What is Self Awareness?
All day, everyday we are aware of ourselves, right? We look in the mirror, we take millions of selfies, we check if our outfit is still OK a 1000 times a day. So, we are fully aware of ourselves, or only how we look or how other people see us.
When we talk about Self Awareness it’s about the internal part of Self Awareness. The ability to see yourself clearly and objectively through reflection and introspection. Self Awareness is truly seeing who you really are, why you act the way you do, why you react the way you do, what pushes your buttons and how you deal with life.
Why is Self awareness so important?
If you want to change something, understand your behavior or design your life, you first need to understand what your blueprint is. It is like re-doing your house. If you want to make changes to the construction, you first need to know the current construction. Otherwise you can build up a new floor, but without looking at the blueprint, your floor could collapse and you can start all over again.
If you want to set goals, you need to be self-aware enough to know your strengths and weaknesses, you’ll know which goals you need to set and the strategies that will help you achieve them.
Furthermore, the consciousness of your own actions and feelings will help you to better understand others and you’ll develop healthier relationships.
Self-awareness won’t fix all of your problems, but it is a big step toward improvement.
How can I improve my Self Awareness?
What can you do to start improving your self awareness? Here are 5 simple tricks to improve your self awareness and you can start right now!
Write down every evening what went good, what went not so good that day and don’t forget to write down why. By journaling you will get an insight in your actions, reactions and feelings.
#2 Identify your triggers
When you start journaling you will see that some actions and/ or reactions will return. As soon as you write down a reaction for the second time, highlight it. After a while you collect all your actions and/or reactions. If you list all the reasons why you acted or reacted in this certain way, you identify your triggers.
#3 Go on a Helicopter ride
Ok, that can be overwhelming, looking at yourself. Let’s go on a helicopter ride and see a different perspective. Look around you and take a look how other people act and react.
If you see someone do something you find annoying or irritate you, ask yourself if this could be a reflection of something you dislike in yourself. Or the other way around, if you see someone do something you really like ask yourself if that could be an aspect you could improve in yourself.
#4 Ask for feedback
Nothing can be more clarifying than asking other people how they see you. Ask them how you handled a situation you found difficult or ask them to observe you during an activity and ask them to give you feedback. Receiving feedback is a good exercise to integrate the way other people see you and how you see yourself.
#5 Accept your mistakes and learn from it
If you are improving your self awareness, you probably try things out. It could be that a reaction has the opposite effect and this could discourage you. Don’t let that happen. We are all human and we all make mistakes.
It sounds crazy, but making a mistake is the best way to be self aware. You are confronted with your own actions and/ or reactions and it’s the best way to learn and grow.
Self Awareness and Life Design
When you want to make a change in life, you want to (re-)design your life, you first need to know who you are and what you need before you know where you are going.
If you want to change, self awareness is the key to make progress in life. Because if you do what you always have done, you will get what you always have gotten. We learn everyday new things, we see new aspects of ourselves and this contributes to our self awareness and our lives.