These three questions, answered honestly, are the backbone of even moderate levels of success.
With 30 years of business experience, more than a 150 interviews recorded, and the insights of many successful people on their own journeys of personal leadership, one of the things that I found has been the fact that each of these individuals have become self-aware. They may not have started out that way but they found themselves.
Thinking about who you are, and creating the situation where you want to grow a business; deciding that you want to have a podcast, a website, a product, a service, something that truly inspires you to be great is fantastic. But of course you put those self-feeding doubts in play, “I can’t do this. I can’t do that. I’m not good enough. No one will read my blog. No one will buy my product. Who the hell am I?” All those things come to the forefront and can shape us negatively.
It’s quite amazing that many of the successful people, and we’re not talking the huge individuals, we’re not necessarily talking the Seth Godin’s or the Brendon Burchard’s, though those are great examples of an extreme, but even a lot of the individuals who have created moderate success in their life have done that through a self-awareness, an understanding of the following three areas:
What are my strengths?
What are my weaknesses?
And, What is the best course of action that can help progress me towards a goal?
What are your strengths, looking at what you’ve accomplished in your life, of what has been successful? Maybe it’s public speaking? Maybe it’s a matter of organizational effectiveness? Maybe it is a matter of being able to motivate and influence people?
We all have some inherent strength. What we need to look at when we are attempting to accomplish success in life and when we’re even looking at ourselves is to look inward with humble pie, because as we are self-aware and we identify that we have strengths in a certain area, confidence is a fantastic thing to tap into. To be confident in your skills in an area is great, but it’s also important to know what your limitations maybe in those strengths as well. It’s really honing down and identifying what your strengths are.
What are your weaknesses? What aren’t you good at? You’re not going to get into a work of passion or create something in your life if you don’t have a connection to it, or if you’re not good at it for one of two reasons. One, you aren’t good at it because you lack the skills, or two you’re not good at it because you don’t care and you don’t want to do it. Whether it be the 10,000 hour rule for musicians that allows someone to become outstanding in a certain field because of the fact that they are practicing continuously and have honed the needed areas of focus, or the fact that it’s something that you really aren’t good at and you really shouldn’t be doing, and therefore your energy levels aren’t there — these are things that we need to understand.
Finally on a self-awareness path, it’s identifying where you want to go, what do you want to accomplish? Is it aligned with what you are good at — a strength, or bad at — a weaknesses? Identifying that thumbtack somewhere on your map, that is the sweet spot. We’ve all seen those infographics of concentric circles about what you love, what you’re passionate about and aligning everything, and that is fantastic to find your focus or goal, but it takes time and energy.
Going back to my point on self-awareness being about knowing what your strengths, your weaknesses, and where you want to go, you then can look at yourself. You need to look at yourself continuously and say, “I’m honestly good at this, bad at this, want to do this,” because that gets you into that what scientists have called the Flow State, the true state of happiness. By doing that we can help really strengthen our personal leadership in an area. Without doing that it’s like a balloon without air, it’s limp and it won’t go anywhere.
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