11 Questions Self-Aware Leaders Should Ask Themselves Daily

The deepest work is in the art of asking tougher questions and attuning to what arises.

Studies increasingly show that self-awareness is more valuable than smarts alone. Research shows that leaders who are more self-aware get promoted faster and are awarded more responsibility.

Like many qualities, self-awareness is not a fixed trait. It’s a skill that can be learned and cultivated intentionally. If you’re looking to boost your EQ, there are a number of ways to understand yourself better. Daily mindfulness practices, coaching, and getting trusted feedback are all valuable ways to elucidate blind spots.

Self-reflection is one of the best ways to deepen your inner knowledge and discover how to do your best work. It can also improve your confidence and help ward off Imposter Syndrome. Harvard Business School Professor, Francesca Gino, found that workers who spend 15 minutes reflecting on their day feel more capable, competent, and in control.

As with most good habits, self-reflection is most valuable when done consistently. Here are 11 questions you can ask yourself today to strengthen your self-awareness muscles:

  1. When am I at my best?
  2. What kind of person do I want to be today?
  3. What situations make me feel terrible, and what do they have in common?
  4. What activities am I doing when it feels like time flies by?
  5. What is working well in my life and work today?
  6. If I had a magic wand, how would my life be better in 3 months?
  7. If I change nothing, what will your life look like three months from now? How does this make me feel?
  8. What actions, if taken, would make me proud of myself, regardless of the outcome?
  9. When negative thoughts arise, how do I deal with them?
  10. How do I stay grounded when I feel overwhelmed?
  11. What motivates me to make progress?

The goal isn’t to answer immediately or to have a perfectly formulated response to each inquiry. The deepest work is in the art of asking, and attuning to what arises, so it can lead you back to yourself.

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Melody Wilding is a performance coach for sensitive high achievers and a professor of human behavior. She helps leaders at companies like Google, Facebook, HP, Salesforce and HBO stop doubting themselves so they can strive for a successful career and a balanced life.

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Melody Wilding, LMSW

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Executive coach to sensitive high-achievers. Professor. Feat. NYT, NBC, CNN. Get your free copy of The 5-Minute Inner Critic Makeover: melodywilding.com/guide

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