Focus on yourself is important to succeed in life. Self-awareness refers to knowing your preferences, inner state of affairs, skills/talents you possess, and the intuitions that you have without judging them.
Focus on yourself – benefits of self-awareness
1. Self Awareness helps to know our strengths and weaknesses in a non-judgmental way
2. It Improves our self-confidence.
3. Help accept our weakness and assuages guilty thoughts.
4. Augments Emotional Intelligence leading to better social abilities.
5. Your self-awareness will help you focus clearly on issues with a vision to accept opinions and feedback from others.
6. After analyzing self, you can improve leadership skills by removing internal fear and providing the ability to focus on more important things.
7. Objectivity is promoted, leading to taking good decisions positively.
Self-awareness – Two viewpoints
Self-awareness two viewpoints to it, one internal and one external
1.) Internal is how we see ourselves
2.) External is how we see us as others see us.
Some time, effort, and focus are required to become internally self-aware. Practicing mindfulness and meditation are some ways to self analyze.
The external form of self-awareness is more complicated. It is challenging to comprehend how others see us. However, how others see us is very important. Their perception can make or break our careers or life.
Our facial expressions, actions, personal style, and decision-making abilities affect our image in a group. You may want to display your empathetic and positive side to others around you. You also would want to project that you are an open book and easily approachable.
However, what others have seen could be reverse… Your facial expressions may be misleading. Your discomfort or mood shift may be mistaken for something else.
For example, one of your juniors has a great idea. The idea could win you a big order. However, he/she avoids meeting you with it as you are wearing a frown on your face on the date he/she wanted to show you the plan.
In reality, you were actually thinking of how your proposal could be more attractive to your client; hence, the frown on your face. However, your junior mistook it for a bad mood and avoided mentioning his/her idea.
This called transparency illusion. While you were awaiting opinions, your junior thought that you would not welcome his/her. In this case, the loss is both for the Company and for you.
The above example elucidates the fact that is knowing how others see us can influence our career and that of the Company.
How to focus on yourself to know how others see us
You can focus on yourself in the following ways:
Move back and understand how our behavior influences others. If you possess high-level Emotional intelligence, you can be inline with the emotions of others around you.
When you accept yourself as you are, you will naturally emit positive vibes. Others will perceive a more confident you, and this will be ease building strong relationships with your team or family members.
Be more open with your co-workers and juniors in terms of day-to-day work, decision-making, the inclusion of team during planning, etc. It will close guessing and doubting issues that your team may resort to in case of secrecy. Being open will also make position and stance clear during numerous activities you undertake.
Build trust in your actions. Positivity and frankness will help the enhanced the flow of ideas in your group that will ultimately facilitate in achieving your goals.
Some avenues to see ourselves through others
Tapping into different groups can give you assess how you are perceived. Formal groups can help you feedback regarding your performance, such as your effectiveness, approvability, and openness.
Here are some steps to see how you are perceived.
Select a group of people, including those who are working with you closely. This could include
Your immediate boss
Make sure those participating in these feedback exercises are honest in giving feedback.
Face to face interaction
Meet people face to face and ask for their opinion of yourself.
Ask questions personally to be more effective
If it is not possible the second option would be through email or phone call
Inform participants that their opinions will be confidential and will be used only for the improvement of you.
Also, inform that their own work or grades will not be affected by is exercise.
Some questions you can ask
Here are some basic questions you can ask. You may add more as per requirements.
What is your view of me
What are the changes I should make in myself to be more effective
Processing of feedback
When you receive opinions about yourself, listen without judging.
Avoid defending yourself or reacting negatively.
Check for repetition of feedback after comparing information provided by the group you have interviewed
If the feedback is in line with what you perceive of yourself, then that is great, else lookout for ways to change your behavior to synchronize with the image you want to portray of yourself.
How to improve self-image
Once you have completed the above activity, you will conclude as to how others perceive you. The next step would be to make the necessary corrections to improve your image among the group.
Here are a few common ideas to improve self-image.
Define how you want to present yourself before meeting others, prepare yourself in that manner
Develop a personal style to be more presentable
Radiate kindness using eyes and your smile to appear friendly
Stress-free relaxed attitude can go places
Appear confident using body language like postures
Occupy a lot of space by not folding hands or shrinking due to shyness,
Think yourself important, be positive and the same positivity will reflect in your attitude towards others
Eye contact is very important always
Meet your subordinates and peers regularly, Listen to what others want to say,
Most of us think we know how others see us. This is an illusion, as in reality, it may be opposite to your thoughts. While it may be difficult to gauge what people think of us, there are many ways to determine our image in public. Regular interviews for feedback and changing self as per requirement can be a huge step in positively connecting with our team in the pursuit of our goals.