17/03/2014 10:05 GMT | Updated 17/05/2014 06:59 BST

Being Your Best Self - It Begins With Self Awareness

I recently presented a Personal Branding Workshop to a mixed of corporate employees. The event lasted about ninety minutes. For the most part, the group seemed receptive and interested in my approach. In saying that, I detected a little cynicism in the room. And although I'm used to experiencing mixed reactions regarding my approach to Personal Branding, I'm always a tad surprised. It strikes me as odd, that so many people who work in the corporate arena, are so not-in-touch with themselves. That's to say, seemingly unaware of their actions, behaviours, verbal communication skills, or in some cases, a complete lack of those skills.

Overall, the participants seemed like a nice group of men and women. They occupied various roles in the business, ranging from Head of Operations to Fund Managers. However, there was one common denominator, that was, a lack of awareness. Not that awareness in the business world is exactly common-place these days. Moreover, I believe it's self awareness that enables us to make real improvements, or positive changes So by helping people to become more self aware, they tend to gain greater clarity, become more flexible and are happier. However, before any kind of awareness can take place, first, we need to be willing to accept the fact that making changes, or improvements, are likely to serve us well.

Initially, when we make an effort to raise our self awareness, we start to see ourselves, to a degree, as others see us, or how they experience us. For some, this can be a wake-up call. For others, it's a significant personal challenge. Whether learning how to become more self aware seems difficult or not, isn't the point. The point is this: with greater self awareness, our world becomes wider. Therefore, we are able to stretch our thinking, which helps us to personally grow. And when we grow as human beings, our lives become far richer. Anyway, there's no real down side to personal growth, so why not give being more aware a try.

It's said ,we should all 'Live life to the fullest.' That's all very well. More importantly though, how does one do that? In my opinion, we need to start by increasing our awareness. In many ways, this is how previously closed doors to your self-development, will begin to open. You could start by asking those near to you, how their lives are. This one action, will enable you to understand how life is for others. And by so doing, you will start to see the impact stuff has on them, therefore, focusing less on you. Another bonus, by having these kind of conversations, you are bound to feel less alone when it comes to feeling stressed, or overwhelmed. Just this one small action, will broaden your scope and help you to see life from a different perspective.

Read avidly the kind of books that are likely to promote your Best Self. You could start by reading a well respected book, entitled The Road Less Travelled, by M. Scott Peck. This is one of the first books I read when venturing on my journey to improve my life. Although this book was originally published in 1978, it's lost none of its punch. So much so, it's currently recommended to college graduates, and to those who are beginning to question their role and purpose in life is. Once you start reading the kind of books that enable you to focus on how you can improve your life, as if by osmosis, your life will begin to improve.