What do you think of when someone mentions self-care? Typical thoughts surrounding self-care include diet, sleep, exercise, work/life balance, etc.
Rarely do you think of self-awareness as a key factor to self-care. There are many areas of self-awareness one could dive into, but this article will address understanding your strengths/talents, values and mindset, which are paramount in overcoming burnout.
What do I mean by Self-Awareness?
PositivePsychology.com defines self-awareness as “the ability to see yourself clearly and objectively through reflection and introspection” and Meriam-webster.com defines it as “an awareness of one’s own personality or individuality.” So why is self-awareness so important?
Have you ever considered yourself a “jack-of-all-trades, master of none” or thought that other people had gifts/talents, but you don’t or that you’re nothing special? Well, as Bobby Boucher in Waterboy would say, “No, Colonel Sanders. You’re wrong!” You, my friend, are one of a kind and have a specific combination of gifts, strengths, and talents that are nobody else has.
Everyone has unique gifts and talents, but sometimes they are so natural and come so easily that you don’t think that talent is anything special. In fact, you probably believe that everyone else has the same ability. But they don’t. You are unique and when you find those unique strengths and talents you have to offer the world and use them daily, you will be energized. You’ll be able to say, “Bye-bye” to burnout!
If you haven’t taken the time to really consider your values, you will likely be tossed about like the wind, never really setting anchor and feeling secure in what you believe. Plus, you may not be able to identify which values you hold are being rubbed the wrong way during conflict or even during your daily work. Once identified, you are one step towards supporting that value and restoring your inner peace.
Just as important is your mindset. Identifying the lies you tell yourself and how you respond to challenges is huge! Identifying sabotaging thoughts right away, building self-command to “switch gears” and not be hijacked by those thoughts, and learning to move forward using the sage perspective is key. Based on Shirzad Chamine’s book, Positive Intelligence, the Sage perspective is to see every challenge as a gift or opportunity by using one or more of the 5 Sage Powers: empathy, exploration, innovation, navigation and activation. Developing these “powers” helps you move from a place of being stuck to a place of focus and freedom. You can find out more about this and learn great strategies to use in your day-to-day life in my Mental Fitness Bootcamp.
Aligning your work with your strengths, values, and positive mindset will drastically reduce the feeling of burnout. Being more self-aware of how you are uniquely wired will give you confidence, clarity and focus. It will help you conquer any imposter syndrome symptoms you may have. It will allow you to clearly see how you can tweak your role at work and home to use your strengths more, avoid things that conflict with your values, and use strategies to conquer the battle of your mind. It will allow you to find your sweet spot and be energized at home and work…and ultimately live a life of passion, purpose, and peace.