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I have a confession to make; I am not a very confident person. This may shock anyone who knows me because “confident” is a word that is often associated with me/my work. That is not to say that I am never confident, I have my moments, but more often then not the thing that has me putting myself out into the world is courage. I have not always done this skillfully. Lack of confidence creates unevenness in performance, and courage (when it is your only “tool”) can have you persevere in something without objectivity; this was (at times) pervasive in my work and life. Feeling secure allows you to be more relaxed and open to what is needed, to what is being called for…more adaptable. To relax into what you do you need to know the difference between courage and confidence. Just to make this even more complicated, your work will look the same whether it is genuine (confidence), or a mask (courage); as confusing for you as it is for those around you (“You say you love your work! Why are you so tired all the time?”).
Courage is something I am also profoundly grateful for, because without it I would never have pursued anything meaningful in my life. I would not have completed the various iterations of education that gave me the “entrance ticket” to what I am able to do as a professional today. Without courage I would be the pleasant, but deeply unhappy, person who unsettled you at work…the person whose smile never reached her eyes. Courage is the reason I have been successful as a career professional, putting new ideas and concepts “on the table” for consideration, making a difference to the organizations and individuals I serve. Courage had me leave a comfortable profession to pursue something risky, becoming a Career Coach and an entrepreneur (all at the same time, which is not the most rational thing I’ve done) allowing me to deepen the positive impact I now have on others. Courage did that, not confidence.
What I now understand from my own journey is courage will get you “out the door”, but it alone won’t allow you to be successful (you may win a battle, but lose a war, so to speak…the war with your inner critic, your health, your well-being). I have seen this many times in myself, in my clients and in my work in organizations; the person whose stellar performance gets them promoted into the next level, only to find themselves without the skills (ready to hand) to feel good about who they are in their new role. Courage can be a bridge, the key ingredient in “fake it until you make it”, but no one stays in a place for long where they are running on courage alone; courage is not enough to provide well-being, or meaning, in our work. Relying on courage alone is the path to burnout.
So, how do we balance these integral elements of courage and confidence in our working lives? Here is the valuable lesson I have learned. If you are using courage to do something, you are already enough. No one uses courage to do something they don’t know how to do; as beautiful human beings we use courage to enable us to do things we feel motivated and able to do, but where we may lack a complete belief in our selves. Courage and confidence are two sides of one coin…the coin of ability. You are enough. You wouldn’t be where you are, doing what you do, if you were not already enough. Look at what you accomplish, look at how you make a meaningful difference to others. You may not be exactly where you want to be yet, but you are on your way and both courage and confidence will pave the path to get there. Use them in tandem to continue AND enjoy your journey. Tap into your confidence, it is right there; in fact it has been quietly supporting you all along.
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A client asked me “How would I figure out if I loved my working life?” It’s a great question, and within it there is a lot of instinct, in some respects you just know if you do or don’t love your working life. But what about the part that isn’t instinctual, the part that has you wondering what does love of your working life look like? It’s about what motivates you.
As an example, a healthy attachment to your working life is one where you can give your time, effort, expertise and even your affection for your working life without having to worry that your employer will take advantage of you, close up shop (leaving you without a job) or fail to meet the commitments they made to you (i.e. they accurately pay you on time, support your ongoing development, etc.). There is a consistent and complimentary flow of needs and wants that you and your employer provide to each other, and going in to work is usually a pleasant experience. There are good days and bad, but they balance out and your well-being is well supported through your work. You are motivated by the positive impact your work has on yourself and others.
An unhealthy attachment to your working life is one where you are trying to appease your employer (or your loved ones…or yourself) by going in to work because it provides something you feel you desperately need but in isolation of what else may be needed (an income, social status, belonging, etc.). Unhealthy attachment doesn’t offer the complimentary flow of needs you see in a healthy working relationship, it is one-sided. This can be for a variety of reasons, it could be that you’ve over-extended yourself in a bid to find security at work (always being available, always saying “yes”) and your employer has come to expect this as the “status quo”, not recognizing it for the heroic effort it actually is. It could be the need to appease family expectations by remaining in a job or a workplace that isn’t challenging you or is burning you out (perhaps because the salary allows you to best meet family obligations). Your employer may not be ethical in it’s employment or business practices…the examples of what an unhealthy workplace can look like are legion. With unhealthy attachment the motivation to continue the working relationship is one of desperation, based on fear or anxiety (trying to hang on to what you have), or because of a need for your work to define you.
