Because self-awareness is a critical component in leadership, I hypothesized that it’s probably also an important element in performance. In doing a quick search, I found tons and tons of research and articles from sports psychologists that support this theory. Believe me, it went DEEP.
Here, I will attempt to scratch the surface with what self-awareness is and how to cultivate it. It’s no doubt an important aspect not only in sport, but in life.
First, what is self-awareness? It’s having a perception of your own strengths and weaknesses, beliefs, thoughts, emotions, habits, motivation and so on; plus the awareness of how others perceive us.
People who are self-aware have a realistic view of their strengths and weaknesses; their abilities and limitations. They are also OK with admitting their mistakes.
As a result, they are more able to “work” on themselves, improving the things that are holding them back.
The million-dollar question then becomes, “how do I become more self-aware?” Here are some tactics:
- Keep a journal of thoughts and feelings in training and in competition, then reflect on these.
- Be aware of your self-talk and how you “coach” yourself.
- Ask for and accept feedback - learn from others around you. This is important in that it reveals blindspots - things that are not known by self, but known by others.
- Watch video of your performances, noting your body language.
- Write a personal mission statement - identify your core beliefs and values.
In order to bring about change, understand what needs changing and why; this is the first step of self-awareness.
“There is no cure and no improving of the world that does not begin with the individual himself.” - Carl Jung
Know who you are!