Part 2 of 5

Let’s assume you have established a definitive Chief Aim. That’s at least 51 percent of the battle. If you haven’t read the first article or listened to the podcast, stop and go back now to do that because this part is irrelevant without a Chief Aim.

Self Awareness. It’s a popular term as of late with all the studies and teaching on emotional intelligence.

And for good reason. A lack of self awareness is the second reason we don’t achieve our goals.

Martin Luther began a sermon with the following: “The summons of death comes to us all, and no one can die for another.”

Where did your thoughts go just now after reading Luther’s opening line? I’m curious to know. My thoughts paused and then gave birth to another idea. I choose how I will die by how I live.

I find deficiencies of self awareness in all of us to some degree but especially to the types not interested in self evaluation, assessments, and healthy coaching relationships. I use the phrase “types” because I can’t quite put my finger on a specific category of person. But I have observed the following spoken or unspoken reasons why self reflection is avoided:

  • I’m too busy
  • I’m too important
  • Im too old
  • I’m simply more intelligent
  • I find no value in assessments
  • I’ve had a bad experience with coaching
  • I don’t want to know
  • I am who I am

I stated in the first article that I often start a coaching relationship by searching for the client’s chief aim. If we identify this all important target, we then explore obstacles. I’ll sometimes say it this way: “What are the the things and/or people you perceive as obstacles preventing the attainment of your main goal?” This discussion helps uncover among other things, my client’s awareness of self and the context.

Most of the time, I hear of external obstacles. Rarely do I hear of the most dangerous- the internal issues. These can range from a lack of appreciation and leveraging of one’s gifts and strengths to blind spots. Just as threatening is the inability to articulate defeating emotions. How we feel fuels our efforts.

To articulate self awareness is to bring intelligence to the goal-achieving battle field. It is an honest and empowering process assessing one’s strengths and opportunities as well as understanding what the enemy to our success might bring to the skirmish. The process of making things known is to bring everything into the light where a plan of success can be designed with sober judgment, courage, and confidence.

Let me say it another way. Self awareness leads to broader and deeper understanding, increasing wisdom and courage. As you make the unconscious conscious, you “see” like never before. You learn to use the “why” senses, not just the what.

Why did I quit? Why am I discouraged? Why do I want this? Why did he do that? Why did she say that? Why is there resistance? When we ask the “why” questions, we will better answer the “how” questions. Without the whys, the typical tactics and strategies often fail.

Two things you need to do: first, use your imagination and place yourself in the center of the room. In your mind’s eye, walk around yourself slowly and several times making self more consciously aware of who you are – your strengths, gifts, fears, blind spots and how others may see you. It is helpful if you can include a trusted person or two to participate. Write everything down you discover. This is not a one time thing, it is a discipline of growing.

Second, do the same thing by placing your definitive Chief Aim in the middle of the room and invite (if you can) trusted persons to help you walk around this highly desired goal. Sometimes it’s not wise to invite others in on this exercise for a variety of reasons; however, if you can, make sure these are some of the wisest people you know. You’ve created a mastermind – where the saying “two or more minds are better than one” becomes realized. Together, walk around the goal freely making the invisible visible using words. describe everything you can regarding the vision. It’s beauty, obstacles, and strategies for achievement.

Then you’ll be ready to overcome the third reason we don’t achieve our goals.


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