Improving Self Awareness

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Improving Self AwarenessAre you as self-aware as you think? How well do you understand your strengths and development needs? It isn't as easy as it might seem.

We find it hard to recognize more than a few of our strengths and it is easy to be blind to our weaknesses. When we get positive feedback on our strengths, we are often surprised because our strengths are things we find easy to do. So, we say: "Surely anyone could do that?" Thus we have a bad habit of discounting our strengths without even realizing it.

Also, when we're criticized for a mistake or weakness, our natural defensiveness swings into action to protect our fragile self-image so we blame others or circumstances for our errors rather than facing the fact that maybe we're not so good at certain tasks.

What makes it harder to be as self-aware as we'd like is that we often confuse the way we really are with the way we we want to be or should be to please others.

Strong self-awareness is vital for our development and confidence. Our confidence is negatively affected by our tendency to overlook our strengths and over worry about one or two weaknesses.

It helps to catch ourselves blaming others or circumstances for our failures or mistakes.  Ask yourself: "What did I do to contribute to that outcome?" "What could I have done differently to prevent it?" Regardless of what others did or didn't do.

Watch out for rationalizations when you try to understand why you did something odd or failed to do something that was expected of you. We can easily find 'reasons' to explain our actions but are they our real reasons? Push yourself to be honest with yourself and look a little deeper to try to understand your real motivation.