Most people I know are on some type of journey to become more self aware. They seek to understand and evolve their personal behavior in some way and are often looking for guidance on how to do this.

I have put together a list of three:

  1. Always operate from the principle that self awareness is an ongoing state of learning and growth that never ends. It is not a goal that you can achieve. It is a state that is always changing.
  2. Opportunities to become more self aware arrive on a daily basis. You should expect that they can arrive in pleasant and unpleasant ways.
  3. Be humble. Know that there are things you need to become more self aware about and enjoy the journey of discovery.

I recently had a meeting with someone I knew well, someone I trusted and cared about. We were to discuss some issues that had arisen recently and I knew we were going into a situation with the potential for conflict that we both needed to engage head on.

My intention was to resolve things from a place of mutual respect.

Instead I was met with anger, accusations, misinterpretations and a message that I had caused this relationship to fail. There was something wrong with me and I was given no opportunity to understand how I had been perceived.

There was no openness to understanding my perspective.

I was completely floored and did not enjoy how I felt about this.

In spite of my feelings, I remained open to this message without defending, attacking or leaving the discussion looking for an opportunity to learn.

I wanted to defend, attack, and leave but I refused to do that because I would have lost a really important opportunity to grow.

Although something may be unpleasant there is always room for growth.

Just because I didn’t like the delivery of the message didn’t mean that it was wrong.

Remaining humble kept me calm in the face of a stormy reaction. I knew that somewhere inside of all of this emotion there was truth I needed to be aware of in order to grow.

As my own emotional reaction calmed down, I was able to take to heart some of the things that were said and think them through with greater clarity.

It has made a difference in how I approach people going forward. This situation became a defining moment for me in my role as a Coach. It made me aware when I was unaware.

Because I was humble enough to grow from this opportunity, it made me more of who I desire to be as a Coach and leader in the world.

For this I am deeply grateful as self awareness to me is the key to change, and change is the key to growth.

If you are on a quest to gain greater self awareness a suggestion I might offer to you is ask someone you trust how you are perceived. Listen with the intent to understand, avoid the desire to defend, and then take the time to reflect on this gift you have been given.

I’d love to hear if this exercise helps you to grow in some way.