Self-awareness is the ability to be conscious or mindful of your individuality which includes your distinctive personality, thoughts, feelings, strengths, vulnerabilities, personal values, habits and inclinations. It is having the knowledge and understanding of why you do what you or and the motives behind it.
This will lead to self discovery and you can use the knowledge to guide you towards personal, career and spiritual growth.
Awareness of who you are and how you relate to everything in the universe will enable you to gain understanding and self-acceptance. You’ll know when and how to allow, cope or deal with a situation or problem because developing self-awareness also improves emotional intelligence.
It enables you to understand people better and will help you build better relationships.
The journey to self-discovery. 9 Ways to get to know yourself better.
At the end of your day, go through and recall what you did, how you reacted and what you felt. Ask yourself if you had reacted well to situations and people.
If you didn’t, ask yourself why. Find the reasons so that you will understand yourself. It will enable you to decide how you want to respond the next time.
If your day was filled with good feelings, look for the triggers. You can use them to deliberately create the positive feelings again.
2. Use a Journal.
Everyone has selective memories so it’s best to keep a journal. Use it to write down your observations, activities, thoughts, emotions and responses. Write things you notice within and outside you that affect your emotions and behavior.
You can get to know yourself through your writing by noticing the patterns of your thoughts, attitude, and behavior.
3. Pay Attention to Your Self-Talk.
You may find it difficult to listen because of the clutter that is going around. Persist and focus by being aware. Pause each time you notice your mood changes. Reflect on what you were telling yourself? Find out what triggered the thoughts? Try to figure out the connections?
4. Watch Your Mental Movies.
What kind of images keep playing on your mind? Are they pictures of unresolved issues, humiliation, or pains that happened many years ago? Are you in the images or are you watching from afar?
One of the ways to become aware of the mental images is to stop yourself when you are daydreaming or when your mind is wandering.
5. Observe Your Behavior When You Are Under Pressure.
What do you do when you are under pressure or when someone pushes your button? How do you talk to yourself outwardly and inwardly? Do you go into a rage or do you hide under the covers? Do you blame yourself or others?
Look at your reactions from an observer’s point of view. How do you evaluate yourself?
6. Be Aware of Your Surroundings.
Observe people’s behaviors. Listen to the language and speech. Watch what they do. Is there any trait that is useful to you and can be modeled? Are they doing something that you are not?
Watch what is happening around you. Pay attention and notice things.
By improving your situational awareness, you become more present and will develop self-awareness too.
7. Welcome Feedback.
Listen to people’s opinions and comments about you without taking them personally. There are certain things that you may have not have noticed or don’t want to admit.
Use the feedback to learn more about yourself.
8. Go Outside, Observe Nature and Tune Out.
The sun rises and sets at its predestined time. Light comes after dawn followed by darkness in the night. Birds fly and build their nests and spiders construct their webs without being taught. There is a time when the tide is low and high.
Observing life helps you tune out from self preoccupation. It makes you become attentive, alert and responsive. It’ll help you see yourself from a different perspective.
9. Get in Touch with Your Deeper Self.
Self awareness is easily attained when your brainwaves have slowed down and your mind is relaxed and quiet. You can achieve this through meditation, any progressive relaxation exercise or prayer.
In the meditative state, you can connect with your deeper self because your conscious mind is out of the way. Listen to your inner guidance and find out what it is trying to tell you.
When you are able to stand apart and observe your thoughts, moods and involvements in life, you will discover your strengths and weaknesses. It makes you more accountable and responsible and you’ll find it easier to admit your mistakes.
When you begin to increase self-awareness and become more awake and alert, you will discover what you never have realized about yourself and how you’ve participated in creating your destiny.
The knowledge will help you make better decision and create a different life story.