Since it is hard for humans to look at their flaws and blessings without prejudice and without falling trap into the false ego, the process of self-awareness requires an unbiased understanding of one’s true self. Most of the time, we flatter ourselves by telling ourselves that how great we are and other times we keep ourselves into the category of a complete failure But, that is not how any human being is designed. We all are a blend of our shortcomings and strengths in different dimensions of our personality and we need to look at them just as it is. In order to get a better understanding, Let me elaborate in detail on the very concept of self-awareness in regular life.
What is Self Awareness?
Self-awareness is about scrutinizing one’s own actions, behavior, emotions, reaction, and being perceptive of the underlying beliefs, values, motives, and philosophies triggering those responses in any state of affairs. Self-awareness lets you take responsibility for your actions and their consequences. It is about being perceptive of your feelings, your fears, your desires, your goals, and last but not the least, how you want others to perceive you. Self-awareness makes you insightful about what you do and why you do it. It let you understand the legitimacy of your very core beliefs so that you just do not act instinctively. Hence, this is a brief elaboration to the question; what is self-awareness?
Purpose and benefits of self-awareness
Since that we understood what is self-awareness? and how it provides an insight into our true personality traits inclusive of all strengths and weaknesses, lead to serve a great purpose in our lives with a number of perks and return.
- Improves self-control
- Improves self-esteem
- Aids in self-development
- Improves our personal image
- Gives complete freedom
- Leads to better career paths
- Aids in decision making
Self-awareness makes you more alert of your actions, feelings, thoughts, and even more familiar with our image perceived by others, thus it really helps us in improving ourselves as well as our image to others. Click here to learn a few other benefits of self-awareness.
Example of self-awareness
Now that we got quite an understanding of what self-awareness is and why is it important? Hence I would like to quote an event of my colleague who asked me for advice about why she always ends up having trivial and unfulfilled relations despite having true and sincere feelings for the other person. During the discussion, we dug a little deeper into her situation as well as her personality traits and come up with the conclusion that she had trouble expressing her true feelings and loyalty to the other person. After identifying the shortcoming behind her less-affectionate relations around her, she started working on her limitations and became more expressive in her relations. This changed in her behavior helped her a lot in building more affectionate relations resulting in her true satisfaction and fulfillment.
Ways to develop self-awareness
Though self-awareness seems to be a bit subtle and complex phenomenon, many of us prefer to stay on autopilot because we presume that the state to be our comfort zone. But the matter of fact is that the pain of unconsciousness stays for a lifetime and the hardships for getting awareness about your habits and conduct along with the obscure triggers causing you to act and react would b a temporary phase. So here are few ways for developing self-awareness and implement it in your life accordingly.
1- Ask friends and family
Since you have decided to walk on the path of exploring yourself to the core, the best thing you can do for yourself is to ask five to seven people whom you consider loyal and close to you. You can conduct a private meeting with your one friend at a time and can convince him/her that he can tell you about any of the negative habits/behavior/emotional responses or whatever he/she finds horrendous in you. Then you can ask him/her to prove it with the past scenario you might get a bigger picture of the whole situation in which you did that thing. This is how you will achieve self-awareness in a fun and friendly way.
Asking parents facilitates loads
Likewise, you can ask your parents, particularly your mother who usually understands our shortcomings way more than anybody on the planet.
Seek help from colleagues
You can also opt for trustworthy people from your workplace for your behaviors and reactions at the office or so. You can ask for both strengths and weaknesses in order to polish and utilize the strengths for better and rectify the shortcomings to perform exquisitely in all jurisdictions.
2- Spend time with yourself
Since we all know the importance and influence of the company we keep on our beliefs, viewpoints, and even worldview altogether, so in order to get a deep understanding of our behaviors, traits, thoughts, and reactions we need to keep ourselves away from all the influences for a while. When you will spend solitary time with yourself only, then and only then you will be able to observe your inside phony. Spending time in solitude will allow you to grasp your true beliefs, concealed motivations, and even unresolved emotions which might prompt you to overreact and be out of context every so often. While practicing seclusion in order to reflect on your inner being, you can ask yourself several questions in order to get a better understanding like;
- How do I exactly feel when I am in a crowd?
