What Self-Aware People Don’t Do

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There are certain people who appear to be comfortable in their own skin. When you meet them they seem to have a “what you see is what you get” authenticity.

What don’t these self-aware people do? You seldom find them,

  1. Seeking love from accomplishments

Many live their lives on the assumption that since they cannot be loved for what they are they will then be loved for their accomplishments. The root of this type of personal insecurity is the belief that we are not lovable, worthy of love, or good enough. This sort of stuff, generated in childhood and reinforced by a performance oriented and conditional culture, creates havoc in our heads and in relationships.

Here are some of the symptoms. Self-aware people don’t

  • Wear their resume on their sleeve. They don’t use their accomplishments to garner approval from others.
  • Bend over backwards to please everyone in sight no matter how much it costs to do so.
  • Compete with everyone in an endless game of one-upmanship.
  1. Defined by other’s opinions

At times we all run focus groups in our minds where the burning question is “Of what value am I to others?” The trouble with such an approach is that we provide our own answers.

We have faulty assumptions of what we think others think of us. Even though this data is not objective or scientific we flagellate ourselves with the results. In order to diminish the self-inflicted pain we seek to prove to others how smart, beautiful, valuable, or socially acceptable we are. The symptoms are that we

  • Name drops to validate our status
  • Flash our knowledge or intelligence
  • Put others down to lift ourselves up
  • Stay angry to push others away
  • Showcase our possessions to boost our value
  • Look for a guru to tell us what to be and do

Heaven knows we all have our weaknesses. But in the end our self does not need fixing or self-improvement. At a very deep level we are loved unconditionally by the Universe.

In the words of Dag Hammarskjöld

“The more faithfully you listen to the voice within you, the better you will hear what is sounding outside.”


About cedricj

I am a licensed psychologist and management consultant and have always been intrigued by how leaders can inspire people in their organizations. The bottom line is that people are not always motivated by material rewards, the use of the carrot or the stick, fear and intimidation,and command and control, Five human needs inspire and drive us. Kristine S MacKain, Ph.D and myself describe these inspirational forces in our book "What Inspirational Leaders Do" (Kindle 2008)
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