Various studies suggest that when we see ourselves clearly, our confidence and creativity tend to be higher, we can make more informed decisions, communicate according to our objectives and we can also build more solid relationships.
The Woman Post | Catalina Mejía
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It is less probable that people with self-awareness cheat, lie, or steal. A study by Harvard Business Review analyzed the results of almost 800 existing scientific studied to find out how previous researchers defined self-awareness and to identify the limitations of those investigations. Additionally, they surveyed thousands of people across countries and industries to investigate a possible relationship between self-awareness and various attitudes and behaviors such as job satisfaction, empathy, happiness, and stress. They also conducted in-depth interviews with 50 people (including entrepreneurs, professionals, and executives) who improved their self-awareness to explore the key actions that helped them get there.
Their research revealed that although many people believe that they are self-aware, only a percentage of 10 to 15% fit into the criteria that reflect this quality. Their findings can be summarized in three basic points:
1. There is internal self-awareness and external self-awareness
The first one determines how well our passions, aspirations, and values fit into our environment and impact others. The second one translates into how well do we understand how other people view us.
2. Experience and power inhibit self-awareness
According to their findings, experience impedes us from seeking disconfirming evidence and from questioning what we assume to be true.
3. Introspection does not necessarily improve self-awareness
Although we tend to assume that analyzing our feelings and emotions improves self-awareness, the findings of the study reveal that people who tend to introspect are less self-aware and unhappier. People who constantly ask themselves “why” are more depressed and anxious than those who ask “what” and are focused on acting instead of questioning themselves.
As a conclusion from their findings, the best advice to become successful leaders is to concentrate on developing internal and external self-awareness, to constantly listen to feedback from loving critics, and to question “what” instead of “why” to see ourselves more objectively. Replacing the “why” by “what” helps us move in the direction of finding solutions instead of focusing on unproductive patterns that should stay in the past and makes us stay objective and empowered to act instead of beating ourselves up for our flaws. So what are you waiting for, to take some steps towards self-awareness?