Unhealthy attachment can make us do some very bizarre things; as an example I became so attached to the idea of putting my education to good use that I took a job with a 1.5 hour commute to work (60+ km’s)…one way. It was great work experience, but completely unsustainable. The impact to my well-being was felt for almost a full year after I left that role, which of course I was only able to see in retrospect. My family, on the other hand, lived it daily. We will convince ourselves, for many well intentioned reasons, that what we are doing is right; when we are in the throws of attachment we do not have access to objectivity…or options. We cannot see “the forest for the trees” so to speak and get lost in tightly holding on to what we think we have or need. It’s important to note that healthy working lives have both balance and flow; there is no selfishness present (on your part, or that of your employer). You are open to new things (i.e. change), and comfortable with the fact that no employer is perfect. Your employer is also well intentioned, invested in helping you to learn and grow in your role, and all of this takes place in a sustainable way. No punishing commitments, unethical behaviour or ridiculous hours (or commutes).
Take a look at what is motivating you to head in to work each day, and look at it with as much objectivity as you can (ask yourself what it is you are attached to) to see if your working life is something you can love (and loves you back). Healthy attachment means you can have the working life you both want and need, giving to yourself and others effortlessly.
If you’d like to learn more on this topic, here is an article on attachment you may find useful (within the context of interpersonal relationships): https://www.powerofpositivity.com/3-differences-love-attached/
I’ve been contemplating feedback lately and the irony that the word has two meanings; to give/receive some form of praise or critique and the horrible ear-splitting noise that sound equipment emits when it is not yet properly set up. Feedback (in both senses of the word) has the effect of quickly grabbing our attention and eliciting some form of reaction or response. Feedback (again in both senses of the word) is also temporary.
As our careers progress, we become better at being able to receive feedback, but that doesn’t always mean we know what to do with it. Healthy feedback, delivered with compassion and our best interests at heart has the opportunity to help us grow and develop in our pursuits. However, one person’s definition of “constructive” may touch another person’s excruciating vulnerabilities (knowingly or unknowingly). I myself have spent weeks crafting a thoughtful summation of an employee’s strengths and weaknesses, designed to enable collaboration on potential areas of development…and had it received with a visible flinch (cue the ear-piercing noise from a large speaker…). Both the giving and receiving of feedback has lessons for all parties.
It can be hard to hear (or learn) about our weaknesses, either because we don’t want to know this about ourselves, or because others can see it (sometimes it is both). The flip side of critique is praise; having someone recognize something we did as “well done” or “beyond expectations” is something we may crave. Oddly enough, we may receive praise with the same wariness we receive critique, not allowing it to really sink in because we may think this person is “just being nice” or because we fear the “new” standard of performance our success has just set. In many cases we will remember critique, but not praise, criticism having an “emotional weight” that is heavier then the perceived lightness of praise. So with that, would it surprise you to learn that over the great wash of time we are likely to receive as much praise as criticism? What we chose to remember and let touch us may not be balanced, but they do equalize over time (track it for yourself and see, but be prepared to be objective and let each touch you in meaningful ways).
At the end of the day what other people offer to us, and think about us, is fluid; it may change over time and hold both positive and negative aspects of our way of being. What we are left with then is…ourselves. We cannot always change the way others experience or perceive us because we do not control them, nor are we experts on others (much as we may lead ourselves to think otherwise from time to time). We are only in control of ourselves, and we experts on ourselves too. Acknowledging feedback (both positive and negative) is part distortion and part education and requires us to be the stewards of our own development, knowing what is objective and reasonable to consider, and what is not, allowing the right things to touch and influence us at the right time for the right reasons. Without both praise and critique we would have a difficult time discerning the right thing to do, it would be like walking in a blinding snowstorm with no reference points to guide the way. We need both to shed their different lights on something to allow us to see what is being called for…the answer becomes visible through their shadow and light, allowing us to see and know our unique path.
“Once people take ownership over the decision to receive feedback, they're less defensive about it.” ~Adam Grant
Other blogs on this topic you may find useful:
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I have a friend who recently received a promotion and she was ecstatic! For her it was the culmination of years of personal and professional development and she not only felt ready, but was thrilled to know her organization felt she was too. Fast forward a few months and her eagerness had turned into wariness as she ran into some significant challenges she didn’t anticipate. There is a saying that goes “what got you here won’t keep you here”, and it is true of many things; a promotion, committing to a relationship (personal or professional), etc.
