11 July 2011

Does self-consciousness help or hinder us to gain influence?

Too often we blame 'self-consciousness' for holding us back in life. Making us shy, introverted and socially inept. We associate self-consciousness with awkwardness.

Let's break it down. Aaron C.:Self-Conscious

Consciousness is about being aware, wakeful and in control of your mind. Self-consciousness, then, is about a sense of self, personal knowledge and self-control. Self consciousness is not about being self-indulgent or self-centered. Instead, it's a valuable attribute for effectively interacting with others with a degree of emotional intelligence. And for influencing others.

If you let the need for self-control suffocate you to the point where you stop engaging, you land back in a place where you're actually not in control. Self-consciousness is about being aware when it's appropriate for you to speak up and when it's best to hold back. It's about considering, consciously, the next best step for the best outcome. And having the discipline and self-control to follow through with that choice.

Influence with integrity requires disciplined thought, a level of personal awareness to know the impact you have on others, and a degree of self-control to know how much to push and how much to hold back for now, for the good of the idea and those connected with it.

Influence without this personal consciousness can be equally as charismatic, but worryingly dangerous. It can be autocratic, manipulative and self-indulgent.

My point; Befriend your self-consciousness. It can be your best friend to a considered and balanced response. It can provide a personal censure to save you from the embarassment of a reactive retort. And it can help you lead with empathy and introduce your ideas with humility.

In short, it can help you to be a much better influencer.

Just remember, don't let your self-consciousness control you. Take charge and embrace it for the greater good.