A person standing near the bank of the ocean

Leading with Self-Awareness

The origin of things can be fascinating to some of us. For example, etymology is the study of the origins of words. Some view the English language as living and growing. Although many English words have been a part of the language for centuries, new words are added all the time. When researching the origins of “self-awareness” many sources indicate it goes back to 1828. An earlier version was documented in 1752, which named a state of “being aware” as “awaredom”. “Awaredom” sounds like a nice place to be. This may be the name of a new Promoting Brilliance coaching service, mobile app, community, or book, (typed with a wink and a giggle).

Self-awareness is like the study of origins. In essence, when we decide to become students of our lives, we reflect and examine the origins of how we think, feel, experience, believe, and make choices. The powerful connections within our relationships influence and shape what we believe and value. Choosing to understand our origins and giving ourselves space to reflect without judgmental opinions supports this process. We can ask ourselves: What do I believe now, at this time in my life? Does it serve me well? My work/life vitality? Is this what I value today? Our inner work process helps us to accept, adjust, adapt, renew, update, create, and choose what we truly value and believe in the now. 

When it comes to our individual self-awareness, we are all leaders. How we live, what we choose, and how, what, and who we engage with is our leadership responsibility. Whenever the word responsibility is applied, we often hear duty and accountability, yet one aspect of responsibility that needs more thoughtful discussion is the possibility of experiencing more authentic freedom. When leading with self-awareness freedom can include something very different than something that suggests no one else matters, anything goes, or winning is the imperative. Self-awareness provides alternatives for the way we embrace responsibility. There is freedom in owning our choices, and letting go of habits and thoughts that no longer serve our values. We can open ourselves to more and more creative choices. Another way to say this is, “The more responsibility I embrace for my self-awareness, the more freedom I will create for my choices and my life. The more self-awareness and authentic responsibility I embrace the more value I can share with others.” 

There is renewing power when we know we are leading with self-awareness. Yet sometimes it stirs up pressures too. The pressures are natural given competitive thinking patterns, these can become distracting to the point of overwhelming us. If nonproductive beliefs are locked into our daily thinking this also contributes to the pressure. Examples of such beliefs may be self-talk that repeatedly whispers or even shouts sidebars and second-guessing remarks, such as, “I am never good enough”, “I can’t achieve this or that until I …”, “I am not wanted here”, or “Things rarely work out for me”. The origin of these types of messages can be helpful yet what’s most important is to hear them, write them down, and work with your values to create change. Do the work to replace these messages with your own more compassionate affirmations, such as: “I am always learning. I give my optimal focus. Everything is working out well for me”. As you work to update your thoughts with an eye on leadership include others, such as: “Everyone is doing their optimal best given what they know, and what they are dealing with in the current time”. Leadership affirmations are especially helpful if you are concerned about people, purposeful projects, or outcomes.

May your work/life leadership experiences be graced with a self-awareness that brings safety, ease, and valuable success.