Awareness, what is it and why is it important to be successful? Many of us live in a world that is reactive rather than proactive. We act based on habits that might or might not be proper for a specific situation and sometimes we disregard the needs and wants of others and the social context.  Awareness is an important part of being a successful professional, a loving husband, a decent human being.

A few months ago I met a fellow coach,  a very experienced individual with a coaching practice that spans many years, many countries and many high power clients.   We have gotten to know each other, and just recently he has started coaching me for what I am incredibly grateful.

In our most recent conversation, he brought a couple of things about me that I wasn’t aware of, a couple of glaring blind spots.  We all have them, and some are more critical than others, but the only way to know we have them is ask other people how they perceive us.   In our conversations, he pointed out the need to live in a state of awareness.   He introduced me to a three tier level of awareness that we all should know.   

1-  Awareness of Self

This is about understanding yourself at a deep level.  What are your needs and wants, your desires, your weaknesses, failings, habits, what makes you tick?. The more you know about yourself, the better you are at adapting life changes that come your way.  If you know yourself well, you would be able to cope and maximize your strengths to face the challenges ahead.

2-  Awareness of Social Context

This level of awareness gives you the ability to understand and respond to the needs and wants of the people you interact with daily.   It also means you carefully plan, based on those needs and wants, how are you going to communicate with them in a way that is intended to meet that need, a communication based on trust and empathy.   Being socially aware is understanding the needs and wants of others, and taking steps to fulfill those needs and wants.  When you respond to those needs and wants,  you gain their trust.

3- Awareness of Perceptions

Do you know what other people really feel about you?  If the people you interact with daily were to be completely honest with you and tell you how they see you,  what do you think they will say?  What is their perception of you?  Many of us see ourselves differently than how others see us.  We assume that their perception is similar to what know about ourselves,  but that is a dangerous assumption.  This is especially important if you have a blind spot. Being aware of how others see you might be the difference between getting what you want or not, getting the promotion or not, getting the opportunity or not.

My fellow coach pointed a glaring blind spot of mine, the minute he brought it up, I realized the potential impact in my interactions with others and most importantly how that might affect their perception of me and my effectiveness as professional.  I realized that I coach people to do what I needed to do as well, doctors are patients at one point or another.   

Do you honestly know how others perceive you?  How aware are you?

Awareness is the greatest agent for change

Ekhart Tolle