Self-Awareness: The Key to Transformation

by Ken Keis

If nothing were to change in your life in the next five years, would that be okay with you? I’m talking about everything in your life—your health, your relationships, your friends,your career, your expertise, your feelings of fulfillment, and your achievements, etc.

For most of us, this would not be acceptable, which would suggest there is a need for change!

However, before we can act with purpose and direction, we must understand exactly what we need to change, and how to go about it. When we are not self-aware about our preferences, gifts, talents, and tendencies, it is impossible for us to act intentionally. If we are not aware, we are living life, every day,oblivious to our thought patterns and beliefs.

All of us have met people who are completely unaware that their behavior and conduct are inappropriate. As a frequent traveler, I spot unawareness on every trip. There are people who stop at the bottom of an escalator going up, staring into space, with no idea that they are holding up a line of fellow travelers forming behind them. There are others who let their carry-on bags hit seated people in the head as they place their bags into the overhead compartment.

In his book, Excuses Begone!,the late Dr. Wayne W. Dyer put it well:

“The reason why awareness of awareness is so powerful is that it immediately puts me in touch with a dimension of myself that knows that: here in awareness, all things are possible.”

Awareness of our beliefs and style preferences is crucial. A study conducted by Talent Smart discovered that less than 30% of the population has a solid understanding of their own style preferences (“Personal Style”). This means that about 70% of the population has no inkling regarding how they appear to, and interact with, others. They have little idea of their strengths and skills, and without knowing what they are, they cannot utilize and implement them properly to their advantage. Further, the 70% who were oblivious about their Personal Style had considerably more difficultly handling stress and interpersonal relationships.

The study compared people’s levels of self-awareness to their ability to achieve the things they found most important in life. It found that satisfaction with life increases dramatically when people are self-aware. People who are self-aware are also far more likely to reach their goals. Self-aware individuals take time to first learn, and then understand, their Personal Style so they can better respond to life’s challenges and opportunities. Because they understand their situation and can identify the people who will help them become more successful, they can more easily implement the right strategies.

They also understand their limitations and adjust their attitude and behaviour accordingly, to minimize any negative impact. They know what they really want; their awareness motivates them to take the best steps and actions to get where they want to be.

Self-awareness is so predominant to success, it transcends age, intelligence, education, profession, and job level. The Talent Smart study found that 83% of top performers score high in self-awareness—no matter the industry or profession—yet just 2% of low performers possess that critical skill.

The reality is that individuals who understand their Personal Style preferences and tendencies are much more likely to play to their strengths, both at work and home, limit the negative impact of their deficiencies, and achieve the results they desire.

When you become aware, you cease being a victim of your circumstances. You own your own space!

Have you ever met someone who is dealing with a problem and the answer to his dilemma is obvious to you—right in front of his eyes—but he still does not “get” it? The answer he seeks is right there, but he is completely oblivious. I admit to, in the past, being quick to judge when individuals did not see the obvious. I now understand that what was obvious to me was not obvious to them.

So rather than standing in judgment, let’s move to helping and coaching people to see their prospects.

The challenge is to be aware that in order to live a satisfying, fulfilled, and successful life, understanding Personal Style is not an option; it is essential! Exercising your knowledge gives you the opportunity to transform not only your own life, but also the lives of others along the way.And just like with anything else, if you do not use it, you lose it. So become aware, learn, and live your life On Purpose!

Ken Keis, Ph.D.

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The entire family of CRG assessments in the Personality Development Factors Model© can help you benchmark the condition of your employees—or yourself—easily and quickly. CRG’s assessments include the Personal Style Indicator, Sales Style Indicator, Stress Indicator and Health Planner, Self-Worth Inventory, Entrepreneurial Style and Success Indicator, Values Preference Indicator, Learning Style Indicator, Instructional Style Indicator, Job Style Indicator, and the Leadership Skills Inventory-Sel for the Leadership Skills Inventory-360°.

About the Author

Ken Keis, Ph.D., President of CRG, is a global authority on leadership, holistic wellness, behavioral assessments, and life purpose. In the past 28 years, he has conducted over 3000 presentations and 10,000+ hours of consulting and coaching.His latest book, The Quest For Purpose: A Self-Discovery Process To Find It And Live It!, is available at He is also the author of Why Aren’t You More Like Me? Discover the Secrets to Understanding Yourself and Others, and co-author of Deliberate Leadership: Creating Success Through Personal Style. He co-created CRG’s proprietary development models, and has written more than 4 million words of content for 40 business training programs, and over 500 articles. Ken’s expertise includes assisting individuals, families, teams, and organizations to realize their full potential and to live On Purpose!

Posted in Personal Excellence.