I ask a lot of questions. I ask questions for a living to be more exact. I ask questions of people all day. And, more importantly, I ask myself lots of questions. Why? I guess it is the way I have determined will help me be more open-minded, but also will help me to be more self-aware.
And so that we are all on the same page, here is my working definition of self-awareness:
Self-Awareness is defined as the accurate appraisal and understanding of your abilities and preferences and their implications for your behavior and their impact on others. – Psychology Today
Yesterday I asked a question about how others would rank their own self-awareness and some rather high numbers came back via comments. My return question was how the individuals knew they are highly self-aware. How do you begin to gauge self-awareness? How does one know they accurately appraise and understand their own abilities? Especially as it relates to other people?
One of the most important questions I ask myself to gauge my self-awareness is “could I be wrong?”. This question keeps me grounded, keeps my mind open and challenges me to dig deeper for more understanding. It might not be the best question, but it has served me well.
I view self-awareness in similar light as I view enlightenment. In college I had a professor who took a sabbatical and spent time in Asia seeking truth. He wrote to the faculty saying “I think I might have reached enlightenment, but I’m not exactly sure.” We laughed at his letter, but the truth is he might have been on to something.
So what’s my view on self-awareness? I think I might be more self-aware than some, but I could be wrong.