Self work is the hardest work, without doubt. Being bold enough to look deep into yourself and ask the question, “Who am I?” warts and all, is one of the toughest questions we can ask. Why? Because it means we have to deal with some of the things we’d rather not know about ourselves. It means we have to accept that there are traits about us that limit us from being our best self. That there are traits that derail us from living our full potential. The best thing about digging deep though is that you get to learn new things about yourself – that gives you more power than anything else you could ever ask for.
Once you know what your unique core motivators are and you can truthfully identify with them (not what you wish they were!), you are able to understand more about your behaviours, your triggers and what happens when this core motivator feels stressed or triggered (Often, this is the behaviour that we usually regret doing, but in the moment couldn’t help ourselves). Imagine the power you would have if you were able to manage those triggers for good instead of bad? Leverage them to work FOR you, instead of AGAINST you.
It always interesting to me how many people still view the whole “self-help” or “personal growth” field as “Woooo woooo”, or a waste of money. An industry predicated on drawing people away from who they really are. I heard someone the other day openly diss another person for embarking on a self-discovery journey. FYI – Generally, the weakness you note in someone else, is the weakness in you.
My question to you is this. By not taking time to understand more about what drives you, motivates you, or triggers you, aren’t you actually the one living a sheltered, numb’ish experience of life? Aren’t you ultimately the coward who doesn’t want to know more about themselves so that they learn how to leverage their best skills, work on how to close some of their gaps and in the process become a more compassionate and understanding human towards the differences in other people?
Aren’t you the individual who will ultimately live a disempowered, ignorant life that won’t get you close to your full potential – by the way, this won’t be anyone else’s fault but yours. Annnnnnnd breathe out. If I have just offended you – it means I’ve hit a nerve in you. You are at a crossroads now in terms of choosing ignorance or empowerment.
I had the fortune of attending a training course a few weeks back. It was most significant investment I’ve made in my own learning and growth with the exception of a university degree, so I was praying it would be worth it. It was. What I walked away with in terms of understanding myself and the psychodynamics associated with WHY we behave the way we behave sometimes, has just unlocked a new layer in me that I didn’t have before.
I learnt some things I didn’t like along the way. Now that I know these things though, I can work on them. The good comes with the bad. The light always comes with a shadow. I already knew that at my core I was motivated by living life to its fullest in terms of experiencing everything. I thought that was the best core motivator EVER! However, there is always a shadow – I am often never in the now. I am often so future focussed and looking at what is next, that I can often come off as scattered and not really “available”. I can glaze over when something isn’t as interesting to me as what I deem the “future” to be. I avoid negativity because it could mean pain and I’d rather focus on the future than deal with pain.
This is something I had as a blind spot and the impact it can have on my relationships and my team. I am being open about it here and choosing to be brave, to be vulnerable, and to accept that this is true in the hope that it might light something up in you to want to explore the same. Now I can focus on growing this muscle instead of just ignoring it like I have for the last 31 years.
When people don’t know themselves truly, they don’t know their full potential. And when you don’t know your full potential you limit yourself in terms of what you think you are capable of. People lose confidence and self-esteem when they don’t know who they are. When a lack of self-esteem or confidence is evident, people convince themselves that they do not deserve good things in life and they thus decrease their own expectations for things such as promotions at work, fulfillment at work or in life etc.
Want to know what level of self-awareness you have? Ask yourself these questions, truthfully.
1) Who are you? – Note: This is not what you do, what you like or don’t like, it isn’t a character you play in your life (e.g mother, sister, wife, girlfriend, manager, etc), it is who are YOU?
2) What words describe you?
3) What words don’t describe you?
4) What do you know about yourself that works for you?
5) What do you know about yourself that doesn’t work for you?
If you struggled to answer these, don’t worry. You are not alone. However, it may mean that your levels of self-awareness aren’t high, which means you could be missing out on things just by not tapping into your full potential. I’d love to hear from you and how you answered these questions! I can also help you put the meat on the bones here or dig a little deeper if you are ready to.
Ever done a discovery session? I am currently offering these utilising the Enneagram transformational tool. Want to know more about yourself? There is no time like the present. Discovery sessions are a great, cost effective intro exercise that helps you start the development journey. The sessions are a two hour time commitment, but what you walk away with could change the path of your life!