How self-aware are you? Before you can answer that you should probably have a think as to what being self-aware actually means. How do you know if you are self-aware or not? I believe it to be limitless; we are all on a journey that involves our self-awareness fluctuating with different circumstances and new adventures, challenges and experiences. All of this has the potential to teach us more about ourselves; it’s our choice whether we learn. This world and everything it brings tests us, but the important thing is to remember that you are responsible for how you feel and how you manage those feelings.
By being more self-aware we can then begin to become more aware of others. No two people will ever look at the same thing and see exactly the same thing. We interpret things differently and we all have a bank of past experiences as well as a unique composition of genes and also very different personalities and temperaments, which mean that we all respond to everything differently. Recognise that someone’s response may not always be representative of who they are and what they stand for. Their response is ‘their stuff’ and will be determined by and parallel to everything that is going on in their life, physically, mentally and emotionally at that precise moment in time.
Being self-aware, and having a heightened awareness of others, enables us to manage ourselves; manage our internal state. In order to manage ourselves better we must put in a gap between a stimulus and the response. If we can reflect for fractions of a second about what the stimulus is and how we could feel and respond in order to get the desired outcome, we will be responsible for better decisions and more helpful behavior. This will provide a better future for us whether that be the next few seconds or years down the road.
These three components; self-awareness, awareness of others and self-management all work in conjunction to enhance better relationships. This is known as the Emotional Quotation model (EQ). The more self-aware we are, the more we will be able to determine why we feel the way we do, whether that be mad, sad, glad or whatever. In every situation we find ourselves, it is important to have that moment between the stimulus and response to reflect on what is going on with us and whoever else might be involved. Based on that reflection, choose your most effective behavior to achieve the outcome that you want. Often we get caught up in the heat of the moment, play the blame game and feel sorry for ourselves. Instead, take charge of who you are and what’s going on for you, realise that whatever that is, it is solely because you have put yourself there and understand that every human is only human, we’re complex and things and people aren’t always as they seem. As I wrote about in my last blog, be curious, about yourself as well as others and start to make a conscious effort to become more aware of who you truly are.
Written by Maimee Morris – Intern