Having self-awareness, and being self-aware, is one of the most important human traits to have. It was even popularized by Gary Vaynerchuk, when he stated that it’s the most important quality an entrepreneur can have. (Side Note: I wrote a track about him because he’s one of my favorite entrepreneurs of all time!).
As a result of the recent entrepreneurial boom there is a lot of attention around the idea and concept of becoming self-aware. Since I’ve gotten so many messages and questions about it, I figured to write this blog post, explaining my three techniques to become more self-aware. What you’ll notice, as a common thread, is that these techniques involve putting yourself in uncomfortable situations, usually within a public setting.
Technique #1: Physical/Mental Discipline (1-on-1)
Kicking it off, I think everyone should do a physical or mental discipline where they’re one-on-one in a public setting. For example, I used to be a Wrestler, and a lot of the values I gained from Wrestling translated over to entrepreneurship. In wrestling, you’re facing someone one-on-one on the mat, in front of a huge crowd. If you lose, you have to face defeat in front of everyone. You can’t blame your “team” or other people – it was all on you.
This forces you to take responsibility for your actions, and accept defeat without anyone else being there. I also did debate team in high school, and the philosophies transferred over too. Whether it’s chess, tennis, wrestling, ping pong, etc – any mono e mono situation – you’ll learn a tremendous amount about yourself from difficult moments where no-one can save you.
Technique #2: Travel Alone
One of the most important things I think everyone should do, not even for self-awareness, is to travel. Specifically, travel alone.
I’ve traveled alone numerous times, both internationally and nationally, and every time it’s been life changing. When you’re in uncomfortable situations, where you don’t have a friend to go back to, you learn how to become your own best friend. When I did The Light Nearby tour, where I drove 25,000+ miles in the United States producing songs about different cities, my view of myself and the world shifted after being alone for 10 months. Obviously I put myself out there as much as possible and met tons of amazing people, which leads me to my last technique
Technique #3: Flirt Solo
I’m not exactly sure what it is, but from an evolutionary standpoint, people get extremely uncomfortable when approaching someone they’re attracted to. Even more so, people get frightened at the thought of being ultra direct, especially right off the bat. It’s for this exact reason that I think everyone should go one night alone, pick out someone you’re attracted to, and walk up and say that you find them attractive or that you think they’re cute.
Although this may seem a bit bizarre for a post about self-awareness, you learn a ton of about yourself when you become extremely vulnerable. When you approach someone you don’t know, by yourself, and put yourself out there, it can get very interesting. In addition, if they reject you or aren’t interested, you don’t have friends to go back to. You don’t have a social cushion. All you have is yourself, and this teaches you to be your best friend and “have your back,” so-to-speak.