Exploring the truth about self-awareness. How to become more self-aware with Tasha Eurich’s Book “Insight.”
I have more books than I do clothes, shoes and purses combined. I devour them. Sometimes I read while making dinner – which explains those odd sauce spots you’ll see if I loan one to you (Sorry!).
But, there are books that aren’t meant to be consumed in a few days. To appreciate them, you need to absorb them slowly. That was the case with Tasha Eurich‘s book Insight, which took me almost three months to complete! There’s a small part of me that’s ashamed to admit that. It’s the same part that’s ashamed to admit I liked Waterworld.
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The problem was I kept stopping to take notes. Notes! Who the heck does that unless they have to? So much of what Eurich wrote in this book resonated with me. Prior to reading it, I thought I was pretty self-aware. I try to be empathetic and conscious of how my actions affect others. But, in the back of my mind, there has always been this nagging doubt that the person I project to others may not be the same person I am inside my head. Maybe that fight I had with my friend two years ago wasn’t her fault. Maybe that job didn’t let me go for budget reasons.
Why is Self-Awareness Important?
Insight is a detailed look into self-awareness and its impact on our lives, from business interactions to social relationships. Over the last 40 years, our society has shifted away from conformity and modesty as a measure of living well and, instead, started focusing on self-esteem and the glorification of individuality. While this sounds great (individuality), studies have found that higher self-esteem does not always equal higher success or happiness. In fact, the opposite is frequently true. In an age of selfies, Twitter monologues, and participation awards, we’re lulled into thinking we’re special and superior.
“It’s far easier to feel wonderful and special than to become wonderful and special.” – Tasha Eurich
Fortunately, self-awareness is a surprisingly learnable skill. Eurich helps readers uncover the areas they are weakest in and discover the areas of their life they’d be better off focusing on.
Her book is full of anecdotal stories from people she’s known personally and famous figures throughout history, interesting social experiments, and hilarious (often humbling) revelations. Like the chapter where she highlights our “Cult of Self” by pointing out the growing trend of parents naming their children unconventional names in an effort to make them stand out. I had to laugh. My children are named Troy and Beau. Ah, well, I guess I’m a product of my environment after all.