How to Increase Your Self-Awareness with One Simple Fix: Reflect On How You Reflect
There are two types of people in this world: Those who think they are self-aware and those that are.
"Yesterday I was clever, so I changed the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself." - Rumi
Self-aware individuals, according to organizational psychologist Dr. Tasha Eurich, perform better at work, have stronger relationships, make smarter decisions, are more confident, and are better communicators. They're more effective leaders with more profitable companies.
Fortunately, self-awareness is a skill that can be developed.
The difference between ‘what’ and ‘why’.
Asking why is to ask for an explanation about a situation; to seek the reason, cause, or purpose for something.
Why questions demand answers, but researchers have found that no matter how hard we try, we can't excavate our unconscious thoughts, feelings, and motives. As a result, why-questions lead to the creation of alternative facts and clouding of self-perception.
Why questions fixate on what happened.
Why questions lead to assumptions, conjecture, and going up the ladder of inference to make sense of a
situation. Why questions highlight limitations, insecurities, and stir up negative emotions. Why questions trap us in the rearview mirror.
What questions move us forward to our future.
What questions break the cycle of rumination. What-questions are less about explaining a situation. Instead, they bring objectivity and open space for considering all the factors influencing a particular outcome. What questions pertain to your own locus of control.
Asking the right questions empowers us to make different choices that bring about different outcomes.
The Introspection Illusion: Thinking ≠ knowing.
Thinking about yourself isn’t the same as knowing yourself. To improve your self-awareness, reflect on how you are reflecting. Are you asking ‘why’ questions or ‘what’ questions?