Self-Reflection Separates Greatness from Mediocrity

blog dear leader leadership development leadership thought of the week raychel perman May 06, 2024

Dear Leader: Self-Reflection Separates Greatness from Mediocrity.

Regular self-reflection is important for a variety of reasons. It helps you better understand your own strengths, weaknesses, values, and emotions. Self-reflection helps you better understand how you communicate and processes information. It even provides an opportunity to understand past experiences, so you can make better decisions in the future. Honestly, self-reflection is what separates greatness from mediocrity when it comes to leaders who leave a legacy.  

One of my favorite tools of self-reflection comes in the form of personality tests. I love them. And I take them, and re-take my favorites, frequently. I’m nothing if not acutely self aware.

Story time…

I’ve been retaking personality tests lately because I'm extremely curious if any major changes happen. Why would your personality test change? Healing from trauma is one reason. And the last time I took one of these tests I was drowning in divorce papers and single mom things. This was when I was first introduced to the Enneagram test. That version of me got a 4 wing 5.

And 2 weeks ago, I got an 8. And it’s painfully more accurate. For comparison sake let me tell you the major differences between the two. 

Enneagram 4:
Fours are self-aware, sensitive, and reserved. They are emotionally honest, creative, and personal, but can also be moody and self-conscious. Withholding themselves from others due to feeling vulnerable and defective, they can also feel disdainful and exempt from ordinary ways of living. They typically have problems with melancholy, self-indulgence, and self-pity. At their Best: inspired and highly creative, they are able to renew themselves and transform their experiences.

Enneagram 8:
Eights are self-confident, strong, and assertive. Protective, resourceful, straight-talking, and decisive, but can also be ego-centric and domineering. Eights feel they must control their environment, especially people, sometimes becoming confrontational and intimidating. Eights typically have problems with their tempers and with allowing themselves to be vulnerable. At their Best: self- mastering, they use their strength to improve others’ lives, becoming heroic, magnanimous, and inspiring.


Ok 8. You didn't have to come so hard. But self-awareness is what makes me a great coach and leader. I know the value of self-awareness and emotional intelligence (and trauma healing!) in my own life. And I know what life looks like when you become more self-aware. When you become self-aware during trauma, you might realize that you have become someone you aren’t. You morphed into the person you needed to be to survive. Without self-awareness you won’t realize when you can take that mask off, and become the person you were meant to be before the “circus life made me mean” (IYKYK).

Dear Leader: This week, let's prioritize self-awareness! A great action step is to pick ONE of these three places to start:


~Coach Raychel 🤍