How Self-Awareness Helps You Practice the FISH! Philosophy

Published On: August 30, 2023Categories: Blog

Self-awareness is one of those skills that most of us think we have, but very few of us actually do–this isn’t just a truism; it’s backed by statistics: surveys have shown that nearly 100% of us consider ourselves self-aware, but in reality, only 10-15% of us actually practice this skill on a regular basis.

And when we say it’s a skill, we mean it. It’s easy to think of self-awareness as just a state of being–either you are self-aware, or you aren’t–but in fact self-awareness is a practicable action that needs to be tended to and flexed in order to develop and become easier as time goes on.

But once you are in a place where self-awareness starts to come naturally, you’ll be able to see how helpful it can be in practicing the FISH! Philosophy–all four core foundations of FISH! become easier and more effective when you’re capable of practicing self-awareness as part of them. So here’s how you can harness your self-awareness to make yourself an even stronger FISH! acolyte:

Be There: Be aware of your judgments so you can meet others’ needs

A massive part of self-awareness is being cognizant of your judgments. We often pass judgment on people, situations, and events without realizing it, and this can color how we show up for others every day. For example, if you’ve got a coworker who you judge as “whiny,” then when they come to you in crisis, you’re far less likely to meet them with compassion and support, which can further stress the relationship.

But by having self-awareness of these judgmental stances, you can choose to respond differently, in a way that doesn’t reinforce those judgments. When your “whiny” coworker comes to you in crisis, you can choose to lend a non-judgmental ear to listen and share loving, compassionate advice that can help them grow and develop their own skills. Simply put, self-awareness helps you Be There every day for those around you!

Play: Anticipate your reactions to gain others’ perspectives

Just like how self-awareness can give us the ability to read our own judgments of others, it also grants us the ability to anticipate our own reactions based on those judgments. Let’s take another example: you’ve got a coworker with big ideas. Every meeting they share something that seems impractical, irrelevant, or unworkable. Whenever they open their mouth, we tighten up, close ourselves off, and say “no” as a default response to shut them down.

But when we practice self-awareness, we begin to not only see those actions in ourselves, but anticipate them before they happen. And with that anticipatory self-awareness comes the ability to course-correct. By maintaining this awareness of our own natural reactions, we can instead choose to practice openness and really listen to what this coworker has to say–we can Play with these new ideas and actively engage with them, rather than dismissing them outright. And who knows: maybe one of them will be the next big breakthrough!

Make Their Day: Take action after self-reflection

Self-awareness is a strongly reflective practice. That is, it requires us to look inward and examine our own thoughts, our own feelings, and our own behaviors. But self-awareness doesn’t end at self-reflection; that’s just the beginning. To truly practice self-awareness, we have to–you know–practice!

That means taking what we learn about ourselves and turning this knowledge into action. If we’re getting mad whenever our coworker leaves us off an email thread, it doesn’t matter how much we’re aware of that anger if we still respond by blowing up every time. What matters is how we take that self-awareness and turn it into changed behavior. After all, what better way to Make Their Day than to respond with loving kindness in a situation where your office mates are expecting you to respond with anger and vitriol?

Choose Your Attitude: Take a step back and reframe your mind

Of course, changing behavior is easier said than done, and when your natural tendency is to react negatively, you have to Choose Your Attitude in order to present a different version of yourself to others.

Fortunately, self-awareness is hugely helpful in choosing your attitude–in fact, it’s arguably the very core of the concept! In order to choose our attitude, we have to divorce that initial feeling from our immediate outward reaction. This can be difficult when they feel so inherently intertwined, but the more we practice self-awareness, the more we can identify these feelings, anticipate the reaction, and take a step back to put a pause between the two.

Once we’ve created that pause, we’ve given ourselves the breathing room to diverge from a seemingly automatic path–we can take a moment to collect ourselves, acknowledge our feelings, and consciously decide how (or if) we want to display those feelings to the world around us. This moment is the very foundation of Choose Your Attitude, and it all boils down to having that self-awareness to create the moment in the first place.

Ideas to Reflect On:

  • How do you practice self-awareness on a daily basis? What has it taught you about yourself?
  • Has your self-awareness led to changed behavior? What’s one action you can take that you wouldn’t or couldn’t take if you weren’t aware of your own emotions?
  • How can self-awareness lead to improved relationships with your coworkers? Is there anybody in particular that would likely act better towards you if you engaged them with a different attitude?

Whether you work in business, education, or healthcare, FISH! offers accessible, intuitive solutions to empower your workers, bring your team together, and avoid the symptoms of impending burnout. We invite you to contact us today at 800.695.4534 or to speak with our cultural specialists, who will help you find the right FISH! Philosophy solutions that will nurture your organizational culture and motivate your team!

Want to Implement FISH! in your organization?

Are you a leader?  Do you train others?  Do you want others to be leaders?

Charthouse Learning, the creator of the world-famous, award-winning, FISH! film is offering an in-person, 2-day workshop, interactive Train-the-Trainer lead by our Senior Trainer.

During our time together you’ll learn how to:

  • Share the motivation and foundation of FISH!
  • Introduce the FISH! film with the four practices.
  • Present the invitation to apply the practices in everyday interaction with others.
  • Build a sustainability and reinforcement program to transform the culture.
  • Pick up tips from other FISH! Philosophers and develop a strategy to embed the practices into the DNA of your culture.
  • Create an energized organization that is the “first choice” for employees, faculty, staff, leaders, and customers.

Plus, you will learn how to create a workplace where people choose to “be and bring” their best self everywhere, every day.

At the FISH! Train the Trainer you will:

  • Dive Deep: Discover The FISH! Philosophy – full of “A-ha!” takeaways and perspective-shifting realizations.
  • Transform: Make the four FISH! practices – Play, Be There, Make Their Day and Choose Your Attitude – an essential part of your professional and personal skill set.
  • Discover: Learn practical ways to apply the FISH! practices to improve teamwork, service, leadership, retention and performance.
  • Develop: Brainstorm strategies to embed The FISH! Philosophy into the DNA of your culture, strengthening your mission, vision and values.
  • Collaborate: Learn and laugh with like-minded folks from across the globe.

Click Here for More FISH! Train the Trainer Information

FISH! Executive Briefing

You have probably heard about the Culture Shift in the news. Organizations are struggling to find talent, employee morale is low, retention is a common goal and customers are dissatisfied with buying experiences.

These are all symptoms of an underlying challenge leadership is faced with every day, regardless of the industry. You can look for temporary relief or an overall, long-term cure.

Join us for a 60-minute webinar on the world-famous, award-winning FISH! practices.

Click Here for More FISH! Executive Briefing Information


Whether you work in business, education, or healthcare, FISH! offers accessible, intuitive solutions to empower your workers, bring your team together, and introduce Play into your organization. We invite you to contact us today at 800.695.4534 or to speak with our cultural specialists, who will help you find the right FISH! Philosophy solutions that will nurture your organizational culture and motivate your team!

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