How well do you know yourself?

Guest Post by Mike Campbell, Man Coach… Ever done an IQ test or had your intelligence measured? Seen the online tests, maybe participated in a large scale assessment? It’s funny how we’re only taught one type of intelligence, as if that’s it – IQ is your ‘lot’. How wrong. It is just one part of an overall set of intelligences we have.

Think about it for a moment; you know that person who is really ‘book smart’ but has poor social skills? I’m sure we know people like that. Those intuitive people you know who can simply pick up a new activity or movement like it’s nothing, or fit seamlessly into a new social situation. When we approach our other key intelligences we can improve them, and therefore, our overall health, performance and quality of life.

At the end of the day we all would like to become better versions of ourselves, that’s why we’re here, to evolve and grow as our experience here on earth moves along. We’re all a work in progress – a project, if you will. This is a concept I call ‘Project Me’ – your most important project.

To work on improving Project Me we can focus on three cornerstones; Self Intelligence, Physical Intelligence and Social Intelligence. These will look and play out differently to everyone, however, increasing our competency across the board will yield drastic affects in our experiences.

Before we get into the how to, let me give you a little on the why.

As a coach who has worked with men for many years now, there are a few problems I’ve found to be consistent:

  1. Physically we’re not where we want to be – this affects performance, general health and then leads into number two;
  2. Mentally we’re not where we want to be – this can be anything from feeling stagnant and unsure with life in general, to unfulfilled and fearful on how to change. All of which means;
  3. When we want to try and change, there is so much information, it’s often confusing to know where to start. Which often indicates;
  4. We have our priorities askew – we dive into work, trying to ‘succeed’ at all costs (usually our mental and physical wellbeing), we seek the physical improvements without really knowing the real reason why behind it.

We pour ourselves into external projects – work/career, solving things for others – or projects for the wrong reasons. This can result in health and performance suffering, and a general dissatisfaction with our lives.
All of which can be turned around if we start to prioritise ourselves as the standing project from which improvement can lead to all other ‘projects’ improving; relationships, career, family, etc.

When we pay close attention to ourselves; what drives us, what it is we really want in life and what’s important to us, we understand ourselves better, we can start doing the things that bring us joy and make us more content.
We will exercise for the right reasons, know what we want from a relationship, the kinds of roles that will bring purpose to our day to day. The list goes on.

We’re going to have a look at the ‘how to’ shortly, starting with Self Intelligence, but first, let’s define it for you:

To gain maximum awareness of ourselves; mastering our fears and why we behave how we do, what motivates and drives us, what gives us direction and purpose, and what will bring us the most genuine level of contentment. From this we can better manage our behaviours in line with your core drivers.

How Self Intelligence impacts your wellbeing

Sometimes it can feel like we are simply floating through life, moving from one event to another – Groundhog Day; lacking direction, clarity and purpose. It’s easy to put our head down and ‘do the right thing’ (job, security, family, etc), but by whom?

Many of us become disconnected from what is most important to us. We lose our ability to listen to our intuition and do what is right by us; we decrease our Self Intelligence.

Increasing knowledge of self will in turn help us better manage our behaviours. We’ll uncover what our true goals are, and it will help give foundation and context to them, so we know the reason/s why we want those things.

When you know your why – your deepest and most powerful driver – then you’ll be able to put into perspective what is really important to you, and you’ll much easier be able to consistently execute your success behaviours.

This is what I do; coach men to perform better and get more out of life. So, let’s have a look at some exercises and strategies you can work on to increase your own self intelligence and master ‘Project Me’.

How to boost your Self Intelligence:

  • Who are you? Write out a description of all your traits, quirks and personality points; good, ‘bad’, everything about you. Painting the overall picture will lay the foundation.
  • What are you afraid of? What are you putting off due to fear? What behaviours are coming from a place of fear? Question these and get a better idea of why you’re failing, stalling or not succeeding.
  • What are your consistent behaviours? Both positive and negative – what can you work on improving and focus on enhancing?
  • What do you value? Work out your core values, the things that you deem most important in yourself, others and life. These are your internal compass to which your life should follow.
  • What do you desire? Work out, using your values, what you truly want in life; health, body, career, relationships – work out how you want to feel, go deeper than the surface.
  • Take action – Start pushing your comfort zone and perceived limits by experimenting; succeed/fail, assess, re-do. Use increased knowledge to change your behaviours.
  • Get feedback – Ask 3 people close to you what they really think of you. No judgement or excuses -listen, take it on board and compare them to each other and your own description of yourself. This is invaluable information to help you grow.

Get a really clear picture of who you are and what drives your behaviours. From here you can start to get clarity around how to better manage your behaviours in the future relative to what you really want, be it physical goals or anything about you and your life.

When you are you most important project and you work to improve it, everything else can improve.

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