Are You as Self-Aware as You Think You Are?

Self-awareness. Would you describe yourself as being self-aware?

Most people do. But according to research done by organizational psychologist Tasha Eurich and her team involving 5000 participants, it may be that only 10%-15% of the population is actually self-aware.

Additionally, they found that when someone considers themselves to be highly experienced, that estimation may keep them from questioning their assumptions, seeking evidence that goes against their own position, or continuing to learn. This played out in more experienced managers overestimating their leadership effectiveness as compared to newer managers.  

In the last episode we covered how to lead with emotional intelligence, and benefits of utilizing empathy in your leadership.

In this episode we will expand on two of the five components of emotional intelligence: self-awareness and self-regulation. Additionally, you get a few suggestions on how to develop these abilities, so you feel more confident and creative in your role.

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Self-awareness and self-regulation are foundational components of emotional intelligence (EQ) that play crucial roles in effective leadership, particularly for women in leadership positions. Let’s delve into each component:


Self-awareness involves understanding your own emotions, strengths, weaknesses, values, and impact on others. It’s having a clear perception of yourself and being mindful of how emotions influence your thoughts and behavior.

For women leaders, self-awareness can be particularly important due to societal expectations and stereotypes that may influence perceptions and behaviors. Being self-aware allows you to navigate these challenges with authenticity and confidence.

With self-awareness you will be more attuned to your own reactions and can better recognize how your emotions affect your decision-making, communication, and relationships with others.


Self-regulation refers to the ability to manage and control your emotions, impulses, and behaviors in different situations. It involves staying calm under pressure, resisting temptation, and adapting to changing circumstances with composure.

In leadership, self-regulation is essential for maintaining professionalism, managing conflict constructively, and making sound decisions even in challenging or stressful situations.

Women leaders often face unique pressures and expectations, and self-regulation can help you navigate these challenges effectively. By regulating your emotions and responses, you can assert yourself confidently while also demonstrating empathy and understanding.

Increasing Self-Awareness and Self-Regulation

Increasing emotional intelligence (EQ) is crucial for leaders to effectively navigate relationships, inspire trust, and lead teams to success. Cultivating a growth mindset, that there is always more to learn, and that you have within you the ability to improve is foundational. Here are some strategies for being more self-aware and self-regulating.


Practices such as self-reflection and seeking feedback can enhance self-awareness. In fact, balancing your own reflections with the feedback from others can prevent you from over-estimating your ability to be self-aware.

Regularly assess your emotions, motivations, and reactions in various situations to develop a deeper understanding of yourself and your leadership style. Consider keeping a journal to track your emotional responses and patterns. However, in your reflections it’s important to ask “What” not “Why”.

Tasha Eurich research found that when individuals wondered why they reacted the way they did their mind searched for easy explanations that were not always accurate. Wondering instead “what lead up to my reaction” may point you in a more fact-based explanation to your behavior. Sometimes, there’s more than one variable impacting our emotions and current state of mind.

Mindfulness and stress management

Incorporate mindfulness practices into your daily routine to increase self-awareness and reduce stress. Mindfulness can include any of the following activities: breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, prayer, or any practices that fully get you into your physical sensations. To be clear, mindfulness is not about never getting distracted. Mindfulness is noticing how often your mind gets distracted. When you become aware your mind has drifted, you gently bring it back to the present moment without judgment.

For stress management, prioritize self-care activities such as exercise, adequate sleep, hobbies, and positive social interactions to maintain emotional well-being. Positive social interactions include both, time spent with loved ones, and having a brief pleasant interaction with an acquaintance or a stranger. In fact, the more quick but positive interactions we have, the happier, healthier and longer living we will be.


Developing your ability to self-regulate involves self-awareness and you want to have the ability to identify the emotions you are feeling. If you struggle with this start with monitoring how the sensations in your body change based on what you are thinking about or what is going on in your environment.

Reframing, which is applying a different interpretation to a situation, can help to change your emotional response and de-escalate those emotions. With curiosity, try looking at the situation from a different perspective. If another person is ramping up strong negative emotions, then especially try looking at the situation from their perspective. Doing this with curiosity and empathy will have the greatest impact.

Lastly, practice techniques like deep breathing or taking a pause before responding. In every situation you have a choice in how to respond. Strong emotions may make you feel as if that’s not true but it is indeed in your power to choose your reaction. You will be amazed at how powerful you feel when you allow yourself to feel your feelings, because they are natural and informative, but then choose the reaction that aligns with your values and goals.

In conclusion, self-awareness and self-regulation are critical components of emotional intelligence for women leaders. By cultivating these skills, you can enhance your leadership effectiveness, build authentic relationships, and navigate the complexities of the workplace with confidence and resilience.

Thank you!

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As always, I hope this was of value to you and here’s to your success!


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