Self-awareness has traditionally been defined as the will and the skill to understand yourself and how you are perceived by others.

In traditional approaches to self-awareness, the goal is to see yourself in the same way others see you.

The key limitation with this way of thinking about self-awareness is the assumption we are singular in our psychology – that there is just one ‘self’ to get to know.

This assumption can be unhelpful, because we all have many different parts.

So, I would like to offer up an alternative definition of self-awareness that perhaps is more helpful in the context of figuring out who we really are, and how to be true to ourselves.

This new definition recognises to our innate goodness, and our multiplicity and supports us to be good leaders – for ourselves and for others.

I define true self-awareness is the practice of better understanding our core self and our many parts with the curiosity and compassion.

There are many benefits of getting to know ourselves, and becoming more self-aware.

It makes us better leaders.

Self-awareness has been shown to be the most important capability for leaders to develop It is considered to be the biggest predictor of leadership success. And people who report to leaders with good self-awareness are more likely to feel more satisfied with them as leaders and see them as more effective in general.

It’s good for us and for those we lead

When we see ourselves clearly, we can be more confident and more creative. Greater levels of self-awareness have also been linked to greater levels of job satisfaction, and to leaders’ levels of personal commitment to colleagues.

It’s good for business

Organisations with self-aware employees perform better financially . People who have good self-awareness have been shown to make sounder decisions, build stronger relationships, and communicate more effectively. They’re also less likely to lie, cheat or steal. They’re more likely to perform well and get promoted.

The good news is with focus and practice, true self-awareness is something we can all improve.

Being yourself requires that you really know yourself and embracing a new understanding of ‘self’ and ‘self-awareness’ supports this deeper knowing.

Are you curious to explore how the practice of self-fidelity might support you to cultivate true self-awareness?

If so, I would love to talk. You know where to find me.