Self-Awareness and Humility … two ingredients for success

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Ernesto Rendon
  • 728th Air Mobility Squadron
Do you ever stop to carefully evaluate how well you've lived up to expectations? I don't mean expectations levied upon you by supervisors, by our Air Force, or a by a friend and or loved one. I mean how well are you living up to the expectations you have of yourself.

Presuming that you've taken the time to establish goals, I'd recommend you pause a few moments every week to gauge your progress. Pay particular attention to how well you perform in two areas, and I think you'll put yourself in a great position to meet whatever goals you may have set to achieve. The two areas I'd encourage you to focus on are self-awareness and humility.

Self-awareness is defined as "conscious knowledge of one's own character, feelings, motives, and desires".  Successful people tend to be self-aware because they recognize the importance of taking a close look at their own lives, so they're better able to find opportunities for positive changes. This concept keeps us from making the same dumb mistakes that prevents us from improving. After 22 years of active duty service in the United States Air Force, I know without a doubt that I made more mistakes than I can count. However, I also know that I've learned a great deal from those mistakes and those experiences have helped make me a better Airman.

I challenge each of you to find a quiet moment every week to reflect on your behavior. Are you being a good friend, a patient parent, a selfless spouse?  Do you contribute more than you take from professional and personal relationships? Be honest with yourself and if you don't like what you find...fix it!

Here's a newsflash folks - nobody likes a blowhard, a braggart, or a know-it-all. Be humble! This one's tough too because our society doesn't really promote humility. Instead we're surrounded with messages that reinforce the need to stand out amongst the crowd. Here are some antonyms for humility:  egoism, arrogance, pretentiousness, and self-importance. Would you like to be described as such?

I choose to strive for humility because it keeps me grounded and willing to learn. By striving to remain humble, I accept that I still have much to learn and keep an open mind to other ideas. It's pretty easy to get wrapped up with rank, status and duty titles but please avoid the trap and stay humble!

I can't properly express with words how much I love being an Airmen in the United States Air Force. Our organization has provided my family and me with more opportunities than I can ever repay and I've had the privilege to serve with the finest men and women our nation has to offer. I challenge you to remain humble in good times and persistent when times are tough and don't ever get too busy to reflect on how well you've lived up to expectations!