The “entrance” conditions to access what we need (like promotions and important relationships) require us to be mindful and adjust, but that is only the tip of the iceberg; the real work begins once you “get there”. Adaptation (as opposed to adjustment or application of skills) requires us to look at ourselves with self-compassion and objectivity, and consider not only the skills we may require, but how we want to be experienced (by ourselves and others) in this new context. It means changes to our behaviours, which in turn touches on our emotional intelligence, values, perceptions and beliefs. In dynamic circumstances, like those found in relationships and workplaces, adaptation takes place on a continuum: healthy stretch into something new, or (at the other end of the spectrum) a stress-filled breaking point. The difference is in how motivated we are to continue taking steps into this new frontier, and whether or not it was our choice to go there in the first place.
In our working lives we will have many opportunities to adapt to different circumstances and it is a choice only we can make (consciously or unconsciously); this choice makes the difference in how we experience the change (stretch or break?). We may also adapt for many reasons; to enable our success in our chosen career path or adapt for our own self-preservation (willingly or not). Acknowledging your reasons for adapting is very important, because it affects the outcome as well as how you feel physically (think energy) and mentally (self-esteem/well-being). Being adaptable requires not only a measure of self-awareness but also resilience; self-awareness to help you to see when you are not at your best (and the impact of that to yourself and others) and resilience to find the energy and willingness to uncover a viable path forward during stress and challenge. Resilience is born of an open mind and growth mindset to help overcome the inevitable obstacles that will arise along the way.
My friend did find resilience and was able to ask for help enabling her to adapt to her new role, which she now enjoys immensely (contributing to her self-esteem and overall well-being). What is key to remember when you are adapting is the all-important word “yet”. As in “I am not there…yet”. That mindset is an indicator of both adaptability and resilience, and it means you will get there in the end.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts”. ~ Winston Churchill
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Did you know our emotions are happening constantly? They are released as electrochemical signals in our brains, and interpreted based on how we perceive the world around us (Joshua Freedman, The Physic of Emotion; Candace Pert on Feeling Good). An emotion is neither "good" nor "bad". Even though there are emotions we want to feel and others we don't, our emotions are neither inherently good nor bad, they are simply expressing a need. As an example, anticipation and apprehension are two different emotions; the first feeling most of us associate with happiness and the second feeling we tend to associate with fear. Both are responses to something that is known, so you could think of them as being two sides of one coin. All our emotions interrelate to each other in this way, which is why emotions are messy and complex. The purpose of our emotions is to direct our actions. Being the wonderfully complex creatures we humans are we need an equally complex navigation system. Our emotions arise as an expression of need, grabbing our attention and pointing us towards action. As an example, fear helps us to ensure we meet a hard deadline at work, allowing us to continue our career and working relationships; joy helps us to celebrate that we made the deadline and share good fortune with those around us, strengthening our ties to each other. Emotions are a compass, guiding us to what is most needed in the moment, whether we welcome that need or not.
Our bodies respond faster to our emotions than our brains do. Emotions create a somatic (body) response before our brain catches up. Odd, as this all starts in the brain, but it serves a very useful purpose; allowing our feet to move before our brain has to consciously tell them to; you may have experienced this in an emergency when several things all happened at once (you heard an unexpected fire alarm and then next thing you knew you were moving towards the exit). What this means at work is our bodies give off subtle signals to others about how strongly we feel long before we are aware that we are having an emotional response to something (like clenched fists). These signals can be very understated and unnoticeable to those who don't know us, but for anyone familiar with our usual way of expressing ourselves, it may be obvious. As part of owning your truth, recognizing when your body is responding to something is a rich source of information. We can be very unconscious of what our bodies are doing, even when it is an explicit act, like clenching a fist. Our bodies will tell us our truth if we are listening, and our truth (once expressed) enables our bodies to relax, even during times of stress.
Accessing our truth means staying with our emotions, realizing we are experiencing one, naming what it is, becoming curious about what it has to tell us and then understanding our truth within it. The “ah-ha” moment attached to recognizing your truth in any one moment offers you the chance for relief, letting you breath deeply in your new awareness, relaxing tense muscles and making you feel better emotionally and physically. The truth really does set you free.
