Overcoming Difficulty with Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is having conscious knowledge of one’s own character and feelings. Having the skill of being self aware may increase your engagement at work, help you to achieve your goals and align your everyday life to your passion. Luckily, self-awareness is not an inherent trait, it can be learned.

As millennials start taking higher positions in companies, and take more positions in control – the way the working world is managed will change. There would be a lot more understanding and more flexibility. But this doesn’t mean that having millennials in high positions makes companies so much better, it just means that there is a positive aspect to the changes in the world.

There is no longer only one way to complete a task. The rigid style of, “this is the way it’s done” is fizzling out and companies are introducing different and easier ways to reach goals. Thank goodness for technology?!

Back to the beginning

We all come from tribes. That’s how the world started. We belonged to a tribe and we had to follow certain rules in order to stay in the tribe. Or else we’d get kicked out. Leaving us with no food or shelter. Which is number 1 on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. We also needed to contribute in order to be worthy and seen as helpful within the tribe.

Even though the world has changed drastically, our innate behaviour is to contribute and abide by the rules. This is why it is important for people to know how they are performing. And why certain tasks need to be done. What their role contributes in the bigger picture and how you feel about their performance. Giving this kind of feedback, will automatically allow people to feel included and useful.

Self-Awareness in Pressure Situations

Different people handle pressure in different ways. Pressure is processed in the mind as a negative and stressful situation. And in those pressure situations, all that needs to happen is to meet the target and let the numbers reflect what they should. In stressful moments, one often forgets our purpose, intention, and even the feeling’s of those around us. I mean – who’s going to care about all this ‘mushy’ stuff when the business is making a loss?

The real question is why not? Why would i not consider the input and thoughts of those around me? My colleagues, subordinates and their subordinates. Critical tasks usually happen from the bottom, up. So why not look into the feelings of the people working there? The end goal would still be to make a profit. But the route you take to get there may be completely different than usual.

As we know, self-awareness is having conscious knowledge of our character and feelings. But how will this help us in the work place? Or achieve our goals? Having conscious knowledge of your feelings will help one to separate the situation from one’s own emotion. This makes it easier to act logically in a stressful situation.

Identifying true feelings can help by communicating this to other people. If you’re unable to identify what you feel, this will make it harder for other people to relate to you. If people can’t relate to you, on any level, they may drag their feet to complete a task. They may think, “okay, but why am I even doing this? how does this help? what difference does it make?”. And again, knowing how to communicate may wipe out any of these thoughts.

Learning Self-Awareness by Johari’s Window

“The Johari window is a technique that helps people better understand their relationship with themselves and others.”



The open area is that which is known to self and known to others. The hidden area is known to self but not known to others. This area is where disclosure should be given to make sure all parties are on the same understanding. The unknown is self explanatory, it it not known by self or by others.

The blindspot is not known to self but known to others. It is important to learn what blindspots we have. If we don’t learn this, it could create havoc, tension and uneasiness. As we would be walking around thinking we are faultless and it is everyone else’s duty to fix their behaviours. This is the most important aspect of self-awareness. To learn more about ourselves in order to adjust our behaviour, thoughts and mindset accordingly. Each situation warrants a different response. If we are aware of our ‘faults’ this will make it easier to change or compensate for that which cannot be changed.

In the picture above it shows us where we should disclose information and where we should ask for feedback. This would be helpful in learning about ourself and communicating important information to others.

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