According to research by Tascha Eurich and team, self-awareness is not only how well you know yourself (internal self-awareness), but also about how well you how others see you (external self-awareness). To quote Eurich:
Self-awareness isn’t one truth. It’s a delicate balance of two distinct, even competing, viewpoints.Tascha Eurich
Only by knowing both, we can be truly self-aware. If we are lacking internal or external self-awareness we fall into one of four categories.
- Seeker – I don’t know whom I want, not how others understand me. As a result, I am directionless.
- Pleaser – I know how others see me but I don’t know who I am. As a result, I end up doing what they want most of the time.
- Introspector – I know who I am but I don’t know how others see me. As a result, I struggle with relationships and don’t see ways to improve myself until it’s too late.
- Aware – I know who I am and I know how others see me. Surprisingly only 10-15% of us are truly (self-) aware according to Eurich.
- Ask for what instead of why? This allows you to find out what makes you happy and seek these events and moments out, intentionally.
- Ask for honest feedback from loving critics. Tell them you really want to improve and are looking for new perspectives as it is sometimes easier to see what is going on when you are not in it.
If you want to test your self-awareness, you can take Tascha Eurich’s test. The test will make you answer a couple of questions (internal self-awareness) before you are prompted to invite a person that knows you to provide their answers to the same questions (external self-awareness). In the best case, both align. In the worst case, you know what to work on! You can find the test, here.