“My major concern is that i cannot stay focused and keep myself motivated… this statement was shared by one of my students in the campus canteen of a B-school. There were unanimous whispers and sounds of ” me too”. Our casual get to gather got over and every one left towards their own destinations however that statement stayed with me and i kept thinking about it. As “Dwayne Johnson’s” quote says, “Success at anything will always come down to this: focus and effort and we control both.” As an employability skills enhancement facilitator i always tell my students and aspirants that to achieve success and to stay successful you need to be focused and motivated in your professional endeavors and personal life, Alas! During the conversation i found that it’s always easier said than done.. Let’s talk about motivation first. How easy or difficult it is to stay motivated in pursuit of our set goals and targets? Motivation has a different definition for each one of us, for me a certain action/thought or even an emotion could be motivating and the same it can be annoying or demotivating for someone else. So to identify what motivates you the most and stay focused to achieve your goals, you need to be self- aware. This awareness could be about your likes/ dislikes, your thoughts and emotions and their after effects. It could even be about understanding the areas of your interests, intelligent and emotional quotient and your possessed skill-set vis- a- vis strengths and weaknesses. This awareness helps you to change, adapt and evolve according to situations and challenging circumstances.
“I think Self-awareness is probably the most important thing towards being a CHAMPION, quotes Bille Jean King. Self-awareness is one of the attributes of Emotional Intelligence and an important factor in achieving success. It is the first step in creating what you want and mastering your life. Which way you move ahead in your life is determined on certain factors such as what is your main focus in life, how strong or weak you are emotionally, how you react/respond to situations and of-course your over-all behavior. Self-awareness also allows you to take control of your emotions, behavior, and personality so you can make changes as and when and what you want. Until you are aware in the moment of your thoughts, emotions, words, and behavior, you will have difficulty making changes in the direction of your life.
The next immediate question is “How to be self-aware?” Some steps towards self-awareness..
- See the real YOU! : Though it is very difficult to see and accept the real you however right efforts in this direction of identifying self can give you rewarding results.
- Think about your perceptions in different situations that will help you know the general course of your thinking style.
- Think about your childhood, special situations, good/bad experiences, achievements and disappointments and your reaction/response to them.
- Ask an honest and unbiased feedback about you as a person from your friends, relatives, spouse and children.
- Maintain RECORDS/DAIRY: Write your thoughts and feelings and other people’s perceptions about you. You can read and reread to move towards self-awareness.
- Goal setting!! : Set your goals, write them down on worksheets. Break them into simpler/mini goals. Identify your priorities and plans to succeed.
- Do a Self-reflection daily: Take out 10/15 minutes every day and talk to yourself. Go through the entire day and do a self- reflection to check how committed and real you were…
- Psychometric/Personality test: Take some psychometric or personality tests to understand yourself better. There are certain test like Myers-Briggs and Predictive Index which are globally accepted. The results may not be 100% accurate but they give a fair idea of self. There are certain tests developed for the Indian context* as well, can use them to get better results.
- Meditation and Yoga: These time-tested practices help you relax and do a genuine introspection. Very effective way to develop self-awareness.
- Feedback from friends and colleagues: We all have certain friends or colleagues who are our so-called critics however they are genuinely trying to help us develop. Have an open conversation with them. Ask them to give a true and serious feedback about you as a person, about your perceptions and the areas where you need improvement.
I, sincerely wish these steps/methods will help you to be more self-aware. Once this becomes a habit of practicing these steps, keeping yourself motivated and focus will be considerably easy, as this self-awareness will give you a better idea what works for you and what doesn’t. In this series I would be writing next about general tips for self-motivation. Till then, happy reading and Self-Exploring…..