Do you sometimes reflect back and wonder why your career isn’t progressing in the way you had hoped or planned, and you’re not sure how to change things?
Or you may feel that you’re drowning in expectation (from your boss, team, peers, family, friends, or even yourself) – trying to do all that is required of you in terms of managing the day to day, taking on new projects and initiatives, and being creative enough to take your team and its results to the next level? One more request from your boss, or your team, will put you over the limit. At a particularly stressful time in my career I described it as feeling like being at the bottom of the sea, with a small blow pipe which just reaches to the top (but then someone keeps putting their finger over the hole!!)
You may feel out of sorts (or on a roller-coaster, not firing on all cylinders, an orchestra without a conductor). Sometimes things flow effortlessly, and other times it’s an uphill struggle. (Sorry, that’s enough mixed metaphors for one blog!!)
Wouldn’t it be good if you could understand why you are feeling that way, why you procrastinate and how you can get into the right state of mind when you need it, so that you can maintain your motivation, purpose and drive?
This is where an in-depth self-awareness is key. People often sabotage their own success through perfectionism, fear of failure or making mistakes, or simply not playing to their own strengths. Understanding your blindspots, stress triggers, decision making skills, preferences and behaviour enables you to appreciate yourself and those around you and manage situations more effectively.
A recent European Leadership report highlighted that people are now understanding that there is no single, proven template for leading. “The key element is to be aware of yourself and develop your own self-insight so you are mindful of your own tendencies – and then learn how to adapt your style and behaviour accordingly.”
There are a number of management tools such as the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Thomas-Killman Conflict Mode Indicator (TKI), which can give you great insight into your behaviour and preferences. Executive coaching can help to address your specific concerns and needs, helping to develop your unique leadership skills. And here are few other things to consider:
Habits: often our habits are stopping us from fulfilling our goals eg. sitting down to watch the TV at 8pm every night, when you could be learning a new skill. If you changed certain habits, could you find the time to do actions that will help you achieve the success you’d like?
Self-motivation: remember that you are responsible for your own motivation levels and how quickly you can bounce back if you don’t get want you wanted (eg promotion). It’s your decision as to how you react, learn and move forward.
Fear of loss: this can be one of the major reasons we don’t get what we want, as “now” feels comfortable and understood and change brings uncertainty. Writing out a list of what you could lose from gaining your goals will help to put them in perspective.
Understanding more about the way you tick, how you will react in certain situations, and the triggers which can cause you to behave in different ways, will help you in your home or work environment. This knowledge increases confidence and self esteem; important for everything you do.
What could you gain from an improved self-awareness?
What surprises you about yourself? What do you wish you could change or enhance?
Click HERE for more information on developing self-awareness to enhance your effective communication skills and leadership skills.