In the 1600’s, Shakespeare wrote – “The fault lies not in our stars but in ourselves”. In the late 1800’s, John Ruskin, the English critic and philosopher, made this statement – “There is only one small corner of the universe that each and every one of us can be certain of improving, and that is ourselves”.
So, where do we start?
Ok, today is the day you get a promotion. Right now, as you’re reading these words. Today we are becoming aware that we are, and have always been, the CEO of a small company by the name of ‘Self Incorporated’. You are the CEO, Production Manager, Sales Manager and the cleaner of your own company. As the CEO, you need a business plan to define your future and key ideas, to avoid the roadblocks that can prevent you from achieving your real potential.
IT WILL INVOLVE CHANGE. Most of us don’t want change – it’s just too hard, because something inside each of us has keeps saying: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Therefore to fully recognize our failure at understanding self we must ask ourselves some key questions during our first board meeting.
– Who am I?
– Do I really know who I am?
– Do I really understand what it takes to change me?
Let’s start with the first question here; Who am I?
There are a few key factors that make up who we are:
-Level of Ambition
Social Style is our perception of observable behaviours. Often Social Style programs are about recognizing behaviours in other people and adapting our own behaviours to better be able to communicate or sell to them. However, we want to be able to accurately reverse that process and use the same techniques to improve our interactions and communications with ourselves. There are a number of profile tools used in most training and development organisations now, that you can also access online to see where you fit. You are also able to access the Smart-Train one via our website.
Now, the important thing to note is that we don’t always have to fit in the box that bests describes us 90% of the time. We can Modify, we can Adapt. However, we can only adapt if we know where we sit to begin with.
Failure to understand our own social style can have devastating effects on our relationships with others.
The second area in which we fail to understand ourselves relates to our personal attributes: We all have to review our personal attributes regularly, so that we can identify our unique and defining characteristics for today, to give us a solid starting point whenever we need one. Then we’re able to ask ourselves, “Where do I want to go?” We can set targets and avoid basic failures of self with greater ease.
To make sure we understand our levels of ambition we need to explore our Growth Curve. When you started your latest job; your new role in life – how excited were you? That point right there was the bottom of the curve – a new opportunity. A point of excitement. When you become more excited and enthused by something you start to rise the curve, and finally when your enthusiasm pays off, you start winning. If that’s making regular sales, or becoming more proficient in what it is you’re doing – you start to feel like you’re winning; and if we continue to practice doing those things we become consistent.
Unfortunately, consistency has a sister, ‘Complacency’. If we’re not diligent in understanding ourselves, we’ll inevitably start asking questions like, “Why is this happening to me?” “Why aren’t I achieving what I should be achieving?” “How come this is not going the way it should be?”
If we can’t evaluate ourselves, and so we start making excuses. We exit. We go out of that business, out of that role, and we lose ourselves.
In closing, let me reassure you that the purpose of all of this is to develop your ability to Manage Yourself. Consequently, we need to realize that most of what we are talking about concerns the brain. Our brains need our bodies to be kept fit. We need the right kind of sustenance: Exercise, Relaxation and Socialization.