feel uses strong, colorful, and expressive images which go along with simple verses to help children connect the word and the emotion. Children will learn useful words giving parents, teachers, and caregivers many chances to open conversations about what’s going on in their child’s life.
Self-awareness is the bedrock that enables you to see your talents, shortcomings, and potential. This book teaches how to understand your thoughts and emotions, how to persuade your colleagues to share what they really think of you, and why self-awareness will spark more productive and rewarding relationships.
PLEASE NOTE: As an Amazon Associate, Fathers Truly Matter earns from qualifying purchases. The information in this post should not be construed as providing specific psychiatric, psychological, or medical advice, but rather to offer readers information to better understand the lives and health of themselves and their children. It is not intended to provide an alternative to professional treatment or to replace the services of a physician, psychiatrist, or psychotherapist.