On Self-Awareness and Focusing On Your Strengths

Not just your weaknesses.

Image from Pixabay.com

In the last post, I wrote about my opinions on “Fake it ’til you make it”; the advice that millennials grew up hearing. However, instead of spending so many hours faking life, photoshopping it to make it instagram-perfect, maybe millennials need to spend their energy on something different, self-awareness.

At some point during the end of 2016, there was a video by Simon Sinek that went viral about millennials. He mentioned how half of their problems spring from the narrative they’ve been fed by their parents about them being special snowflakes who received participation trophies and could do anything they wanted — if the parents made enough noise. “So you take this group of people, and they graduate school and they get a job and they’re thrust into the real world, and in an instant, they find out they’re not that special, their mums can’t get them a promotion, they get nothing for coming in last, and in an instance, their entire self-image is shattered.” Of course, the other half of their problems come from photoshopping and filtering their snapchatted and instagrammed lives.

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Self-awareness could tremendously help address a lot of these problems that are now faced by Generation Z kids. In the famous book, Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, self-awareness was defined as knowing one’s internal states, preference, resources and intuitions. When the child is self-aware, he starts to understand there are a few areas where he really, really, really shines in, and instead of focusing so much on his weaknesses so he’s at par with his cousin who’s the spelling whiz jock — Captain of the Year winner 3 times in a row — he would instead focus on his own strengths, mastering whatever craft he’s born with a natural affinity with and shine in his own area. And that can’t happen if the kid keeps on being compared to that super-awesome cousin.

Also, the more self-aware the kid is, the more likely s/he is to be comfortable in their own skin, be honest with themselves and not build a fake social media bubble around themselves — and even if they do build the fake bubble, their self-awareness will help them see it’s fake.

I wrote about the simplest framework for self-awareness in a previous post, where you understand your strengths/weaknesses and the threats/opportunities that exist around you as well as the values you live by.

Now of course, I spoke about kids in the examples above, but self-awareness is important for everybody at all stages of their lives. In her book titled The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, Bronnie Ware — an Australian nurse said that the number one regret was, “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

Simon Sinek’s video on millennials; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hER0Qp6QJNU

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Originally published at medium.com

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