THE POWER OF SELF-AWARENESS – DOTUN ARIFALO

 

How well do you know yourself?

 

Self-awareness is a direct product of personal growth or development. Growth in adulthood can be likened to growth in childhood. A child is first born into a world of darkness and ignorance. But as the child learns and grows, he becomes more aware of his environment and of himself and what he is able to do, so it is with adults. When people begin to grow, they become more aware of who they are, what they have and can do in reality. 

Self-awareness is a necessary first step toward maximizing your life. Self-awareness improves your sense of wise judgment and helps you identify opportunities for growth and development in various aspects of your life. Personal growth is the key to self-awareness.

WHAT IS PERSONAL GROWTH? 

Personal growth or development covers activities that improve awareness and the identity of a person, develop talents and potential, build human capital and facilitate profitability, as well as enhance the quality of a person’s life while contributing to the realization of their dreams and aspirations. Simply put, it is the combination of the books you have read, the people you have met, the experiences you have had, the training you’ve been exposed to, and the environments you have been in. All these things have contributed to bringing you to a place of awareness of yourself. 

Self-awareness is the ability to know you, your strengths, weaknesses, potentials, possibilities and purpose, and how you use this knowledge to solve little and complicated problems, and the problems of others around you. Most people are not self-aware. This is the reason most people have an identity crisis, low self-esteem, lack of confidence, suffer from rejection, have people pleasing syndrome, etc. Personal development is what helps you to become self-aware of who you really are. 

FOUR MOST IMPORTANT QUESTIONS 

There are four questions that control the whole universe. The ability or inability to answer these questions is the reason the entire world is the way it is. The reason the poor are poor and the wealthy are wealthy. This is the reason some are strong while others are weak. This is the reason only a few are leaders and others are followers. The answer to these questions will liberate you and set you apart from the lower echelons of life to a higher level of existence. These questions are not as simple as they sound, that is why most adults are never able to answer them in their lifetime. Personal growth helps you to unveil the answers to these questions. The more you grow spiritually, mentally, and emotionally, the more aware you become of your true self and so are able to generate the real answers to these old mysteries.

 

 

  • WHO AM I? 

 

 

Identity Question: You must know who you are instinctively and not by your socioeconomic status, marital status, career or academic prowess. But, when all is said and done, who are you? This question leans towards what your vision is. 

 

 

 

  • WHAT DO I HAVE? 

 

 

Potential Question: Your potential is a combination of the gifts, resources and strengths that live within you to help you to fulfil your purpose. They are hidden but are available to you when you discover and harness them. Your potential is who you are that you have not become. What you have that you have not harnessed. What you can do that you have not done.

 

 

  •  WHAT CAN I DO? 

 

Possibility Question: Your possibility is based on your potential. What you can do is based on what you have! It points to your purpose, your work, and what is possible for you. Many people rush into marriage, career or business without asking themselves these important life-defining questions. 

 

 

  • WHERE AM I HEADED? 

 

Vision Question: What do I see about myself in the future? What do I want? What direction is my life headed? What one thing would you want to be written on your tomb when you leave the earth? Values create direction and help us to stay focused on our journey of purpose. The quality of questions you ask yourself determines the quality of answers you get. 

 

 

  •  KEY AREAS FOR SELF-AWARENESS THAT DRIVE OUR BEHAVIOR. Human beings are complex and diverse. To become more self-aware, we would need to develop an understanding of ourselves in many areas and why we behave the way we do. Key areas for self-awareness that drive our behaviours include; Personality traits, Personal values, Habits, Emotions and Psychological needs. 

 

 

 

  •  PERSONALITY TRAITS: We rarely change our personalities, values and needs based on what we learn about ourselves. But, an understanding of our personalities can help us find situations in which we will thrive, and help us avoid situations in which we will experience too much stress. For instance, if you are a highly introverted person, you are likely to experience more stress in a sales position than a highly extroverted person would. So, if you are highly introverted, you should either learn skills to cope with the demands of a sales position that requires more extroverted behaviour patterns, or you should find a position that is more compatible with your personality. Awareness of your personality helps you to analyze such a decision. 

 

 

 

  • VALUES: It is important that you know and focus on your personal values. For instance, if your priority is “your relationship with God or family time”, it is very easy to lose sight of those priorities on a day-to-day, moment-by-moment basis. During the workday, there are so many problems and opportunities that arise that our lists of “things to do” can easily exceed the time we have to do them. Since few (if any) of those things pertain to what we value most, it’s easy to spend too much time on lower priority activities. When we focus on our values rather than needs or external pressure, we are more likely to accomplish what we consider most important.

 

 

 

  • HABITS: Our habits are the behaviours that we repeat routinely and often automatically. Although we would like to possess the habits that help us interact effectively with and manage others, we can probably all identify at least one of our habits that decreases our effectiveness. For example, if you are a manager who never consults your staff before making decisions, that habit may interfere with your ability to build your staff members’ commitment to the decisions and their decision-making skills as well.

 

 

 

  •  NEEDS: It is important to note that most people allow their needs to drive their behaviours, such as needs for esteem, affection, belongingness, achievement, self-actualization, power and control. One advantage of knowing which of the needs exert the strongest influence on our own behaviours is the ability to understand how they affect our interpersonal relationships. For instance, most of us have probably known people who have a high need for status. They are attracted to high-status occupations, and they seek high-status positions within their organizations. Such people also want the things that symbolize their status. They insist that they be shown respect, and they demand privileges and perks that do not matter to other people. Sometimes these people fight for things that others see as inconsequential as a bigger office, a more prestigious car etc. Needs cause motivation; and when needs aren’t satisfied, they can cause frustration, conflict and stress. 

 

 

 

  • EMOTIONS: Emotional self-awareness is important in the 21st century. Understanding your own feelings, what causes them, and how they impact your thoughts and actions is emotional self-awareness. If you were once excited about your job or business or marriage but not excited now, can you get excited again? To answer that question, it helps to understand the internal processes associated with getting excited. I know that sounds simpler than it is. Here’s an analogy: You think you know how your car starts. You put petrol in the tank, put the key in the ignition, and turn the key, right? But your mechanic knows a lot more about what’s involved in getting your car started than you do. He knows what happens under the hood of the car. Your mechanic is able to start your car on occasions when you are not able to when the car is faulty because he understands the internal processes involved. Similarly, a person with high emotional self-awareness understands the internal process associated with emotional experiences and, therefore, has greater control over them. Do you see what I mean? It is a skill that can be learned. In general, when a person gets on a journey of personal growth, they become self-aware and begin to tackle the status quo and demand more from life and from people around them. 

 

 

 

 

  • KNOW YOUR TRUE VALUES 

 

 

        WHAT ARE VALUES? 

Core values are the fundamental beliefs of a person who inspire and motivate his thoughts, decisions and actions. It is why we do the things we do. Values are guiding principles that dictate behaviour and help people make judgements about what they can accept as right or wrong. 

 

Gaining self-awareness is the beginning of your journey of becoming! So take some time to carefully think through the questions again and begin to write out your answers to the question of identity, potential, possibilities and vision in your notebook or on a notepad.

It is time to build your brand from within!

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