What if self-awareness is not enough to get what you want?
“What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.” Abraham Maslow
In recent years, the notion of self-awareness has swept the world by storm.
More and more people are taking Big 5, 16 personalities, DISC assessments and discovering their enneagram type, in an effort to better understand themselves.
The patterns of their personality.
And how others understand them.
The role self-awareness plays in personal development, growth, and simply being able to accurately perceive and connect with reality itself, is crucial.
So much so, that even the leading organizations in the world, such as Bridgewater Associates, lead by bestselling author Ray Dalio, have begun to run their organizations through a series of in-depth personality tests and psychographic assessments. In order to run better teams and build bigger companies.
What a time it is to be alive, when the development of individuals is beginning to be recognized to be the key driver of the growth of organizations.
This self-awareness revolution is one of the best things to happen to humanity. And is an undeniable jump from the self-awareness status quo even 5 years ago…
But what if self-awareness was not enough to help you solve the problems it beings awareness to?
And worse yet, what if self-awareness can even contribute to creating new problems, when left at this level?
Let’s explore why…
“Self-awareness is one of the rarest of human commodities. I don’t mean self-consciousness were you’re limiting and evaluating yourself. I mean aware of your own patterns.” Tony Robbins
As you become more aware of yourself, your influences, your patterns of behavior…
You begin to feel their impact all the more.
It’s a can of worms that many people that majority of their day, every day, avoiding.
Spending more time on their phones.
Numbing and distracting themselves, in about any way they can, to avoid to impending insights that crash into them when they stop moving.
This is because self-awareness can be painful.
When you connect with yourself and feel what’s really going on, beneath the surface, the reality of it is jarring.
There are so many influences occurring on the conscious and subconscious levels, in the forms of conditioned responses, repetitive behaviors, childhood trauma, limiting or self-damaging beliefs, and many more…
Maybe this increase in pain is designed to be an impetus to change the cause of it. Like it’s meant to move us in that direction.
But the problem is, most people lack the skills to effectively resolve the source of their problems.
A low level of self-awareness, only helps you know problems exist.
At a higher level, it helps you understand where the problem is coming from. If it’s a problem worth solving. And maybe even determine if it’s going to happen again.
But most people stop before they get there.
They only become aware that the problems exist and amplify them.
Your awareness of the patterns, only makes you feel like your confined to a small box.
More than capable of creating your own version of hell.
The tide of life pulls them into its rhythm and they are simply along for the ride. Aware of every bump and bounce. Witnessing their patterns, intermittently feeling their pain, but have clue how to break the pattern. Or where it’s coming from.
To go beyond the patterns of your behavior, what you need is not just more self-awareness of yourself, your conditioning and patterns.
What you need is a level beyond self-awareness.
The level of self-influence.
Where instead of just being aware of the patterns that repeat themselves, you create your own patterns and therefore determine your outcomes.
The most important skill of the 21st century.
“He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.” Lao Tzu
In order to go beyond self-awareness, you need to master the art and science of self-influence.
Self-influence is when you learn what influences you, what makes your behavior more predictable, and learn how to take back control over these forces to persistently and positively influence yourself.
In today’s hyper-connected and over-stimulated modern world, there has never been a higher need for the skill of self-influence.
Getting what we want isn’t something you can expect others to do for you. And your can’t count on the outcomes that sort themselves out of chaos to aligned with your personal interests.
Getting what you want is something you have to do for yourself.
Not just adapting to the world and existing within it.
But by mastering yourself, and shaping the world as you need to.
First, by knowing yourself. What you want. Where you want to go.
Then, by being yourself. How you can leverage your personal strengths in order to succeed in the way you uniquely can.
Finding The Others to share the journey with. And achieve more together.
Getting what you want, and keeping what you get, by consciously influencing yourself every step along the way.
So you have more grace in getting there.
Taking self-awareness to the level of self-influence as a path to self-mastery.
“One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself.” Leonardo Da Vinci
Self-Mastery is a value from the philosophical age, when it was clear that people were not the products of their environments…
But instead products of the contents of their characters and minds.
A product of a time when we didn’t have the luxury instant gratification, access to all collective knowledge in an instant, and technology reduced the friction between our whims and their actualization to the shortest possible increment. When people had to wait.
This value was lost, when it became a luxury and not a necessity.
But with the rise of self-awareness in this conscious revolution, self-mastery as a value is in the midst of a resurgence. Rearing its heads in the innovative hearts of companies, and in the minds of professionals who lead them.
On the back-end of the self-awareness revolution, is the self-mastery resurgence.
As more and more people realize that what they desire, actually comes through the pursuit of self-mastery and nothing else.
That self-mastery isn’t something they need to achieve, or a destination to be reached, if such a thing is even possible.
But instead getting what they want, in the process of the unattainable.
This is the puzzle of self-mastery and the paradox of pursuit, that keeps many people from reaching this highest level.
You pursue self-mastery, knowing you may never reach it — and in the process you get what you desire.
Not reaching a destination, but instead meeting each moment with a greater level-of self-awareness.
Then influencing yourself, in the pursuit of self-mastery. Taking control over your own influences. Mastering your state. Controlling the only thing you can control. And getting what you want in the process.
For this reason, self-influence is not just the most important modern skill to learn, but also one of the greatest opportunities for those willing to seize it.
Helping the makers and doers of things, elevate their self-awareness—above the awareness of their patterns and the pain of self-reflection—to the level of self-acceptance.
Seeing themselves as they are, accepting themselves—instead of denying or ignoring their reality. Being brave enough to look at what’s happening. Accepting it is as it is, without ignoring or underestimating any aspect of it, nor conflating the situation with our own projections.
And through connecting with their reality and meeting it where it’s at…
Finally gaining the ability to influence themselves first, then their world second. Creating something new in its place. Something of your choosing.
In the process, becoming more of the person you want to be.
Controlling the only thing you really can control: yourself.