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I had an epiphany the other day while shopping for a new book to read. I recognized I was putting a lot of pressure on this book (whichever one I chose), to bring me new insights and to fire up my brain. It occurred to me I was putting the accountability for that very personal process in the hands of something else (in this case consumerism) and I wondered, “Where else in my life might I have done that?” As it turns out, I’ve done it a lot. I put confidence into the “institution” of marriage in my early 20’s without a lot of thought as to what it would require of me (it’s been an interesting 24 year journey of discovery ever since). I’ve done it with certification processes (to give me credibility with others) and fitness plans (to magically get me “in shape”). In all of those cases, I was empowering the process, but not myself. I wasn’t putting faith and confidence in myself to do or be what it was I needed, the onus was being placed on an outside institution, process or thing to see me through. From this new vantage point (staring at my on-line shopping cart) I could see there was a time where anything I felt I was missing I sought out externally to fill the void (belonging, self-esteem, success, etc.), abdicating both my needs, and the accountability to meet my own needs, passing it on to something or someone else. That’s a lot of power to give away…and they were not accountable acts.
Fortunately there are “life forces” that push us to rise to the occasion; my marriage has happily continued because before long I recognized that a marriage requires both intention and attention, it’s not a “check the box” life activity that just does it’s thing without effort. My career has been much the same; the view from the rear-view mirror is not flattering, but it did get better with experience. I placed confidence in my profession, not necessarily myself, when I entered the professional workforce (because I believed in human resources in ways I could never have believed in myself at the time). Because I did not believe in both myself and my profession I experienced the same uneven results I have with anything where I abdicated (consciously or unconsciously) some aspect of my own accountability, empowerment and worth. When I relied on some outside entity to make me grow, be happy, successful, etc. I didn’t get that in meaningful ways. When I was the one taking responsibility for my own needs, voila! Deep contentment and sustained results. It begs the question, are you placing faith in yourself first or are you relying on something outside yourself to fill a need? Do you honour, love and believe in yourself? Those first years in the professional workforce were very confusing for me; I had a degree, I had found a profession and become credentialed…why wasn’t it working? The rear-view mirror isn’t flattering, but it can be incredibly informative.
I left the shopping site without a book, but with more self-awareness and a new perspective on my life that is invaluable. I’ll be back to shop for a book, but only when I know what it is I actually need. The lesson in all of this is if you have faith in yourself, nothing can take it away; and if you don’t, nothing else can replace it. Do not be a bystander in your own life. If you do, you leave yourself at the mercy of entities whose main objective isn’t to do this for you, but who might be able to help you to do it for and by yourself (if you are paying attention). Empower and own your own great potential.
You’ve experienced a rough patch at work. Rough patches exist for many reasons and can happen when you least expect it (or want it). Things are going along fine, you feel you have that “balance” thing everyone says is important; work and home life are going well, and whammo. Rough patch. Yet you’ve decided to stay with your current employer despite this experience. You recognize the benefits of staying outweigh the rough patch…and yet you cannot seem to get past that period of time when neither your needs nor your expectations were meet by the organization you trusted. It keeps coming up for you, building resentment, frustration and disappointment, affecting your well-being and getting in the way of being able to trust again.
No one makes the decision to stay with an employer who has breached some aspect of their trust lightly. It is a decision full of anguish. Once that decision is made what follows is the hope that everything will go back to the way it was before. On this path of hope arise new expectations; acknowledgement from your employer that mistakes were made, there may even be expectations of an apology. This is dangerous territory, because none of those things may be possible. Not that there shouldn’t be apologies and acknowledgments when trust is broken, but this is murky territory where your employer may have no real idea how you were impacted or how you perceived the breech of trust. Thinking “How could they not know?” is not the same as having a clear, compassionate, conversation with your employer about the rough patch, while remaining open to understanding all sides of it (their side may be very different). Your employer may have no idea what you went through.
Or perhaps they do and conversations were had, your manager was aware of your concerns and addressed them…but your manager was not the problem, and as far as you can see you are at risk of being impacted again by something similar because there are no assurances the same set of circumstance will not arise again to create another rough patch. You have a concern with someone outside of your sphere of influence and you have no idea how to resolve these feelings of resentment without coming off, well, resentful. It’s a tough spot to both be in and be productive at work (never mind feeling good about yourself in your work).
