Two Resources to Build Self Awareness ep. 9

For the past 3 months, I’ve been creating Changes BIG and small. I’ve wanted to make a podcast for years. In fact, I created an episode of a podcast in 2011, and like many other people who start podcasts, I only created that one episode. I’m happy that I’ve come back to it!

I am excited to celebrate 8 completed episodes! I’ve been inspired by all the people I’ve interviewed. I have four more interviews done, and ready to finalize. I’m excited to share them with you in 2020! This podcast is about change, so it seems fitting to change things up a bit. The next few episodes will follow a different format. They’ll just be me on mic, but the topic is the same, and we can still have fun together.

December is a busy month for me, and it maybe for you too. I’ve had the pleasure of rediscovering my chosen home of Prague through three of my recent visitors, as discussed with Ryan in episode 5. I am looking forward to some more of that with visits from two of my favourite people over the Christmas holidays.

As I think of Christmas and the end of the year, that inevitably brings up the new year: 2020! Six years ago, as I was preparing to move from Japan to Prague, I sat at dinner with the three ladies who primarily formed my local community at the time, and suggested we meet again in Japan in 2020. Why 2020? Because why not. Often, I don’t know how to weight all the pros and cons when making a decision (something I discussed with Emily in episode 6) so I’ve approached my life from an angle of why not.

Although 2019 isn’t done, I have a number of tentatively scheduled, but real plans for 2020. I’m also planning to take some time to consider what other changes I’d like to make. As first discussed with Bogdan in epidode 2, change requires a level of self-awareness. Then Annie shared with us how difficult this self-awareness can be, and how we sometimes sacrifice it to cultural or social expectations. Awareness doesn’t happen automagically, it requires some effort. Even when we are self-aware, we can sometimes wonder if our choices are the right one, something that both Laetitia and I struggle with. So today, I’m sharing two resources with you, to help you learn about yourself. These two resources provide the framework for you to take a concrete step towards choice and freedom, so you can act with confidence and conviction.

We may not always like what we see, but there’s a comfort in knowing ourselves.

Tasha Eurich, TEDxMileHigh

Self-Awareness TED Talk with

The first resource, I learned about from Adam Grant while listening to either The Tim Ferriss Show or Armchair Experts with Dax Shepard. From looking at the shownotes for both episodes, it seems likely that the H/T goes to The Tim Ferris Show. In the interview, Adam shares a 17 minutes TED Talk by Organizational Psychologist Tara Eurich. If for some reason, you don’t like video, you can also read the transcript to learn how to Increase your self-awareness with one simple fix. This TED Talk is my introduction to her work, so if you’re familiar with her, please share in the comments!

I really enjoyed this TED talk. I was surprised how rare self-awareness is until she explained that we ask the wrong questions. If you’ve ever asked yourself why a relationship broke up, why things are different than how you’d like them to be, why your significant other doesn’t understand you, or any of a long list of possible why questions, this talk could flip a switch for you. (For two additional resources to help you with your mindset, listen to my interview with Praveen).

It’s the ability to see ourselves clearly, to understand who we are, how others see us and how we fit into the world.

Tasha Eurich, TEDxMileHigh

Chalene Johnson – Why Are You Here and Which Idea to Focus On

The second resource is a blog post, podcast and questionnaire from Chalene Johnson. I encourage you to read Why Are You Here and Which Idea to Focus On and listen to the podcast. It’s only 21 minutes long, but full of gems. I first learned about Chalene from her fitness programs, and I’ve been part of her tribe for years. I do disagree with her sometimes, but I find her very smart, and she generously shares information with her readers and listeners.

Chalene has two podcasts: The Chalene Show and Build your Tribe. On The Chalene Show, she discusses health, fitness, self-improvement, beauty, family, etc. The second podcast, Build your Tribe is hosted with her son, Brock Johnson. They discuss strategies and share tips for entrepreneurs, freelancers, side-hustlers, or anyone who is interested in social media and marketing. I could have chosen several episodes to share with you today, but picked this particular one because it introduces the My Thing questionnaire, which has many great “What” questions, which connects to Tasha Eurich’s talk. Even if you’re not a freelancer or actively working on creating passive income, the questions will help you develop your self awareness.

It’s interesting to me that I asked myself many of these same questions a few years back. I was trying to decide if it was time for me to change careers after teaching full-time for 14 years. I again came back to my questions when deciding to start this podcast. I also asked my friends for advice on what I was good at. Maybe you want to change something in your personal life or in your professional life. The questions in this questionnaire relate to both areas. But if the questionnaire seems like to much for now, save it and start with these three questions: What brings you joy when you’re doing it? What did you enjoy doing as a child that you’ve lost along the way? What can you do on a regular basis (of your choice) to add joy to your life and to serve humankind?

Note that you do need to put in your email address in order to receive the questionnaire, which means you’re subscribing to her email list. You may be excited about that if her topics appeal to you. If not, when you receive the email with the questionnaire, you can unsubscribe to the mailing list at the end of the email.

The right thing will always reveal itself but not until you pick something.

Chalene Johnson, Why Are You Here and Which Idea to Focus On

Our Community

Do you have some additional resources to share, that helped you develop self-awareness? Please share them with our community. Also, I’d love to know if you found either of those two resources useful. Or maybe you already know your thing? Either way, please share this episodes with friends and family members who you think it will touch. And share your thing with us by joining the Changes Big and Small group on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/changesbigandsmall1. I’d like to limit this initial group to a few insiders so that we can learn from each other, support each other, and build a strong community that we can then expand. Once we reach the limit, I will create a waitlist.

There’s actually a ton of research that shows that people who are self-aware are more fulfilled, they have stronger relationships, they’re more creative, they’re more confident and better communicators. They’re less likely to lie, cheat and steal, they perform better at work and are more promotable, and, they’re more effective leaders with more profitable companies.

Tasha Eurich, TEDxMileHigh

Bonus – 2 Questions from Daniel Pink

If you’ve made it this far, I have a bonus resource for you. Daniel Pink summarizes two questions that can change your life. And if you want additional gems, you can read his entire book, Drive. I read the book more than 7 years ago, and these two questions have stuck with me.

Take that first step today. Have a wonderful day!


Credits

Theme music by Rafael Krux. Inspiration on freepd.com. License: CC0

About the Author
I'm a curious problem solver.

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