By Lily Friedman
When it comes to success, self-awareness is like the peanut butter to a pb&j sandwich. You can’t have success without self-awareness, similar to how you can’t have the sandwich without the peanut butter. But what about the jelly? While success and self-awareness both involve knowing who you are and what you want in life, how exactly are you supposed to figure things out? That my friends, is the jelly, the ‘playtime’ you set aside for yourself in life.
Scouring the internet each week as the social media marketer here at The Sanity Snack, I’m on a mission to deliver some of the best wellness and self-improvement advice on the web to our followers. And with this week’s Wellness Roundup, we’ll have you mastering the art of self-awareness and believing that ‘play’ isn’t just for our children.
The Key You Need to Get Your Hands On:
Yes, self-awareness is an important factor in the success equation, but more importantly, it can help you create aspirations and define your own vision of success.
In ‘Self-Awareness Is the Key to Your Success’ on addicted2success.com, author James Blake describes self-awareness as “a person’s ability to analyze and recognize one’s own thoughts and emotions. It is knowing what makes yourself tick.” But Blake also knows that success doesn’t just fall right out of the sky, either. Being self-aware and achieving success is a long and exhausting journey. “Each person can take their own paths toward attaining them. With this, we should not judge other people’s way in this process,” he said.
Blake of course also explains why you should practice self-awareness in the first place and how it goes along with managing your emotions. “Different people would also have different ways to achieve success. The reason for this is that we vary in strengths, weaknesses, motivations, and ideas of failure. In addition, we react differently to particular situations. The more you know about these aspects of your life, the more you can adapt to the circumstances that we face,” Blake said. When you know these attributes about yourself, it makes it easier to assess in order to learn and improve.
Apparently we may not be quite as self-aware as we think we are, and this is a big deal when seeing ourselves clearly helps us succeed in our work and personal lives.
Author and organizational psychologist, Tasha Eurich speaks with Sarah Green Carmichael from the Harvard Business Review podcast to discuss ways of developing self-awareness and the important roles it plays in all aspects of life. In ‘How to Become More Self-Aware’, Eurich shared that “95% of people believe that they’re self-aware, but only about 10-15% really are”. Surprisingly enough, studies found this is due to the ineffectiveness of self-reflection or introspection. The reason for this being because people spend too much time ruminating on the ‘why’, why things ended up the way they did, second-guessing and beating themselves up over it.
For one, we can start by asking ourselves better questions in order to develop a greater sense of self-awareness. Eurich also suggests adapting a mindset similar to ‘I’m going to try to mine the experiences I have on a daily basis to see myself more clearly’. So now we a know a few ways to practice self-awareness, but why is it so important? “Self-awareness is the most important skill to be successful in the 21st century at work. There has been research that shows that people who see themselves clearly are better performers. They’re more promotable. They’re better communicators, better influencers. They have stronger relationships,” said Eurich. If you want to achieve success in any aspect of life, she suggests trying to increase your awareness by 5-10% per year and to start with an easy goal.
The Power of Play:
Chances are, like most of us, you left playtime back in your childhood. If that’s you, you’ve probably at least thought about turning back the clock once or twice. Oh, wouldn’t that be so much fun, you’d think. The good news is that you don’t have to.
Whether your searching for a source of recovery or a higher connection to the self, you can never go wrong with ‘play’, and you should never be too busy for it either. Play allows us to be carefree so then we can enjoy those other moments of hard work. It allows us to find ourselves one small bit at a time. These are all benefits of ‘play’ Sean Swaby shared in ‘The Playful Path to Recovery’ on The Good Men Project’s site. “Play is an untapped source of power for your life,” he said. When it comes to recovering, play helps us to let go so the healing can creep in.