Decision Making and Self-awareness

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In today’s ever changing economy and fast paced lifestyles it might seem difficult to find time to think about who we are as individuals. This includes what our strengths and weaknesses, our drives and personalities, and our habits and values are. This is because many individuals are just not inclined to spend large amounts of time on self-reflection. Even when personal feedback is presented to us, we are not always open to it, because honest feedback is not always flattering. Consequently, many individuals have a considerably low level of self-awareness concerning one’s self. This is unfortunate due to the fact that self-awareness is an essential first step toward maximizing management skills. Self-awareness can improve one’s judgment and help them to identify opportunities for professional development.

Self-awareness involves developing an understanding of many dimensions of the individuality of an individual. Self-knowledge provides an essential foundation for general personal mastery as well as other personal management skills such as setting goals and priorities, and managing time and stress. Philosophers have long since recognized that knowing thyself may involve distinguishing between what you are thought to be versus what you actually are. This observation suggests that the perceived self-concepts of an individual may be either positively or negatively biased, from their actual self-concept. However, once self-concepts are formed, individuals tend to avoid new knowledge that does not fit within their self-view. This is typically achieved through feedback from family, friends, and coworkers. Fear, shame, or other emotions may prevent an individual’s ability to develop an honest and accurate awareness of who they are as a person (Williams, 2003).

Human beings are complex and diverse creatures and therefore, to become more self-aware, every individual person should develop an understanding of themselves in many areas. There are five major key areas for self-awareness. These areas include an individual’s personality traits, personal values, habits, emotions, and the psychological needs that drive our behaviors (Williams, 2003).

An individual’s personality helps them to understand what it means to be aware of themselves as a person. When an individual understands his or her own personality it can help them find situations in which they will thrive, and help them to avoid situations in which they will experience too much stress. For instance, if an individual is a highly introverted person, meaning a person whom is characterized by concerns primarily with his or her own thoughts and feelings, that individual is likely to experience more stress in a sales position than a highly extroverted person would. An extroverted individual is a person concerned primarily with the physical and social environment around them. So, if an individual is considered to be a highly introverted person, they will need to learn skills to cope with the demands of a sales position that requires extravert-type behavior patterns, or they should consider finding a position that is more compatible with their personality. Consequently, by being aware of an individual’s personality helps them analyze such decisions that they may come across in their day-to-day lives (Ross, 2011).

Another key area of self-awareness is one’s personal values. It is important that each person knows and focuses on their individual personal values. For instance, if an individual’s first priority is "being there for his or her children", it is very easy to lose sight of certain priorities and/or goals on a day-to-day, moment-by-moment basis. Unfortunately, during the workday most individuals are beset with multiple distractions, problems, or opportunities; therefore, diminishing the amount of time that we have to accomplish our lists of priorities. Since few, if any of those priorities pertain to what an individual may value most, it is easy to spend too much time...
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