Tall Poppy Diaries

Observations and musings on life as a happy high-achiever (or what the Aussie's call a "Tall Poppy" ). "Unless you choose to do great things with it, it makes no difference how much you are rewarded, or how much power you have." --Oprah Winfrey

Thursday, January 13, 2005


  Tall Poppy Basics Lesson 10: Self Awareness

(I have received several e-mails the last few days checking to see if I'm okay because I haven't been around as much as usual. All is well--just REALLY hectic. I am reading EVERY comment even if I get pulled away from the computer before I finish answering them all--as I did last night when Son 2 fell down our back stairs head first! I am around and making it over to your sites, too, even though I sometimes have to read in one visit and comment in the next. Yep. It's that crazy around here... Hope you enjoy this last installment of "Lessons". Tomorrow I'll be posting the wrap-up with some of my favorite comments from all of you! Cheers!)

Tall Poppy...

Is aware of her strengths and weaknesses and isn't afraid of discovering more of either. When she becomes aware of a weakness, she sees the recognition of that weakness as moving one step closer to being her "Best Self".

Knows that she doesn't have to be everything to everybody to grow taller, she just has to be what she is...only better.

Loves to learn new skills and talents, and can discern what else she needs to learn in order to enhance what she already has.

Can see how her actions and appearance affect other's reactions to her and can tweak the "variables" in her appearance and communication styles to provide a more positive result.

Knows that personal growth can be a frustrating journey. Tall Poppy can see how each step on the path can make her stronger and is able to move forward, even after mortifying missteps.

Self-Aware adj. : realization, perception and knowledge of one's own personality or individuality

A Tall Poppy knows that every person who knows her "sees" her differently. But exactly what others see in her will always be a mystery. Tall Poppies are, by nature, people pleasers. They try to be "appropriate". They want people to be comfortable around them. They strive to put their best face forward. However, Tall Poppies know that sacrificing their own fulfillment and happiness to fill a hole in another person's soul will prove futile. Tall Poppies can see inside their own souls and know what they truly want. They see the big picture. They see many of their strengths. They recognize many of their failings. A Tall Poppy isn't fearful of her shortcomings. Instead, she feels stronger once she is able to recognize weaknesses so that she can compensate for and improve upon them.

A Tall Poppy notices which friends, family members, environments and conditions bring out her best Self. Then, when it's important, she attempts to choreograph her environment to effect a more positive outcome. Just as world-class athletes surround themselves with the people and conditions that have proven to be the right "formula" for success, Tall Poppies prepare for job interviews, important meetings, the first weeks of a diet/exercise program and, to some extent, their every day lives in the the same way: They surround themselves with people and environmental conditions that will motivate them and help them be most successful.

Tall Poppies also notice the reactions of different types of people to the way they dress, act and talk. If she's aware of how various types of people react to her under different conditions, she can often affect the impressions that others have of her in a more positive way. Some may say, "You can't trust someone who changes to suit the people she's with". Tall Poppy isn't changing who she is. She is simply showing respect for and recognition of different personalities, cultures and lifestyles by "tweaking" the way she communicates with different people.

Communication experts agree that everything about you--your appearance, your voice, your actions, your words...even your scent--is a form of communication. In order to give the best first impression, they say you should take your cues from the person with whom you are meeting. Speak with a similar tone. Speak at a similar volume. Speak at a similar speed, etc. Tall Poppies are simply more self aware than others and know how other variables in their manner and style affect others' opinions of them. They attempt to move past concentrating on their voices alone and positively influence others by dressing, acting and communicating in a manner they feel puts those around them at ease. Remember this post about Tall Poppies and "Fashion Sabbaticals"? Same idea.

Tall Poppies don't try to be "perfect" (which shows a LACK of confidence--AND intelligence). Tall Poppies simply try to be Their Personal Best. Perfection isn't possible, nor is it the goal. Beauty is always going to be in the eye of the beholder, as are intelligence, wit, talent, savvy, etc. Tall Poppy appreciates her strengths and uses them to her advantage. She's realistic about her shortcomings (EVERYONE has them...), but makes an effort to improve and minimize them. Tall Poppy can look herself in the mirror, search her soul, and love herself "Just as she is...". Being self aware prepares Tall Poppy for any environment or situation. And being prepared fuels Tall Poppy's confidence which, of course, is the reason she is SO Tall in the first place.

So, what can we do in 2005 to become more Self Aware?
1). This site has some very interesting and helpful exercises that might be useful if you are feeling less than insightful today. They ask the questions. You just need to be honest with your answers. Search your soul and use this time to really get to know (and love) your Self.
2). Check out this Emotional Competency Development Guideline. See that part where it suggests that you ask people you are comfortable with to give you feedback on your actions and behaviors? Yeah. That is a REALLY good idea. And don't take offense at what you are told. Be thankful that the people who give you an honest answer are brave enough to do so. Go into the exercise with the idea that you will be "fascinated" with their answers rather than "defensive". Then challenge yourself to minimize and improve those behaviors that might be holding you back.

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