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A Beginner's Guide to Self-Awareness

The “bias blind spot"

It relates to our tendency to recognize cognitive biases in others, without noticing them in ourselves. In other words, our brain isn’t built to easily spot our own lack of self-awareness.  

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

A Beginner's Guide to Self-Awareness

A Beginner's Guide to Self-Awareness

https://www.thecut.com/2017/10/how-to-be-more-self-aware.html

thecut.com

6

Key Ideas

Self-awareness has 2 components

  • Internal self-awareness: the ability to introspect and recognize your authentic self;
  • External self-awareness: the ability to recognize how you fit in with the rest of the world. 

The 2 are independent, meaning you can have one without the other. To be truly, fully self-aware, though, you need both components.

The “bias blind spot"

It relates to our tendency to recognize cognitive biases in others, without noticing them in ourselves. In other words, our brain isn’t built to easily spot our own lack of self-awareness.  

Self-awareness and leadership

After examined the traits that contribute to the effectiveness of successful leaders, researchers concluded that a high level of self-awareness was the strongest predictor of success: when leaders are self-aware, they know how to hire subordinates who are strong in the areas where they themselves are weak.

7 pillars of self-knowledge for introspection

  • personality
  • values
  • passions
  • aspirations
  • strengths
  • weaknesses
  • the environment most conducive to your well-being. 

They act as a framework, because introspection is key to building internal self-awareness, but aimless wandering through your own psyche probably won’t get you very far. 

"Why" is the wrong question to ask

When introspecting, it’s common for people to ask “why”. But the question ‘why’ sucks us into an unproductive, paralyzed state. It gets us into this victim mentality.” And no matter how confident we are about the answer to “why,” we’re almost always wrong.

Accepting and integrating feedback

You need to get feedback from people you trust, people who want you to be successful but are also going to tell you the truth, to ensure you aren’t only getting one view. Getting a second, or third, opinion can help. In the end, though, it’s on you to synthesize all those opinions into a cohesive self-portrait — and then get acquainted with the result.

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The three why’s

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Expand your emotional vocabulary

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Practice saying 'no' to yourself

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Like a muscle, it is strengthened with exercise

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Reflection and introspection

  • Introspection is simply looking in. Stopping there not only limits your perspective, but it can also diffuse it. It can lead some to pessimism, or even depression. 

Authenticity

Authenticity is about getting closer to our true identity.

The more authentic we become, the more we are authoring our lives, and not simply living someone else’s script. And the more authentic you become, the greater is your sense of well-being.

Warren Bennis

Warren Bennis

“To be authentic is literally to be your own author, to discover your own native energies and desires, and then to find your own way of acting on them.”

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