I was talking to an acquaintance of mine this week about an article she read discussing our lack of self awareness. I set out to find this study, and was directed to this Forbes article. The research actually came from organizational psychologist Tasha Eurich in her new book, Insight, where she deals with “a topic that many of us think we’ve mastered, but haven’t: self-awareness.”
In a series of surveys, Eurich found that 95% of people think they’re self-aware, but only 10-15% truly are.
(Gasp) I was shocked and mortified.
Naturally I thought of myself as being pretty self aware…(eye roll). Then I thought about the times my close family and friends came to me for advice or a different perspective on a problem they were dealing with. I thought about how in that state they really weren’t seeing things as they were, or they had distorted views about themselves.
If that applied to them them “then it definitely applied to me”
Now the ultimate question how do I become more self aware?
According to Eurich there are two factors to deal with- internal self awareness and external self awareness.
Internal self awareness is“an inward understanding of your values, passions, aspirations. External self-awareness is about understanding yourself from the outside in—that is, knowing how other people see you,”
Ask for genuine feedback from a trusted friend.
You need someone who has your best interest at heart, someone who is not going to be afraid to tell you the truth. In turn you have to be open and receptive to the feedback without turning into a wounded victim, ending your friendship or getting out of hand.
Criticism is a hard pill to swallow- give me some extra water with that!
Ask yourself “what is my responsibility in this?”
One of the more surprisingly difficult things to do is to take responsibility for our actions and emotions even when we are not at fault. Now I’m not saying to take the blame for something out of our control-like being raped for example. However what you do AFTER is your responsibility. How LONG are you going to fight with depression before seeking help? How LONG are you going to isolate yourself? You are responsible for your feelings and reactions. Sometimes they seem out of control especially if you are an empath, or highly sensitive person but developing this new level of thinking is an ultimate strength.
This pill is a super sized one-give me some extra water AND cut it in half!
Question your beliefs, values, and why you do certain things.
A lot of our beliefs come from programming at birth and environment. It’s good to do a mental check to ask yourself “do I really believe this and why?” “Why do I repeat certain behaviours?”
This is an empowering thing because you develop your own sense of identity and it can strengthen your relationship in what you already believe. For a long time I was going to church and praying out of habit. I had to go through my OWN experience with God and faith to determine if it was something I truly believed in. I chose to still believe because of the PERSONAL experiences in my life. While others may choose to reject this belief.
Likewise this can change the negative programming that we have heard about ourselves and other people. Beliefs that we are worthless, or that certain groups or people worthless.
(wheepphh, self awareness is hard work! Let’s keep working on it and holding each other accountable!)
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