We are beings who are conditioned to say something when we see somebody for the first time in a given situation.

“Hey, how are you doing, mate?” They say, “Fine.” Or you say, “Fine,” because that’s all anybody is supposed to say in that situation. It would be just as useful to say, “I can see you” and answer, “I can see you, too.”

Nobody really wants to know how you’re doing and you probably don’t feel like getting into it if you’re not having a “fine” day.

All of that said, I’m going to ask you anyway…

  • How are you?
  • How do you feel?
  • How is your business going?
  • How do you feel about your business?

Now that you’ve probably addressed my queries with one-word answers, I’d like you to go back and answer them with complete sentences, and, this time, do it honestly.

Were your answers completely honest? How can you be sure?

I’m throwing a lot of questions at you about your feelings, and some business “experts” would say that has nothing to do with what’s going on at your company.

I couldn’t disagree with them more.

While mindset is one of the most important aspects of business success, self-awareness is right “up there.”

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?

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 workday. 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.

And if you’re not self-aware, how can you accurately assess your strengths?

You can alter your demeanor or decision-making criteria from one place to another, but you’re always 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.

You know what’s important to you and what’s not. You know how you feel about things. Whether you admit it out loud is another thing, but you know a lot more than you sometimes comfortably admit, especially when it’s a negative feeling and you’re not sure how people will respond.

What truths do you need to discover about yourself, your strengths, and your business?