You find two kinds of people in life and work—those who pursue self-awareness and those who do not. Those who do not can become those who do, but it usually takes an act of disruption—even violence—to upset the status quo of self. I think we’re better off knowing ourselves than not.
Here are five reasons why:
You’re stuck with yourself, do it for you.
Face it, you’re stuck with yourself for life, so why not make the most of it? You can either go through life barely knowing the person you are, or you can know yourself well. I’ve found that knowing myself well has made my life better not worse. It has made me more confident, effective, peaceful, and happy. It has helped me make wiser decisions, enjoy myself more, and make necessary corrections. If you want to know yourself for no other reason, do it for you.
Others are around you, do it for them.
Some folks choose to be around you, some have to be. Pursue self-awareness for their sake. Do you know you’re gruff or intimidating? Or you point out everyone’s flaws? Do you know you change the hard talk to joking every time? Or never ask for help? You may not see yourself as others do, but self-awareness can show you what they see. That way you can be a better partner to those around you. If you don't want to know yourself for you, do it for others.
You have an impact to make, make it count.
In Managing Yourself, management expert Peter Drucker writes: “Only when you operate from a combination of your strengths and self-knowledge can you achieve true—and lasting—excellence.” You have an impact to make, so make it count. What you were placed here to do, do it well. I don’t see how you can do that without knowing yourself—knowing what you’re capable of, what lights you up, what draws you back, what needs sharpened. To make your best impact, first look in then look out.
You have one life to live, enjoy it.
A nurse who cares for people who are dying wrote a book on the top five regrets of the dying. This is what her patients wished they did more of while they could have. One of them is this: “I wish I lived a life truer to myself.” Let me ask you, how can you live a life truer to yourself if you don’t know yourself in the first place? That is the work of self-awareness. While we have today, let us do this work so that tomorrow we won’t have that regret.
There are great tools, start somewhere.
As someone working in human resources and personal development, I’ve come across some great tools for self-awareness. I have my favorites that I work with most often, but the point is this—there are plenty of tools to help you know yourself. And plenty of people who know how to use them. And plenty of support resources to help.
The problem is not the lack of self-awareness tools, it’s the lack of will to learn. But if you commit to learn from just one tool, and draw out what she can teach you, you will be farther along today than you were yesterday, and if you commit to being a self-learner every day, then tomorrow you will be farther along than you were today.
So which kind of person are you? One who pursues self-awareness or one who does not? Those who do not can become those who do, but it usually takes an act of disruption—even violence—to upset the status quo of self.
Go for it! Go for you!