How to Become Self-Aware
Gary Vaynerchuk has been preaching for a while the need for self-awareness. He has stated, and I personally agree, that self-awareness is the most important quality anyone can have. Personally, I believe self-awareness can be a learned trait, were others believe it is something you are born with.
What is Self-Awareness
The definition of self-awareness is “conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires.” Like an iceberg, I believe that is only the surface of this heavy concept.
Self-awareness is stripping away all our own masks, lies, stories we tell ourselves and looking at ourselves candidly. It’s about not having your ego flare up that can say “you are the best person in the world.” Conversely, it’s not diminishing your own self-worth and creating a story of limitation.
Looking at yourself, taking the time and wrestling your internal demons. Facing your fears, facing your limitations, and facing your inadequacies. After you see them, owning them, making yourself better and forcing yourself to grow.
Why self-awareness and self-assessment are so important.
Entrepreneurs be it full time or part time learn one valuable lesson above all others. When you focus on your strengths you position yourself to win. Focusing on self-awareness helps you determine where to focus your efforts for maximum results.
For instance, if you absolutely know you are a killer digital storyteller, why in God’s name would you spend any time analyzing spreadsheets? All your efforts should be in the pursuit of mastering your craft.
Self-awareness is where we finally figure out that age-old question “what should I do with my life?”
Focusing on your strengths and not your weaknesses is how you create the best work possible—to affect and effect as many people as possible in the world living your passion.
How do you start the process of self-awareness?
There is no right or wrong way to building self-awareness. Some people have a major event happen in their life that inspires them to do something greater, such as Scott Harrison. Other people gradually figure it out in time, such as “Eat Pray Love’s” author Elizabeth Gilbert
For myself, it required me to go on a journey and identify 4 key areas of myself.
4Key benchmarks to identify
- Points of Leverage
These are all the skills and expertise that you have.
Imagine all of life was high school or college again. At the end of the year, you get a report card with every single skill you have in life. Each of those skills is graded A+ to F-. Since you are designing your own life curriculum, determine what classes would lead you to a straight A student.
Make a list of every skill you have that would be graded as an A+ to A-.
What classes or skills would you be graded as a B+ to a B-? These are the skills with practice might become A’s.
How about C, D and F?
Metaskills are overarching skills that pertain to many different types of skills. These are things like creativity, detail orientation, being charismatic.
For instance, if your meta-skill is creativity and one of your A+ skillsets is graphic design—chances you could probably pick up photography and be decent at it. That is because you understand composition, colors, and you love pushing the creative boundary.
Maybe you don’t have a creative bone in your body but you love people. Everywhere you go and you make friends. People call you charismatic and you can inspire others to do their best work. You are a natural born leader. It’s easy for you.
The way to figure out your meta-skills is to take a look at those lists you made earlier. What is the common thread between all your A and B skill sets?
List out all your meta-skills if you have more than one.
Points of Leverage
Leverage points are the places you have enough clout to be able to make a change. These are the places where you have social proof. Where you have enough audacity and willpower to move mountains.
Take a look at your job, life, and current situation. Where can you apply your meta-skills to achieve the most amount of results? At the same time, how can you minimize operating on a day to day basis from a place of weakness?
For instance, there are thousands of people who are amazingly creative. They can design the coolest works of art in the world. That being said, they absolutely SUCK at selling themselves. They don’t have the skills a charismatic person has, that naturally ability to charm and sell.
The goal would be to find someone who can see your worth and sell for you.
Just knowing what your meta-skills and leverage points are is not enough. You have to take action to fully become self-aware. The knowledge alone is just a bunch of potential greatness, you must take action to achieve that greatness.
Weaknesses are an important part of the self-awareness process. Not only do they show areas to stay away from, they can be the fuel or motivation you need. If you know you failed at something, and it causes you a lot of pain, you probably have used that in the past to be better at something else.
Perhaps you are at best a C+ student and your ability to kick a pig skin is lacking. You are the class clown, making everyone laugh. You can talk your way out of any sticky situation. It would make sense then, to triple down on your natural charisma and get some sales training. Build up your strengths, instead of trying to build up areas you lack.