Self-awareness prevents self-destruction.
And a lack of self-awareness hastens it.
I believe that self-awareness contains an essential understanding of how you come across to others — and it can be a thin line indeed between being appealing and annoying.
So here are five questions I ask myself and encourage others to ask of themselves as they grow in self-awareness:
1.Am I talking too much? Few things betray a greater lack of self-awareness than dominating a conversation. (Because of my natural wiring, I sometimes have to ask myself in social situations, “am I talking too little and retreating into a shell, always observing and not always interacting?”)
2.Am I talking too much about me? Same as #1 above except with a self-centered twist. Again, this is where I need to exercise great caution … though essentially an introvert, I love being the center of attention. And thus tempted to bring the conversation back to me.
3. Am I using humor as a defense against dealing with weightier matters? Some people have so much wit that their words carry no weight.
4. Do I view my quirks as necessary for survival not just for comfort? Over the last few years, one of our staffers told me that I have gone from concealing my quirks to celebrating them. “Quirks?” you ask. Oh … two pair of socks every day, shaving twice a day, the same lunch menu every day, … on and on and on. Survival? Maybe? Comfort? Absolutely.
5. Do I realize that if I don’t always get my own way I might end up with a better life? Some folks bulldoze their way through meetings, relationships, and rarely have to settle for less than all that they want. Then there are other folks — the ones with friends and contentment.
So let these questions guide you today into self-awareness and away from self-destruction.