Over the past month, I have written about change and focus. A key aspect in both of these areas of our life is awareness. Being aware of our strengths, weaknesses, feelings, and motives can help us truly understand where we are, and what we need to do, to move toward our goals. A higher awareness allows us to experience ourselves objectively and empower us to make changes so that we can build on our strengths. This will also allow us to identify areas where we would like to make improvements.
The enemy of awareness is ego. Our egos can skew our opinion of our abilities and can cause us to justify our own beliefs. Ego is the voice that tells us we are better than we are. Ego inhibits real success by preventing a direct and honest connection to the world around us.
Awareness does not mean we downplay our abilities, but it will allow us to make objective decisions that help move us forward. It is easy to be emotionally invested in your work; and I would guess that if you are any good at what you do, you are highly emotionally invested — to your students, your colleagues, and your subject. It is much harder to detach yourself and take an unbiased view of your progress and abilities. The ability to evaluate your own personal capacity in your work (and life) is a crucial skill. Without awareness, improvement is impossible.
Set your ego aside; take some time to reflect; assess where you truly are; do the work to help you move forward.