To be self-aware is the biggest gift we can give to others and ourselves. To be self-aware is incredibly difficult and it requires us to explore ourselves deeply — getting to the core.
To be self-aware, we need to know ourselves on the inside and out. On the inside, it means accepting our triggers, flaws and everything we’re good at. On the outside it means looking at how we relate to those around us; are we mean, kind, patient, or condescending?
Getting these answers requires work. That’s why studies show that very few people are as self-aware as they assume. It’s not easy to look at our flaws and find ways to improve. Mostly because it’s much easier to live life thinking we’re already good enough.
I encourage us to seek our best selves — our most authentic selves. As I said before, it’s not only good for us, it’s good for those around us as well. Connecting with others from a position of authenticity ensures healthier and stronger bonds.
Here are some ways we can use to become our authentic selves:
Listen To Your Heart
In the business world, people are often encouraged to leave feelings out of the equation. In many ways, that’s true. When it comes to business, we should try and make judgments using facts and evidence and not how we feel especially if we’re responsible for large teams.
However, I would discourage ignoring our hearts and energy because that usually leads to us ignoring our own emotions. And when we ignore our emotions we risk facing emotional outbursts that come out of nowhere.
Listening to our hearts, even in the world of business means doing what brings us joy, excitement and satisfaction; doing what leaves us energized. Our hearts are tied heavily to who we are as people and I believe listening to how we feel allows us to be our authentic selves.
We don’t want to ignore our feelings, they are important and part of who we are.
Integrate And Develop Your Natural Talents
There are some things we are naturally talented in doing. It can be empathizing, listening or memory, for example. We need to take the time to notice traits/talents we have that bring our best selves and work on developing them.
Sometimes people misinterpret their talents for something else and try to change when it’s not necessary. For example, you might have people coming to you every day to share their problems. One person may see this as a nuisance or people trying to take advantage of them. However, there is another way of looking at this. What if people come to you because you have an aura that feels trustworthy?
The truth is, not everyone is approachable or has an aura that people feel comfortable being around. This can be the result of natural talent or a combination of personality traits.
Imagine working on this gift and implementing it into everything you do. From your job to how you interact with others. Not only will it open new doors for you, but you’ll be doing what comes naturally.
Find your talents, hidden or known, and find ways to use them in your day to day.
Be Open To Growth And Evolution
The enemy of self-awareness and authenticity is arrogance. We are never done learning about ourselves. The minute we choose to believe we know everything we need to know about our growth is the minute we stop learning. We are complex beings full of so many secrets. Our authenticity is a journey we continue walking every day.
As such, we should open ourselves to new experiences, new information, and new opportunities to see the world differently. It’s through accepting the many complexities that life has to offer that we will learn more about ourselves. Sometimes all it takes for us to learn of our hidden potential is to be willing to explore the unknown.
Whatever happens, we have to keep learning.