“Who are you?” A question that seems so simple yet when it is asked, heads get scratched and rather eloquent people begin to stutter. “Who am I?”
I have asked myself this question countless times. Who am I, really? Am I my parent’s child or my siblings’ sister or a colleague or student? Am I tall and beautiful? Am I Luo? Am I a Christian? Are these things that define me? Are they things that I am about or is there something deeper to the answer to this question?
Gary Vaynerchuk has become my person to listen to for business advice this year. He is a no nonsense speaker, who has no time for excuses nor failures. He acknowledges his failures, learns what he needs to from them and moves on with his life. He doesn’t dwell. In all his talk about entrepreneurship and business, every time he is asked the one thing he wishes people would embrace most, he always mentions self awareness. He says once you are aware of self then you can do anything.
So what really is self awareness?
conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires.
The above is the definition google gives. To be conscious of one’s own character, feelings, motives and desires.
So what then is character?
the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.
Google again comes in handy. Your character is made up of qualities that are distinctive to you.
To be self aware is, therefore, knowing your qualities, being conscious of your feelings, motives and desires. The things that drive you; the things that motivate you; the things that inspire you; the things you enjoy doing; the things that make you sad/happy; the things you are good at; the things you suck at; the things that make you you.
I think I am getting a hang of it.
The key thing then is the conscious bit. To be conscious; to be aware; to have knowledge of.
‘Do I have knowledge of myself?’
For you to become self aware, I think, you need to have a sit down with and edit yourself. You know what in say, a branding company, they will call discovery? The process of getting to know the client and what they are about and the field they play in? Well then, apply the same technique to yourself. I think, again, the challenge with self discovery is the bit where you need to be honest with yourself and more often than not, honesty is not a suit most of us wear very well.
For you to be self aware, you must audit yourself and be very conscious and honest while doing it and put down your findings. And this is not about what you wish could be; nope. This is about who you are. It’s your DNA.
For example, I know that I know that I am very lazy when it comes to my having to leave my house to hang out. I somehow always find reasons to not to. I also know how much I love my own company. I know I love writing and I am good at it. I know I can sing, maybe not as a profession, but I can carry a tune. I know I cannot paint to save my life. I also know accounts would be the last thing I do; that and working in a bank; I get bored too easily and anything that looks like is the same day in day out could as well as kill me already! I am good at managing relationships; fantastic actually. I may not be excellent at starting a conversation but once a connection is made, I will keep the flame going. I love laughing; I think it is the secret to my looking younger. Haha! I love taking photos! This I can do all day. I am also a perfectionist and I do not know how to be vulnerable. I can be very selfish at times, and maybe even manipulative (I try to always check myself on this one). I do not like being the center of attention; it gives me too much pressure and when I believe in something, I am like a dog with a bone; there’s no getting me away from it.
These are on the surface things that I have come to discover about myself but since I have been thinking about this topic for a while, there are certain things that are surfacing that I am not sure how to deal with but I intend on being honest through this process. I know my writing is how I best process my feelings and thoughts and so I will put them down and see where this road will take me.
If you would like to take this journey with me, well, why not. Let’s go on this personal hunt and find what treasures or skeletons we will come across. It could be the beginning of our best lives yet. Who knows? I will also try to be as honest and authentic as possible, which will be me going against something that is ingrained so deep within, showing my vulnerability.
Let’s do this!