A Lesson in Self-Awareness

Self-Awareness is one of the fifteen emotional competencies measured in the EQi2.0 emotional intelligence assessment. The official definition is “knowing what one is feeling and why.” Knowing and understanding one’s strengths and weaknesses, what is most important, and how old scripts and behaviors get in the way of life goals is a critical component to success.

How do I describe success?

Young Women Thinking her Problems at sunrise timeSuccess is the ultimate prize. It is what brings each of us the satisfaction we long for. I don’t mean satisfaction in a purely hedonistic way, though frankly the majority of us could use a little more pleasure before the final curtain is drawn, but in an “I am well pleased” with my life and how it is progressing way.

But this post is about self-awareness which doesn’t always equate to things going the way we want. As I write this I am keenly aware that sometimes uncontrollable circumstances happen…s**t happens. And staying connected to who we are may be even more important during the times when life seems to be spinning out of control.

Take Polly for instance. I don’t know Polly well. I have watched her grow up from a distance, a second cousin on my husband’s side, a friend on Facebook, and a beautiful young mother who fought valiantly this past year against the great “beast.” We mourned with her when she was diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago. She shared herself and her journey generously…bravely. I watched as she lost her hair, and I cheered her on when she spoke of “kicking cancer’s ass.” I was elated when she was diagnosed as cancer free two months ago.

Then yesterday, as I was getting on the plane to head home, I saw her post a picture from her hospital room. Yesterday she was diagnosed with leukemia: a three week hospital stay, more chemo, and likely another six-week stay for a bone marrow transplant.

Her eyes said everything, and her words said, #‎gamefaceformyson.

She has been heavy on my mind the last 24 hours. I am sad, and angry that cancer exists, and in awe of her strength. I feel so many emotions it is overwhelming. I wish I could help and I feel helpless.

Self-awareness: I know what I feel and why I feel it.

Cancer must be eradicated…anything less is just not good enough.

The definition for emotional intelligence should have a picture of Polly. She has eloquently expressed how she feels about her cancer. She has done it with a sense of dignity. She has balanced her feelings with the feelings of others, and what they need.

She is emotionally aware, and during this tragic turn of events, what will be one of the most turbulent rides of her life, she is still able to balance her emotional self with others.

Now that is what I call success.

#‎gamefaceformyson

If you are longing to have a different kind of conversation in the workplace, call me at 303-238-9733.  Let’s talk about it.

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HighResolution_Warnke_ DebSiverson20121208-9332-EditDeb Siverson is a seasoned executive coach, certified as a PCC through the International Coach Federation. If you want to schedule time to discuss how you or your organization can increase engagement by having a different conversation at work, contact us now.

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  1. […] In week one the focus was on self-awareness, and there was an Emotional Intelligence 360 and MBTI, and lots of exercises on expanding self-knowledge of how we impact our experience and the experience of others.  […]

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