When it comes to leadership, one of the topics that are often overlooked is personal mastery. To become an effective leader in any kind of organization, you should start with improving yourself before you try to make a positive impact on others.
Leadership goes beyond competencies, achievements, and skills. Personal development influences the way we lead. Here are key points on personal mastery and self-awareness.
What is Personal Mastery?
Personal mastery is an important leadership skill. It is a process of truly knowing ourselves. It involves peeling our layers or unwrapping ourselves to discover our truth.
Personal mastery allows us to gain a whole new understanding of who we really are at our core. We deep dive into our individual selves. It might sound scary or painful for some, but personal mastery is understanding our best side, including our darkest side. It is about what inspires us, motivates us, gives us purpose, triggers us, and even, what scares us.
Since this allows us to raise our level of awareness, we learn how we can become better versions of ourselves. What works for us and what does not. After all, leadership is about being our best when we serve and contribute to an organization.
Basic Concepts on Self-Awareness
The path to personal development requires an understanding of oneself. This includes self-awareness on the following aspects of ourselves.
Being self-aware allows us to get in touch with how we feel. It is about being able to identify our emotions and what triggers them. This includes both positive and negative feelings.
What is our mental disposition towards other people? Our attitude influences the choices that we make and it is how we behave.
What ideas do we believe to be true? You may have noticed that you have certain beliefs that clash with other people. Beliefs are usually formed from our experiences.
Truth or Essence
Who are we as a person and as a leader? Truth or essence refers to the positive values and inherent goodness of a person.
How to Develop Self-Awareness
Now that you are familiar with the basic aspects of yourself, there are different ways of enhancing self-awareness.
Identify what triggers you
Has your mood ever been affected in the workplace? Perhaps it is your boss who has been pressuring you about a deadline or your teammate who has been taking items from your desk without permission.
A trigger is anything that makes you feel certain emotions that lead to certain reactions. When you know your triggers, you are more in control of yourself. You will be able to “catch” yourself first before you snap.
You may also dig deep into your triggers and understand why it is affecting you. For instance, perhaps you don’t like other people taking your personal belongings because it reminded you of a negative event that happened in the past. Another possibility is that maybe it reminded you of the people who bullied you when you were in high school.
Step out of your comfort zone
Try challenging yourself by stepping out of your comfort zone. Take note of how you feel and what you do. Although it is uncomfortable, it will help you get in touch with your feelings and understand yourself better.
What emotions do you feel outside the comfort zone? You can also trace it back to your triggers.
Grab your pen and journal and write free-flowing entries. If you prefer, you may compose something creative such as a poem. Journaling makes us more aware by allowing us to connect more to ourselves.
It can help you discover what you want, value, dislike, and enjoy among so many other things. Let your mind and feelings flow through your pen, and you will realize certain things about yourself later on.
Spend time meditating
Meditation will allow you to sit still and just observe how your mind works. What thoughts come up? How does your body feel?
Every day, we are bombarded with different events and tasks, and we fail to process what is happening around us. The quiet time will make you more centered on yourself and eliminate distractions.
Ask for feedback
Another way of developing self-awareness is by opening yourself up to feedback. Ask someone you trust, whether a family or a friend, to give you feedback. This could be anything positive or negative.
You may learn about mistakes you have made that you may or may not have been aware of. Alternatively, a friend might tell you about how talented you are or how good you are at empathizing with other people.
Benefits of Self-Awareness
There are different benefits of personal mastery or self-awareness in the workplace and in our daily lives.
It boosts our self-esteem
Being self-aware makes us more confident. We are able to determine what holds us back and what we can improve upon.
It can make us more productive
We can be more productive when we are self-aware. We have a clearer view of our goals and dreams. We know exactly what we want and what we don’t want.
It helps us make better decisions
Self-awareness allows us to adapt to different situations easier. Since we have a hold on ourselves, we are able to make sound decisions even in times of stress.
It improves how we communicate with others
Because we are more connected to ourselves, we can clearly communicate our thoughts and feelings. This also helps us develop empathy. It will be easier to relate to other people, and our relationships will also improve.
It opens us up to more opportunities
Since we are more open to our flaws and strengths, we know what we can improve. Self-awareness leads to more opportunities for growth and learning.
Excellent leadership starts with personal mastery, a deep understanding of ourselves, and our patterns. This allows us to manage our behaviors, feelings, reactions, and even our deep-seated beliefs. When we have control over ourselves, we are better at leading others, and our purpose is clearer. Beginning with self-awareness can improve not just our professional life, but also our personal life.