If you’re like most folks, you tell people what they want to hear, and answers like “Fine” or “I’m just tired” can become rote. Once that happens, you may have to pause and ask yourself how you really feel.
Although you can find a few attributions and versions of the quote, one of the most powerful truths of human existence is:
“We are the truths we tell ourselves.”
What is the truth you tell yourself?
You Are Who You Are 24/7
Self-awareness is the honest, conscious awareness of one’s feelings, motives, desires, personality, and character.
That awareness extends to your business. Self-awareness is one of those things that can’t be measured by any blood or intelligence test.
This is also one of those things that extends far beyond the work day. You can build all kinds of barriers between your personal and professional lives, but, deep inside, you’re the same person at work that you are at home. Sure, you can alter your demeanour or decision-making criteria from one place to another, but you’re the same person.
If you’re a bad communicator in your personal relationships, you’re likely not good at communicating with your employees. If you’re the life of the party at holiday gatherings with your friends and family, you’re probably not a wallflower at the company Christmas party.
Both the positive and negative traits you exhibit in your personal life exist in your professional life.
There’s nothing wrong with this. The key is understanding who you are as a human being, regardless of whether you’re in a professional or personal situation.
Only you know how you really feel about your business and the role you play within it. I can help you get to the truth, but it’s a lot easier if you admit what it is, even if it’s not positive.
You know what’s important to you and what’s not. You know how you feel about it. Whether you admit it out loud is another thing, but you know a lot more than you’re sometimes comfortably admitting, especially when it’s a negative feeling and you’re not sure how people will respond.
Sometimes people laugh at how difficult this little exercise is, but they come back to me afterward and admit they had trouble.
Go stand in front of a mirror and look at yourself silently. Don’t brush your teeth, comb your hair, or admire your outfit. Just stand there and look at yourself as a person. Be completely honest about what you see, and then ask yourself why you’re seeing what you’re seeing.
Tell Yourself The Truth
The sooner that you’re able to respond honestly about how you are really faring (whether feelings-wise or doing-wise), the easier and quicker it is to get to the root of a problem.
There is likely some level of non-success you’re feeling if you’re reading this article. It’s okay to admit it; the moment you do, you’ll feel a great weight being lifted.
Once your real feelings are out there, it’s time to look at how you want to feel.
What are you hoping to get out of your business? Why hasn’t it worked to this point? What can you do to help the situation TODAY? What do you need to do over time to make things better?
Self-awareness is a gift, not a curse.
If you’re aware that you’re not feeling good about things or that things aren’t heading in the correct direction, you need to have the mindset that changes need to be made.
If you’ve operated the same way for five years and profits continue to drop every year, you need to have the self-awareness to say, “Doing the same thing isn’t working anymore.”
If you keep doing more of the same, that is exactly what you will get.
You don’t need to have the answers. I work with people all the time who sometimes have little more than a sense that something doesn’t feel right. They’re aware enough to know that they’re not happy and things around them aren’t as they should be.
That’s when we go to work figuring out the answers, and, once they start coming, they’re easier to figure out. It’s just a matter of taking that first step and being more than “the truth you tell yourself.”