To me there are three key traits necessary for success but when I was able to interview the most successful person I’ve ever had the pleasure to speak to, what he thought was the key trait for success, was not even on my list.
Gary Vaynerchuk said self awareness was the most important trait for success, saying, “I’d love to be better at a lot of things, but I’m just pretty darn aware of what I’m great at, what I’m good at…and I’ve been completely stunned at people’s lack of self awareness.” (Listen to the rest of the self awareness answer here)
Vaynerchuk went on to say that you shouldn’t waste your time on things you just aren’t good at. Concentrate on the things you are good at. But I see a problem with this and with self awareness in general.
Sometimes the most successful thing you’ve done is something no one, including yourself, would have ever imagined you’d be good at. It reminds me of the phase you don’t know what you can’t do until you try. Maybe what you’re not good at is self awareness.
I wanted to open a restaurant but everyone told me it’s hard, that the failure rate is too high, that I’d lose everything, that I don’t have enough experience,and on and on. But I could have been the most amazing restauranteur ever. I’m still waiting to find out if that will be true or not.
Just do a quick Google search of “unlikely entrepreneur” and you’ll find plenty of stories of people who never would have imagined they would own a business, let alone a highly successful one. Had they let self awareness get in the way, they likely wouldn’t be the successes they are.
The bottom line is that self awareness is important but that it’s not the most important. Sometimes you just have to go for it in spite of your fear, your trepidation, and what you tell yourself.