What are you feeling right now? What beliefs are you embracing? What emotions are you holding close to your heart? For many, these questions come up with blank answers. In our hectic, modern lives, we know very little about ourselves, our souls, our desires, and the inner emotional triggers that guide our actions and thoughts.
This is self-awareness, and it’s a missing skillset for so many of us.
“With our busy schedules it might be difficult to find time to think about who we are, our strengths and weaknesses, our drives and personalities, our habits and values,” reports Wright University. (1) “Besides, many of us just aren't inclined to spend much time on self-reflection. Even when personal feedback is presented to us, we're not always open to it, because honest feedback isn't always flattering. Consequently, many of us have a pretty low level of self-awareness. That's unfortunate, because self-awareness is an essential first step toward maximizing management skills. Self-awareness can improve our judgment and help us identify opportunities for professional development and personal growth.”
If you want to build your self-awareness and harness the power that it brings to your progression, evolution and growth, today is your day.
Strategies for Enhancing and Expanding Your Self-Awareness
1. Get Unplugged
In our hectic lives, we have a lot of things competing for our attention. This is why getting unplugged, and disconnecting from the modern world, is helpful. It creates space for us to think and feel on a whole new level.
“Walking, especially in the quiet of nature, can be useful in building self-awareness,” suggests psychologist Tchiki Davis, Ph.D. (2) “The mind tends to wander along with our feet, so with a little conscious nudging (and walking), we can examine our part in something that is happening in our lives now - at work, in social situations, in our relationships, or within the family.”
2. Find Objectivity
Self-awareness is about being able to see yourself as you really are, sans labels and judgments. Yet this is harder than it sounds, because so much of what we perceive is exactly that: Perception and interpretation of fact, and not fact itself. If you want to objectively see yourself, try this journaling exercise:
Write down where you’re at, and how you understand your current position in life
Write down things you’re proud of and things you think you’re really good at accomplishing. In contrast, also write down things you think you might need to work on.
Write down childhood experiences of situations or circumstances that made you feel joy.
Contrast the past childhood experiences with this present moment. What has changed and what has stayed the same?
Ask others. How do they feel about you, and why?
In the end, you’ll walk away with a much clearer understanding of who you are, and how you feel, and why you feel a certain way about life.
3. Practice Mindfulness
“Mindfulness is similar to self-awareness in that they both relate to consciously directing our thoughts inward in order to become more aware of our inner state of being, to observe our thoughts and beliefs, or to notice what triggers our emotions as they rise and fall,” reports Davis. “Mindfulness includes focused attention in the moment to whatever one is doing and includes practices such as meditation or a quieting of the mind.”
Exercises and habits that enhance mindfulness include:
Mindfulness exercises, such as meditation
Checking in with yourself throughout the day to see how you feel and what you feel
Using your five senses to root yourself in the present moment
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