[Warning: If you are interested in a calm, comfortable life, this blog will be counterproductive for you.]

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

5 Ways To Grow Faster By Increasing Self-Awareness

Increasing your self-awareness is like pouring jet fuel on your personal growth. It requires the courage to take an honest look at who you really are, not who you want to be. But let's assume for this post that you are brave enough to really see yourself as you are (which is a big assumption).

How do you learn more about who you are? If the core problem is that we are biased to only see what we want to, how do we get around our blind spots?

Here are five ways to learn more about yourself:

1) Take personality assessments. There are so many of these available. I take at least one new one each year, because they each look at a different aspect of who I am. Some are like getting X-ray while others are like an MRI scan. Google anyone of my three favorites below to take these for little to no cost--or ask me how:

  • Strengthsfinder
  • Meyers-Briggs
  • DISC

2) Send a survey to friends and family. What do you want to know more about? Is it your leadership, your people skills, or even what blind spots you have? Ask the people who know you best. If you want to make it anonymous you can use www.surveymonkey.com to send a free, anonymous survey. It's easy to create one there.

3) Reflect on the most satisfying moments in your life. Think back to when you have been most satisfied in your life. Write down a short summary of each experience. Maybe it was a great vacation or winning a championship or just a great book you read in your bed at night. Look for a handful of common themes. What do these say about what your heart responds to?

4) Think about your heroes. Who do you admire most? What about when you were a child? Who do you want to be like today? Write down the names and the first things that come to mind about each of them. What it is that made them heroes to you? What does that say about what you think is important?

5) Keep a personal journal. The seasons of my life I have wrestled with big decisions, been frustrated, anxious, or unsure, I have kept a journal. I sort of keep one now (you're reading it). But what I'm talking about is a place you can write down your raw thoughts. (Whatever it looks like, I do actually plan and edit these posts.) In my journal I wrote like I was talking to myself, reacting to my day or working through what was bothering me. Something about writing down my thoughts and feelings without any editing allowed me to think more deeply about them--to see them more fully. I can't tell you how many times I'd begin with a question only to end with the answer staring me in the face.


This is just a short list of examples. You can spend a lifetime getting to know yourself better. If you want an exceptional life, you will need to become a true expert on yourself. You are the only thing in your life that you truly control. You are your most important resource. Do you know how you really work? Maybe it's time to figure yourself out.

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