After many years of coaching and training thousands of people, we know that freedom to know yourself and fulfill your purpose is a significant issue. We can all benefit from gaining the self-awareness to see ourselves objectively.
There are several mental barriers to overcome –
- We’ve been told by others who we should be, or who they mistakenly think we are.
- We’re in shackles because of the lies we believe about ourselves, and often these lies stem from pain and trauma from the past.
- We have blind spots—either assuming we are something that we’re not, or assuming we’re not something that we are.
- We operate without knowledge (ignorance), and we just don’t know ourselves objectively.
There may be other challenges, but there is another elephant in the room that we can’t ignore if we want freedom: if I get to know myself, I’ll have to face the challenge that I’m not perfect and that seems too threatening or too difficult to admit.
Guess what? We all know that already—join the crowd! None of us is perfect, so it’s important to accept yourself as a work in progress.
The True Competitive Advantage
Knowing yourself is the bona fide competitive advantage for all leaders. Here are five leadership tips that I use to walk in self-awareness and freedom –
- Look around and take stock. Do you have peers, friends and family who see you as a good human being? If so, accept yourself as being valued and appreciated just the way you are.
- Recognize that no one is perfect; we all have gaps and struggles. Decide that it’s much more important to know yourself objectively than to pretend. Set aside your fears and be willing to be vulnerable.
- Get feedback (management information). Ask others around you for feedback and insight. A couple of questions may be “Would you do me the favor of sharing your observations of me?” and “What are three of my strengths and three of my struggles or ways that I get in my own way?”
- Use an objective measurement tool. Online assessments like Leadership Behavior DNA can help you discover your Strengths (talents) and Struggles.
- Make a commitment to be a lifelong learner and continue to grow.
Continue that growth journey in knowing yourself better. The world needs you.
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