Why self-awareness is the most important skill you need

Who doesn’t want to be a millionaire?

Who doesn’t want to be a famous CEO like Mark Zuckerberg or Tim Cook?

Who doesn’t want to be an entrepreneur because it’s the cool thing now?

However, most people won’t be and will never be. They will fail because they don’t have enough self-awareness. They pretend to be someone else and fake it until they make it. I know because I’ve done that before and gave myself depression when that thing I was doing didn’t pan out. I blame myself harshly for failing without understanding the real reason. I wasn’t self-aware enough until I am when I got out of depression and re-evaluate who I am.

When you are self-aware you will know your own strength and weaknesses. You will be able to take control of your life and start leveraging on your strength to get things done instead of pretending who you are not. You know your own emotional state and how you would react to certain kind of thing.

Once you have mastered that, you will be able to take back control of your life and start designing one that is best for you. No amount of external opinions or comments will be able to knock you off when you truly know who you are.

That’s how I am able to design a life that’s more suitable for me. My only competition is myself, nobody else.

I know I’m not an entrepreneur. I just don’t have that kind of drive and skills to be one. I’m also a highly-sensitive person who get frazzled easily when things get to much or too big. My nervous system can go into overdrive very easily. When that happens, I will crash and burn. Then I will stop showing up. Now, that’s obviously not how you can succeed as an entrepreneur.

My self-awareness also means I recognize my how far my risk aversion goes. It can be so crippling at times that it prevent you from doing things. And being an entrepreneur means you have to take risk, no matter how big or small.

The above reasons are why I know I’m better off being an employee of a company and draw a fixed monthly salary. That way I could build up a freedom fund while working in a standard 9 to 5 job. I use that money to also build up my skills by going for courses. This is how I minimize my risk when the time finally comes for me to step out of the corporate world to do my thing.

I know I have entrepreneurial tendencies. I for one hate working for someone except myself. I just don’t really like to be told what to do. I also like to go against certain rules and break them. Sometimes, I just think differently and don’t enjoy conforming. When you are in the corporate environment, you most likely have to conform.

Of course, one can suppress those tendencies. I tried that and it make me miserable as hell. I’m not a sheep and it goes against who I am. That’s why I stop doing that.

The other option is to hustle on the side and give you that sense of freedom and ownership. What one could do is to work as a freelancer or create stuff for people. When you do that, most of the time you only answer to yourself and you get the freedom you so desire.

I know I’m good with codes though not the best. I also didn’t want to frazzle out. That’s why I am also a freelance developer with only one main client. In case you are wondering, my day job also see me as a software developer. The difference is, being a freelance developer, I get to enjoy choosing the time when I work and how I work. I make use of this to hone my craft of talking to users and customers by myself. It’s all about building up the skills needed because I know I’m lacking that. And when I don’t work or don’t manage to get any work, I don’t get paid. That is on me.

I also enjoy writing more than my day job. It’s what I’m good at too. Not the best but good enough. That’s why I will go and learn how to write better by applying what I learnt from reading more and watching more. And I also promise myself I will write and publish something everyday. It could be a personal journal, an article like this one, a poem or a fiction. It’s also on me when I fail to do anything of the above.

But it doesn’t mean I shall punish myself too harshly. I got my own bad days too and I’m only human. I make mistakes.

So you see, self-awareness means you take ownership of things you did do and fail to do. You also take ownership of your life, know who you are, be proud of who you are. When you acknowledge all that, you will stop blaming other people and show compassion to yourself.

That’s why this skill is something you need to have. It ensures you become successful no matter what life throws at you.

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