A couple years ago I was invited to dinner by one of my good friends. Closer to dinner time I realized I had made a previous commitment that I had forgotten about. I had also forgot this was my third time ditching him. Days later he approached me and said ¨This is exactly what people hate about you.¨
I was crushed. I had no idea what I had done wrong. The part that stuck out to me was when he said the word ¨people.¨ Did everyone think this? Did everyone secretly hate me? Am I really like that?
Even though I had apologized to my friend and he recanted the statement the words had still stuck with me. I wanted to better understand myself from other people's perspective. I was going to improve my life, everyone was going to love me, and I was going to repair so many relationships.
I was super frustrated. I couldn't figure it out. Putting myself in other people's shoes just reassured my thoughts of how awesome I am. Is my ego getting in the way?
Then it hit me.
How can you understand how people perceive you if you don't even understand yourself? Finding out why you do what you do is the key that unlocks self awareness in your brain. Here's how you do it.
Make a list. Numbered 1 through 7. Starting at the very bottom ask yourself why you do what you do. Your first couple of answers may look something like this (Here were mine)
Typical and normal answers. Now, let's go to 3+4. Once again asking myself ¨Why do you do what you do.¨ (My answers again for reference)
Now is where you will see the amazing happen.
Finally you are down to the last two. This is where you will typically see something phenomenal happen. People stop thinking with their head. In fact, they are not thinking at all. They are just saying what is in their heart. My final two answers were.
2. I want to have an impact on people's lives because of the impact certain people have had on me.
1. I do what I do to prove everyone wrong who ever called me stupid because I couldn't stop talking or sit still. I do what I do to have freedom because I have always felt as if I was trapped in a box.
These answers need to be authentic, and in most cases from a place of pain. Self awareness is the single most important trait someone needs to have. It gives you the ability to recognize and understand how you tick to reverse engineer what you know in order to make better choices and live the life you want to live.
This post was originally published on Linkedin Pulse.