My observation that no one knows you better than you do doesn’t come from years of scientific study. It comes from more than a decade of working one on one with clients and helping them build self-awareness. When I ask my clients, “Who knows you best?” what do you think they say? It is always, always, the same answer: “I do.”
Yet in today’s workplace, people are so focused on goals, objectives, projects, and getting to meetings that they don’t spend enough time with the person who knows them best— themselves. As a result, few people are actually aware of what they know about themselves. When you have low self-awareness, you can’t effectively manage your strengths and weaknesses, achieve your goals in the workplace, or drive your career forward.
To increase your self-awareness, you need to spend time with yourself, thinking about what you should do to make progress and be successful. I like to call this time “thinking with yourself.”
I use the word “with” as part of this behavior for a reason. When you think with yourself, you should imagine that you’re sitting down with yourself and discussing your goals, dreams, desires, and next steps. Some of my clients use a whiteboard to capture their ideas. Others find a colleague they can share their thoughts with. Some keep a notebook and write down ideas as they pop into their head. You are not there to think about yourself, as if you’re a voyeur of your own life. Thinking with yourself is much more creative and action-oriented.
Drive Your Career: 9 High-Impact Ways to Take Responsibility for Your Own Success – Coming this September!
Have you listened to Ed’s new podcast called Be Brave @ Work? Listen here!