In this post, I’ll share my favourite self-awareness exercise. The exercise helps you know yourself better by exploring your values. Many of my clients tell me it is the single most useful benefit of working with me.
Before starting, dig out your personal development plan – thanks.
What do you mean you don’t have one?
Is it in the bottom drawer gathering dust?
Okay, I’m joking.
You know, I find there are too many people who do not have a personal development plan.
They often focus all of their energy on everyone else’s development and forget their own!
Let me ask you a simple question that I’m guessing you may not have been asked too often.
How well do you know yourself?
Then, how well do you know yourself, really?
I mean your motivations, your values and your beliefs? The hidden stuff that drives your behaviour.
Here’s the thing, if you have such little self-awareness, how on earth can you expect anyone else to be at their best when around you?
The more you know yourself, the more patience you have for what you see in others.Erik Erikson
Here’s the exercise to help you explore your values, raising your self-awareness of what is truly important for you.
Imagine that you have been afforded the chance to take a six-month sabbatical, all expenses paid. Great, eh?
The only condition is that you may not take any work along on this sabbatical and you will not be permitted to communicate to anyone while you’re away.
Not by email, phone, letter or any other means. Just you, a few good books, some music and your headphones.
Before you head off, the people you work with need to know the principles that should guide their actions in your absence. They need to know the values and beliefs that you believe should steer their decision-making and action-taking.
After all, you want to be able to come back and find everything has been running well, don’t you?
You’re not permitted to provide any long reports. Just a simple one-page Credo Memo.
Now, grab a piece of A4 paper and write that memo.
I’ll sit here with a cup of coffee whilst you finish it off.
Have you done yet? Need a few more moments?
Okay, now you’ve written your Credo Memo take the principles you’ve listed and put them in order of priority.
Easy? I suspect not, but stick with it.
Now, what are the top three, the principles you would not compromise?
Know yourself to improve yourself.Auguste Comte
Developing Your Self-Awareness
Share this simple exercise with some close friends and notice any similarities and differences that you have.
Next, consider how your Credo Memo can help you remain in focus.
Of course, this exercise is not a substitute for more in-depth self-discovery of values and beliefs, but it does provide a useful starting point for articulating your guiding principles.
Forcing yourself to express preferences, enables you to see the relative potency of each one.
Call to Action
Over the past ten years, I’ve helped thousands of people raise their self-awareness and worked with them to form a customised personal development plan that simply worked for them.
Get in touch if you would like to explore how I can help you.
Remember, the place to start your own development is to really understand what will make a difference for you. To do this, first get to know yourself better!