If you want to improve yourself, you first have to know yourself. Understanding how you work and what keeps you going will help you make your life better. By learning how to become self aware, you get in touch with your feelings, strengths, and weaknesses. After you understand these things, you will better know what you need. Being more self aware can also help you become a better leader.
What does self awareness mean?
Self awareness means being in touch with yourself and with all you feel. It means looking in a mirror and actually knowing the person you see, and knowing how to handle your feelings for the better. If you understand everything that you feel and think, you know what is better for you. This way, you can develop healthy habits that will benefit you in the future.
However, most people have difficulties in becoming self aware. They have a hard time coming true to their real feelings and weaknesses, so they don’t know how to act to make their life better. If you cannot answer most questions about your person, then it means you can should develop your self awareness.
How to become self aware
There are a few ways you can learn how to become more self aware, and applying them will allow you to become a better person.
1. Look at you objectively
Take some time to analyze you as a person, your thoughts, feelings, and the decisions you make. Try to look at them from an objective perspective, as if it were someone else. Look at how you react in different situations, what decisions you make, and their outcome.
Then, instead of getting involved, try to remain objective and just take notice of them. This is called meta-cognition. It might be difficult at first, but the technique allows you to identify some wrong things you did that you wouldn’t have noticed at first.
Sometimes, you can even improve your ways of behaving. Whenever something goes wrong, go back to the activities that led to this outcome. Analyze your decisions, and how you came to them. After a thorough analysis, you’ll see what was flawed in the process, and will know better for the future.
2. Perform introspection
Introspection means looking at your mental processes and the emotions related to certain events. While analyzing your mind, you can also identify some patterns that are typical for you. These patterns should occur when making different decisions or acting in various situations. Again, this activity should be performed objectively, without being biased or too harsh on yourself.
3. Let go of the past and do not punish yourself
While analyzing your thinking patterns, you might discover that some things have changed over the years. At the same time, you might discover some unhealthy coping mechanisms you have developed, or something that no longer applies to you.
In this case, it’s better to go on and abandon these thinking patterns, even if it’s quite a tough thing to do. If you are eager to leave them because they no longer suit you, don’t be too harsh on yourself. Be understanding of your past flaws, and let everything go.
4. Find your strengths and weaknesses
The surest way to grow is know both your strengths and your weaknesses. Being aware of the first will allow you to cherish and develop them, while knowing the second should show what you need to improve. Put up a list of the two, and then start analyzing the situation.
Identifying the strengths is the easy task, while the weaknesses part is more challenging. To make sure you include all of them on the list, try to answer a few questions. Look at those things that you often avoid doing. Then, think about the moments when you failed, and try to identify a common pattern. Even the feedback received at school or at work should help you.
5. Ask people their opinion about you
Some might think this practice is not constructive, but it is actually helpful. There are always things about yourself you might overlook either on purpose or unintentionally. Although you might not always like what you hear, this will help you improve those weak points.
In fact, it’s even better to hear something unpleasant. By having others tell you something about yourself and make you feel bad, you are more likely to try and fix this thing, and improve yourself. Therefore, don’t refrain from asking others what they think about you.
6. Keep a ‘Morning Pages’ journal
This practice means taking 15 or 20 minutes every morning to write whatever comes to your mind. You have to fill three pages with your thoughts, feelings, reflections, or anything that passes your mind at that moment. While writing, you tend to get relieved and discover new things. Your mind flies in all directions, so you might discover some interesting lines written down on paper.
7. Choose something you stand for
After you have explored your feelings and have come to terms with it, you can say you already know yourself better. To keep improving and become a better person, you need some sort of manifesto. This will help you keep going through life, as well as make everything better.
If you have performed a self-evaluation, you know your core values. This means you can select those that are worth fighting for, and can put up a short phrase about them. Then, think about how they can guide you in life, and how you are planning to follow them. To this manifesto, you can add a bucket list, meaning a list of things you have always wanted to do. Turn these things into a long-term plan as well.
If you want to grow continuously, you should learn how to become self aware. Knowing both your strong and your weak points is essential, as well as decoding your every feeling and seeing where it comes from. This is not an easy practice, as you often cannot remain objective. However, once you learn how to become more self aware, you can become the person you have always dreamed to be.