The Importance of Self-Awareness for a Leader

We often try to identify our existence with our position in society, friends and family, our desires of our body and the emotional and intellectual expressions of our mind. For instance, we might introduce ourselves as ‘I am a business administration student, and I live in The Netherlands’. We never take time to think of our real nature of our existence, answering questions like; ‘Who am I, what kind of a leader do I want to become?’. 

Self-awareness is about learning to better understand why you take decisions in a particular way as a leader. Once you begin to understand why you act in a certain way, you can start to create the life that you want. Having clarity about who you are and what you want to accomplish in life can feel empowering, which can give you the confidence to make sustainable, responsible changes. I want to introduce a challenge which you can see as a start of becoming a more self-aware leader.

Try this self-awareness challenge 

The next time you meet a new person, try something new. Try to describe yourself without mentioning the external things like your friends, education, family etc. Try to concentrate only on yourself, what you feel and how you behave, try to name up some strengths and weaknesses instead of talking about what you study.

It can be easy to get caught up in internal emotions, which can have bad consequences on our self-perception. You can change the interpretation in your mind about what you think. Also, you can change your emotions and shift the emotional quality of your relationships. When you change the emotions in your relationship, you can open yourself to new experiences. Through a clear understanding of your thoughts, your gut and your beliefs, you can relate with other people. This is one of the most important qualities on your journey in becoming a responsible leader with integrity and self-awareness.


This post was written by AIESEC in the Netherlands. We offer international voluntary projects and professional internships with the aim of developing leadership in youth. Read more about leadership related topics here.

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