self-awareness brings successIn my post The Major Barrier to Executing Your Strategic Plan, I talked about self-awareness as a key to moving your business agenda forward.  Mentioning the topic increased my self-awareness and I saw several posts this week that sparked more on this critical leadership factor.

One of my takeaways from the these posts is understanding the context of the things that are going on around you.  While I agree with this, it’s even more important to understand what’s going on inside your head.  That is, how does your own mind work?!  It is your mind that reacts to the stimulus around you and how you react determines your outcome.

Self-awareness is not a new concept.  It is the first habit in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Peoplebe proactive.  In this habit Covey tells us to take responsible for our own actions or how we react to situations.  And that how we react to situation is always influenced by our biases.

What happens if you don’t understand your biases?  We react to situations without understanding why (out of control).  Frequently in these situations we will react badly and as a result not get the outcome which we are looking.  Relationships are damaged in the process as well which is never a good thing.

Self Awareness Means Learning Control

Learning control is never easy.  But, like most things, it’s something you can learn.

We have all learned to do things before.  We all learned to crawl, walk, and talk.  Learning how your own mind works in no different, although it is far more complex and a lot harder to master!  That’s why many of us don’t.  We think it’s too hard, so we just stop trying.

The other reason we often stop is that it’s pretty scary going into our own minds.  Early on in life we learned to shut things out.  Most were too painful at the time.  Now, we’re afraid to go back there even though the situation is not the same as it was then.  Many of the answers are just on the other side of that wall we’ve put up.  The question is, “are you willing to do what it will take to get past what’s holding you back?

What’s your fear?  Are you willing to face it to have the success you say you want?  I’m here to tell you it’s possible.  If you share your fear and I’m sure you’ll find others that have struggled with it too.  If you’ve gotten past your fear share what was on the other side when you got past it.  It may help others to get past it too.

Too much to share outwardly in this forum?  Then email me!  I’ve seem more problems than you can imagine.  And, if I can’t help I know people that specialize in helping business leaders get past walls that imprison them.

Breakthrough—success is on the other side!!!



  1. Avatar
    Dan Forbes
    August 29, 2012

    Fear is a powerful force that robs us of success if we let it. Eleanor Roosevelt challenged us to, “Do one thing every day that scares you.”

    I have a hunch that following her advice is a great way to become self-aware.

    • Avatar
      Dino Eliadis
      August 29, 2012


      I have never heard this quote. Very appropriate here. Thanks for taking the time to contribute to the conversation! – Dino

  2. Avatar
    Jackie O'Carroll
    August 30, 2012

    Thanks for your interesting article Dino. I am wondering if you purposefully chose to not use the word ’emotions’? Self awareness is not just what is going on in our minds, it is also awareness of our emotional responses to situations and people. We can then begin to understand our inner selves and develop self management/control. firstly though we have to ackowledge our emotional responses and as you have said, what lies behind them. There is a fear here no doubt, but with support/coaching/personal development/reading we can work through the sometimes painful memories or issues that we are still ‘holding’ in our emotional responses. It is our ‘inner child’ we need to acknowledge, nurture and love. That child pops up when we least expect it!

  3. Avatar
    Amy F. Weinberger
    August 30, 2012

    Through the years, I have found the word response to fit the picture better than react. While some people might not think of parenting as leadership…it has taught me the most about the art of negotiation and the difference between responding and reacting. Matte-of- fact, I think I can safely say that while responding either immediately or with delay has produced better results than any of my reactions. A reaction is more like a knee- jerk while for me, at least, a response has become a thought out action with a variety of opportunities.

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