How Becoming Self-Aware Can Be Your Secret to Success

Everyone makes mistakes. No one is perfect. These are two absolute truths that will never change in this world – and this is definitely true in the business community. As much as office workers and entrepreneurs alike understand that they need to be as perfect as possible, it’s inevitable that mistakes will happen.


Most employers, leaders, and owners understand this; after all, to err is human. This is why most mistakes are met with a conversation or meeting in order to discuss them. Higher-ups aren’t usually outraged by mistakes – but what they are put off by is the typical response to them.


Many workers answer criticisms with “yes, but” statements. “Yes, but it wasn’t my fault.” “Yes, but I did the best I could.” These reactions are defensive and don’t leave room for improvement. Even a spectacular employee can exhibit these “yes, but” excuses and be let go as a result. Hiding behind these reasons shows that the person in question has no room for growth and can potentially be hazardous in the business setting in the future.


Self-Awareness and Why it Matters


In the above example, a person who performs well but who uses excuses won’t be successful. Higher-ups hate excuses. They like employees that own up to mistakes and look for ways to make up for or fix their shortcomings.


The first step to becoming more aware of your faults is to step back and examine a situation. If you’ve received criticism in the past, examine it closely. Making it excuses and being defensive can sometimes be second nature – these traits lie beneath the surface of a person’s subconscious, so a person isn’t consciously aware of them. These habits are wired into your brain, in a part called the basal ganglia. When a person’s emotions are triggered in a certain way, the habit is exhibited.


Self-examination is how you begin to recognize these habits, and thus move along the path to becoming self-aware. From there, you create within yourself the power to edit and eliminate these bad habits.


A Three-Step Approach


Being self-aware was very important in the way I ran my companies; the reason being that a thriving company generally has a winning culture and self-awareness is one of the keys to each individual as a part of that culture. The goal for most company owners is to create leaders that will take ownership in the company as if it were theirs. To have leaders own their own space in your company is impossible if they are not aware.


Your approaches to mistakes, problems, and criticisms change as you become more self-aware. Self-aware employees grow through this process and as a result the companies increase efficiency and thrive.


Developing self-awareness is a task in and of itself. It’s not something that a person can do overnight; self-awareness isn’t just a switch that can simply be flipped. The best way to being to gain self-awareness is to take into consideration a three-step approach: stop, look and listen.

 

  • Stop – Practice mindfulness. This requires meditation in one form or another. Being mindful means examining one’s self and being fully in the moment. Mindfulness meditation requires being fully present in your body and stepping back from the hectic activity within your brain.
  • Look – When you’ve stopped your brain from constantly running, catalog your feelings and do so with detail. After you’ve performed a bad habit, take some time to yourself to go over the memory using this technique. Why did you commit the action? How was your body reacting during the action?
  • Listen – After you’ve stopped and looked, ask others for your opinion of you, and ask them to be honest. When you observe how others perceive you, you receive feedback about your behavior and how it affects others directly.

Becoming self-aware is a process, not an action. It’s something you can start on today and work on for months without mastering it. However, starting down the path to self-awareness can immediately help you be more mindful of your bad habits, forcing you to notice them and attempt to quell them.


I know a lot about self-awareness, and it’s a trait that I utilize in both my personal and professional life. Are you interested in becoming more self-aware to better your own chances for success? Let’s discuss your potential and how self-awareness can work for you.


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Here’s a short video with 3 business and life success tips from my journey with the Chicago Bulls. https://youtu.be/Vv3iGfF7zHs