Be more honest with yourself

Being aware of your thoughts, beliefs and feelings, as well as knowing what drives your behaviour, goes a long way to reaching true self-awareness. Honesty with yourself also means recognising and admitting what values and standards you live by, what motivates and energises you and what switches you off.

There is a range of actions which you can undertake to become more self-aware, with the ultimate aim of becoming more effective in your business:

  • Write your thoughts down in a journal – Whether your preferred method is pen and paper or electronic, record what’s going on with yourself and in your life. Then go back at intervals to read what you’ve written and you’ll start to pick up on triggers that could be contributing to stresses and strains.
  • Become more mindful – Mindfulness is a popular topic at the moment but it has a solid scientific foundation. Stop and focus on your direct experience, rather than what is in your head. Concentrate on what you can hear, see, physically feel, smell, and taste. Neuroscientists are finding that mindfulness is the key to taking action to manage your brain responses. By taking this time out, a few minutes at a time, you can start to notice the difference.
  • Master that ‘little voice’ inside your head – Although having an inner critic can at times be useful, a permanently negative voice can have a detrimental effect on your behaviour. Learning how to master it and becoming more self-aware can be transformational.
  • Understand your personality type – One way to find out more about yourself, and gain new insights, is to use a personality instrument. A couple of well-known examples are the StrengthsFinder profiling developed by Buckingham & Clifton, or Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).
  • Switch off with an inspiring book – Whether you’re a lover of fiction, fascinating biographies or the get-up-and-go messages channelled by self-development manuals, books can give you a new view on yourself and the world as a whole.
  • Share your confidences – This could be with a wise friend, mentor, coach or counsellor. Having someone to speak to where you have time, space and permission to explore what is going on for yourself is invaluable.

With thanks to Melanie Greene, for inspiration for this post.

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