We Suck At Self-Awareness – Here’s How To Get Better

I’ve always thought I was a very self-aware person. I’ve always been intensely very introspective.

But over the last year, I’ve had a ice-cold bucket of water over my head to realize in so many ways … I’m not.

And a new book I’ve been diving into and consumed by and sobered even more tells me my intense introspection over my life has likely made me even more miserable, yet not helped as much in knowing myself better.

The book is titled “Insight: The Surprising Truth About How Others See Us, How We See Ourselves, and Why the Answers Matter More Than We Think” by Dr. Tasha Eurich

[Take a look inside the book here]

I actually bought it in July 2017 … but I just put it on my All-Time Reading List and easily now in my top 10.

She spent years researching self-awareness and found some startling truths … a couple that stood out to me are:

  • She calls self-awareness the “Meta-Skill of the Twenty-First Century.” And I’m convinced she’s right. The cost of lack of self-awareness in leadership and on teams is enormous and she backs this up.
  • The overwhelming majority of us suck at real self-awareness. She shares some tips and tools for getting better at it … one of which is a recurring theme for me and what I’m reading — mindfulness.
  • Prior success, in senior leaders especially, can make it worse, causing us to be overconfident and blind. I’ve been thinking about this more and more as I’ve left the team and business I started over a decade ago.

Read Strategically Dissection Tip: The Appendices are worth buying the book alone. Exercises on values, passions, aspirations, impact on others and much more are just fantastic. I’m still wading through them.

You can see her TEDTalk here where essentially she advises to stop asking “Why?” and rather ask “What?” as a crucial step in getting better at introspection and self-awareness.

Go check out Insight and share what you think and how you’re applying it in your life.

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