Consider owning your truth in all of this, which means figuring out specifically how the impact of this made you feel (“I felt disrespected” is a truth statement giving you something material to discuss; “You disrespected me” is a judgment that will inflame an already emotional situation). Once in touch with your truth, look at your expectations and find out how well they will serve you in the conversations you need to have; are they based on truth or judgment? Are they based on need or desire? Is compassion present for you and your employer? Only when you can look at the rough patch with objectivity and compassion is it wise to initiate conversations to explore what went wrong and how to prevent future breeches of trust. You never forget the way a breech of trust made you feel, but much like a tree growing around a foreign object without letting it impede it’s quality of life, so to do breeches of trust diminish in time; never disappearing but because our experience grows around them, they take up less and less space within us, allowing us to move on.
Other blogs you may find useful:
How The Truth Sets You Free (At Work)
I Want To Stay Where I Work (But It Might Be Time To Go)
Getting Over A Toxic Employer
Photo by Alistair MacRobert on Unsplash
Around this time of the year I lose access to contentment – I get the “July blues”, it happens every summer. There is no reason for it, in fact the conditions in my life are never better than they are in summer to relax; my workload is lighter, the weather is often beautiful (always beautiful if you compare it to the weather mid-January in Canada). My family is happy and healthy, having fun summer adventures, and a vacation is right around the corner. So what gives?
I look for patterns and trends to “diagnose” my rut. There must be a problem somewhere in there that I can solve; these things don’t just happen for no reason (right?)! And that is what perpetuates my fugue…an attachment to there being a reason. Whether there is one or not is less important than my ability to be open to what is happening in the moment and letting that guide me into what is next. In other words, we cannot find our well-being and contentment in the same place where we lost it. Albert Einstein probably illuminated this best when he said “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Ruts beget deeper ruts if all I focus on is “diagnosing what’s wrong”.
So what to do? Remembering that my contentment is always available to me, that it is a constant stream that threads throughout my whole life with perpetual access, is the key. It is the same for each of us. I often write about the difficulties of the human way of being, the struggles we each face to be our best, etc. Here there is a beautiful benefit to being human, for while we may often focus on the things that are not as we want them, the human way of being is a balanced equation. We may not always get what we want, but we always have access to what we need, as long as we are willing to get out of our own way to access it.
Getting out of my way meant not putting so much emphasis on striving to wring every last bit of gratitude and pleasure out of our very short summer season. To stop comparing my summer to the photos of other people’s summers. To recognize when I put conditions on my enjoyment, like having the “right” summer weather, everyone in a good mood, or a fun, new activity planned (with easy parking). To be better able to be in the moment, feeling the sunshine on my face, enjoying my garden, listening to the cicadas or tasting the rain. Counting the stars at night. Not eliminating my expectations, but recognizing when I have one and checking to see if it is serving my well-being in any meaningful way, and when it doesn’t, giving myself permission to let it go.
In a healthy life, peacefulness resides in each of us, but only if we have the courage to embrace it. Go on, run through your sprinkler, I’ll bet it’s been years since you’ve done that!
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“I’m not grieving!” was a shocked response from one of my clients many years ago when I mentioned that being laid-off requires a grieving process to bring closure to the experience she’d had and to find ways to move forward into what was next for her career. Grieving is a strong word, one we associate with the loss of loved ones, relationships that have broken apart or family members who have passed away. We don’t associate grieving with job loss, but like any important relationship in our lives, job loss has elements of grief accompanying it (whether we want it to or not).
There is no right or wrong way to grieve job loss, and many of us (myself included) have felt betrayed when a job we loved (or even just liked) ended before we ready for it to end. We feel the sensible thing to do next is “get on with it”, and we do, but that leads to burying our feelings (or even the fact that we are unemployed) making a part of us hidden and unseen. This is the first phase in the grieving process, denial (following the model set out by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler). It is human to want to “fast forward” past the shame and vulnerability of losing your job, but the danger here is you don’t celebrate the many things you contributed while you were there, you may not continue the friendships you made or fully recognize the experience you gained with that organization – it is like it never happened.
