Self-awareness sucks. On the one hand, it gives us the ability to step into someone else’s shoes and be able to view a situation in its entirety, without bias. On the other hand, it means we cannot shy away from our own mistakes and foibles. Trust me. The truth, once you become aware, stings.
I am still feeling that sting. You see, I recently became aware of my own behavior in my ongoing issues at work. It turns out that I have been acting and reacting in a fashion that is SO not me. I had this realization while sitting in front of the one person who I thought was the bane of my existence at work. To say that I was ashamed of my behavior is an understatement. Based on how I was acting, it is no wonder this person questions my abilities and my desire to accept the added responsibilities. I would too if I were in her shoes. To have to admit that I was acting in a fashion that did not accurately demonstrate my abilities and my desires was embarrassing, yet it needed to be done.
The funny thing is that now that I can see my own behaviors and its contributions to the situation, as uncomfortable as it is, the entire situation has improved. Gone is the tension and antagonism I was feeling towards this person. Gone is the racing heart and surging blood pressure. Gone is my inability to make eye contact with this person. Am I pleased with the situation still? No, but can I handle it in a more professional manner. I can now say yes.
So what changed? I went in to both this person’s office, and later to human resources, and said what has been bothering me for the past few months. Maybe I was not reviewing things rationally, but I stand by the fact that I had things that needed to be said. It wasn’t until I got them off my chest where I could then take a step back and review the situation impassively. I needed to find my voice to be able to find my reason.
So self-awareness sucks. It allows you to see things that are embarrassing, uncomfortable and downright shocking. Yet, it allows you to remedy those things as well. It doesn’t ease the sting of what you find, but hopefully, in the end, it will prevent you from having to feel the sting again in the future.