How well do you think you know yourself? Self-awareness is key to success in work, life, and with relationships.
“Knowing yourself, and knowing the forces that affect the people who work for you, holds the key to being a successful leader.” ~ Kenneth M. Settel, MD, Clinical Instructor in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, CEO Psychology: Who Rises, Who Falls and Why (RosettaBooks, 2012)
Many of us know our character strengths, and over time have worked to develop them. At the same time, not being cognizant of our weaknesses can blindside our success.
The very character traits that peg you as having high-potential may prevent you from making it to the finish line. Every strength has a downside when carried to the extreme. Self-awareness can prevent self-sabotage.
The Pitfalls of Strengths
Here are a few examples of personality traits with both their positive and negative sides, from Dr. Rick Brinkman in his book, Dealing with People You Can’t Stand.
You probably have a sense of your personal talents and liabilities. Learning how to leverage them—amplifying your strengths, while minimizing your weaknesses—sets the stage for good interpersonal relationships. You’ll become less vulnerable and sensitive to criticism.
Even the strongest, most talented people have flaws. Each of us is driven by conscious and unconscious forces that must be channeled into positive outcomes, so it’s important to seek personal development opportunities at every stage of your life. You won’t gain self-knowledge in a vacuum, so consider working with a mentor or experienced coach.
Here’s the challenge: if you were to sit down and write out your personality traits and then list a couple of ways they show up as a strength and as a weakness, would you be able to do it? Do you know yourself well?
We have self-centered minds which get us into plenty of trouble. If we do not come to understand the error in the way we think, our self-awareness —which is our greatest blessing—is also our downfall.~ Joko Beck, author