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A Foolproof Way to Know You’re A Self-Aware Leader

Updated: Feb 22, 2023

I know one thing about you - you want to be a great leader.

The fact that you’re reading this post says you’re interested in being self-aware, which is a foundational trait of all great leaders.

I won’t drag you along, so here’s how you can know if you’re a self-aware leader: You deny yourself.

Self-denial is self-awareness.

I’m not taking about denying yourself of necessary things like boundaries, healthy relationships, personal fulfillment, good food, physical movement, being outside, and things that are generally required for positive mental, emotional, and physical health.

I’m talking about a two step process of (1) understanding what your mind and/or body is asking for and (2) recognizing when it is not in line with who you want to be and denying yourself.

If you think you’re able to deny yourself and are therefore self-aware, I’d like to offer a check point.

Statistically, you’re not as self-aware as you think.

A whopping 95% of us consider ourselves self-aware.

The bad news is that research shows only 10-15% of the general adult population is actually self-aware.

This means that only 10-15% of us can deny ourselves things that derail us from our goals.


Unfortunately, it is likely accurate to place ourselves in the 85-90% of people who are not self-aware and are not able to self-deny.

Can we move ourselves from the 85-90% to the 10-15%?

Yes we can. And here’s how.

Ask yourself two simple questions as often as you can:

  1. What is being asked?

  2. Is it in line with my goals?

Write these question on a sticky note on your bathroom mirror or closet door. Put them as a reminder in your phone that pops up at least once a day. Tape them to your refrigerator and pantry.

The more often you honestly answer these questions, the more likely you are to increase your self-awareness, and the positive self-denial will naturally follow.

The ability to self-deny is an important part of being WITH yourself.

You cannot be fully WITH others if you let yourself get in the way of being the best version of yourself. If you’re not your best self, being WITH becomes unnecessarily difficult.

It’s amazing what happens when we can self-deny. Try it and see how unstuck life can be.


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