Anger is also a part of the grieving process and is a normal human response to a circumstance you didn’t see coming and didn’t want. It is about the senselessness of it, the lack of control or your ability to prevent it from happening in the future (take that “economic down-turn!”). Anger is scary and uncomfortable but it is a way to help us “let go” of what was and prepare for our “what’s next”. Which is usually bargaining. “I didn’t really like that job anyway, the company probably won’t be here in another 3 years!”. This is where we explore our change in employment status from a few different perspectives, trying to find one that is more palatable than the truth. Once we’ve hit rock bottom, having exhausted our anger and hearing the hollowness of our bargaining we find ourselves wondering what we could have done different or better to avoid this outcome. The truth, that there is very little (or nothing, in the case of economic layoff) you could have done to prevent being let go from work, is depressing. It can make looking for your next job feel futile (what is the point, you might just get laid off again!). This is a lonely place where there is no objectivity and no options; this is not a place where your well-being stays intact for long. From here, most of us find ourselves moving into the last aspect in grieving; acceptance. Here you decide to move on and embrace a future from where you are, looking for opportunities that provide for your career development needs and give you new challenges. You are more able to both honour, and let go of, what you experienced in your last role and are open to something new.
None of these aspects of grieving happen in a straight line, in fact you bounce around them, you can even occupy two of them at the same time (angry and depressed anyone?). What is key is recognizing that our work forms a fundamental part of who we are, it is a relationship we choose to participate in willingly, both giving and receiving value and meaning within it. When that is stripped away it impacts our well-being, and while “grieving” a job may seem self-indulgent, or senseless, it is an important part of being able to move on. Let yourself grieve, give yourself closure. Honour all of who you are, and who you were in that role, and continue from a place of “I am an abundance of potential…just watch me”.
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A skill of growing importance in today’s workplace is self-awareness. Defined as “the capacity for introspection and the ability to recognize oneself as an individual separate from the environment and other individuals” (Wikipedia) it’s your ability to know how you are being perceived by others in a given moment in time and what lead to that perception. When we speak of our own self-awareness it is usually in the context of whether we are self-aware. Listen carefully to yourself as you express this (or as others do); many people put this forward as a question (intentionally or unintentionally). For example they may say “I’m pretty self-aware” but their voice may go up at the end of the sentence, intoning it as more of a question. Or they may say “I think I’m self-aware”, again with the infection at the end signifying they are not sure, or they are leaving it up to the listener to decide.
Beyond the dictionary definition of self-awareness is the more practical application of it. Anyone can be self-aware in a moment (excruciatingly so, especially if you have just spilled coffee down the front of your white dress shirt), we may even be able to remain self-aware consistently in a particular context, like in a performance review meeting where we are expecting to receive constructive feedback. However, consistent and resilient self-awareness that is present every day can be elusive and requires a great deal of practice (mindfulness is a great way to do this). Anyone who is self-aware would likely not call themselves that because self-awareness is like peeling an onion, there is always another layer underneath and getting there usually requires a great deal of introspection and emotional discomfort. Like peeling an onion, sometimes self-awareness brings tears as we see ourselves in objective and meaningful ways (warts and all).
It’s worth the journey because self-awareness has many gifts to offer, including self-confidence, self-acceptance, emotional well-being and the ability to pursue bigger life goals that scare you (self-actualization). There is a distinction between self-awareness and self-consciousness. Self-consciousness means we are experiencing attention from others that is unwelcome, either because we don’t like being the focus of attention, or because it is for something we’d rather it wasn’t (like a big coffee stain on our shirt). Self-consciousness and self-awareness are often confused, but with self-awareness you are accessing something useful (even when it is uncomfortable), something that can inform you, give you more options (during an interpersonal exchange with others as an example) and supports your growth and development. Ultimately there are some things about ourselves we are more willing to see then others (which is a very human way of being) and it requires us to examine feedback or exchanges where we are confused (even hurt), to see if there is something there we should be working with, using our own good and compassionate sense about ourselves to identify a constructive learning opportunity from judgement (our own and others). Self-awareness is about being open to seeing something about yourself that may contradict how you see yourself today. That is why it is so valuable, it’s about your level of openness.
Want the ultimate test to see if you are open to seeing something about yourself you may not expect? Do a personality assessment (here is a reliable assessment that is informative and free https://www.16personalities.com/). As you go through your results, see how open you are to the information that may not match how you see yourself…then sit with that uncomfortable feeling for a bit (quietly, introspectively) to determine what it was about that information that bothered you so much. If you can stay with it, discovering something new about yourself, you are building self-awareness.
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ABOUT MY BLOG
I believe in giving back to others in many tangible ways. When I learn something new, or see something that might help others, I share it using my blog and website. You can always find my latest blog entries here, on Face Book or Linked In.