The importance of self-knowing: how our greatest power lies in our vulnerability
Today I was asked how I could accurately perceive so much of someone’s personality and hypothesis about one’s internal wiring in a short conversation. This was a valuable validation of the journey I have been on. It is also a great question, which makes me realise that my transformational journey, may be worth sharing to inspire others to invest time in better understanding themselves.
The biggest thing I had to work on when I was training to be a coach was slowing down, and yet, I wasn’t going to wait ten years to clock up hours to have a deep impact on my clients. That was my impatience manifesting itself! Today, I am very grateful for this because it led me on a journey of self-discovery which transformed my life for the better and now enables me to support others transforming theirs.
Here is an article about the importance of understanding yourself and the value it can bring you, in leading a better life at home and at work.
What is self-awareness?
Stephen Covey’s ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ was one of the first books I read to help me be better at selling when I started out in Tech Sales 2005. He describes self-awareness as our capacity to stand apart from ourselves and examine our thinking, our motives, our history, our scripts, our actions, and our habits and tendencies. This is what I am referring to as self-knowing.
Our capacity to reflect on ourselves is what differentiates us from the animal world. That is how we can take learning to a different level than basic trail and error. Yet, this is hard to do when we are swamped in our day to day grind. This is why Bill Gates said:
“Everybody needs a coach”.
Coaching creates a safe space for reflection without being polluted with our day to day thoughts, filters, worries and bias, which we usually perceive reality through. This is how we access new insights which can change the way we think, how we can tackle situations differently and how we can change the way we show up for ourselves and others.
Why does self-awareness
When I was training as a coach, I noticed that a Master trainer would help me reflect in a much deeper space than my fellow trainee coaches when asking questions. I was curious of how the Master trainer knew exactly what to ask to make me reflect on what really mattered in relation to solving my problem. Having always been a top performer and A player in my Tech Sales career, I wanted to know how I can enable such a deep impact fast for my clients as soon as possible.
When I told my coach that I wasn’t going to wait 10 years to be highly effective at coaching, she said my other option was to go deep in understanding myself. By understanding my own personality structure, limiting beliefs, strength, weakness, sabotaging patterns etc…. it will be easier to recognise them in other people to support them in having meaningful breakthroughs. So that’s what I did, and she as right!
After 4 years of being coached, individual therapy, group therapy, numerous coaching certifications, mindfulness retreats, yoga retreats, meditation courses, and energy healing … I have a heightened sense of self-awareness about myself. I have learned about my personality structure, and how I am wired. I also understand why I am as I am: the good side and the darker side.
There is no light without darkness
Investing in developing my self-awareness, has led me to learn to leverage my talents and take ownership and responsibility for my shadow so I stop sabotaging my own happiness and to reduce its impact on others.
While my professional life hasn’t been a cause of concern, my personal life however has been a different story. Poor health, internal conflicts, anxiety, grief, unhealthy relationships and divorce were polluting my capacity to find peace and happiness. This eventually started impacting my work when I started suffering from exhaustion. We only have one mind, one heart, one body. It is the same at home and at work. So, finding peace within can only benefit both our performance and wellbeing.
I am now on the continuous journey of learning to embrace and accept all those parts of me. It is when we accept yourself as we truly are that we can find peace within. Others refer to this as self-care or self-love.
Our greatest power lies in our vulnerability
We all have talents, we all have a shadow. There is no good without bad, no light without dark, so highs without lows. In a world where we are all praised for being strong, resilient and where we are told we can achieve anything we want; it can be easy to forget that we are all human. We don’t talk about the harder stuff, and yet we all find our own way to deal with it.
In a world where we are having to adapt to a difficult reality…
I invite you to ask yourself:
How is the way I am dealing with the difficult stuff serving me?
How is the way I am dealing with the difficult stuff is NOT serving me?
What would I like to change which works for me before but no longer works now?
We create our own reality
Following the consequences of COVID, we are all having to adapt to a new reality we didn’t choose for ourselves. So it is normal that some stuff which worked before in our old routine and world, no longer works for us now. In many cases, the way we deal with difficult stuff may have been useful at one time, but then it can become no longer needed and causes us a disservice. This is what I refer to as getting in our own way.
We have the power to change anything we want. It is simply a matter of motivation and investing time and energy in seeking the right people and resources to support us in the transition.
Having gone through this transformation process myself, it is a real privilege to support others who want to make a change and invest in themselves. This is why I do what I love and love what I do!
Our self-awareness is our strongest ally to create the life we want for ourselves.
“Your power to choose the direction of your life allows you to reinvent yourself, to change your future and to powerfully influence the rest of your creation.’’ Stephen Covey
I’d love to hear how this resonates with you, particularly in the new reality. What changes are you having to adapt to? What is working for you? What isn’t working for you? It is by sharing that we realise we are not the only ones and all this unease is very normal and solvable.