- How do I perceive criticism?
- What makes me the angriest?
- What approach gave me that success or what belief escorted me to that failure?
- Do I overreact or make things calm and then pursue
- All these questions and a number of like these you can ask in your solitude to get to know yourself a little more.
How Self reflection worked for me
I would quote an instance from my own life when I used to be more of a whining baby all the time and used to complain all the time about the problems and issues of my life. Then one day a friend of mine made me realized that I complain a lot and that makes my life looks terrible and problematic. This statement gave me a real insight and I started looking inward to know if that was really the problem with me. Finally, it really turned out that my compliant-making habit was making my life horrible more than it really was. Thus by realizing this flaw of mine, I started working on my habit and replaced compliance with gratitude. That is how being aware of my feelings and the consequent behavior helped me getting better for good. And I became a more fulfilled human from an unfulfilled one.
3- Engage yourself in mindfulness activities
Meditation is one activity that helps you meet your true inner being by focusing only on the present state. When you meditate, your whole attention is towards your breathing and you are observing your thoughts continuously. This pattern tells you what are the thoughts and issues by which your brain mostly preoccupied with. When you face silence only in your company that is really an appropriate time to get in touch with your fears, core values, and all your thought patterns. You can observe and enchanting encouraging and obliging mantras for your state of mind. Enchanting mantras or asking yourself questions while practicing meditation will provide you with a great deal of self-awareness and you will learn a lot about yourself.
4- Review your life purpose, ambition, and preferences
Another step you can take to move ahead in self-discovery is to start tracking your short-term planning, goals to achieve in the long run, and your daily priority list. This will help you understand your whole perspective on your life. Your priorities and plans in your regular life say a lot about what meaning you have assigned to your life. When you keep on writing and revising them, things will start to get clear for you that why are you taking all these actions and what are the signals which are triggering all this behavior. It also causes you to ponder over what you really want from your life and if you are doing this because of any ambition inculcated in you by societal blueprint long ago. The path towards self-awareness aids you in reconsidering all your decisions and patterns which might be the result of someone else’s preferences.
5- Maintain a periodical
As mentioned above that self-awareness and personal development are interconnected so maintaining a periodical will help you in both endeavors simultaneously. To reflect on yourself and understanding truly “what is self-awareness” for you, you should start maintaining a periodical. All you need is to start reflecting on yourself either daily, weekly, bimonthly, or monthly, the choice is totally yours how you manage this activity for you. While reflecting, you need to keep on writing your outcomes out of an understanding of yourself. After writing the findings in your periodical, you can read and think about them off and on which will help you a lot in understanding your patterns in life. Before taking the path towards self-reflection let me tell you some intriguing aspects on which you can reflect on;
Decision making patterns
Reflect on your decision-making patterns and write them down to analyze in the future. Your decision pattern will let you understand how you make decisions most of the time and what strategy of making decisions helped you more. Few of you will be making better decisions on your own and the others might be better at taking advice from others. Reflecting on this pattern will help you not only understand your pattern well but will also help in considering the better strategy to make decisions next time.
Anger management ability
Another attribute you need to consider while developing self-awareness is your anger. How tactfully you handle your anger says a lot about your personality. Reflect on this trait will help you get a better understanding of your reactions in situations that are against you or cause you anger. When you reflect on this ability, you will come up with results that will shed light on this ability as your strength or weakness. If you find yourself not good enough with anger management then you can create better techniques in the future.
The mindset in Critical situations
Your mindset is a very exclusive faculty of yours of all that you possess. So reflecting on your mindset to know if you fall into victim one or the growth one will help you comprehend how you handle critical situations in your life. If you find yourself in a victim mindset, devise strategies to overcome this as soon as possible.
No matter what your field of work is, your communications skills are the very basic commodity to excel in any industry. Reflecting on this ability will might you help in finding loopholes in your journey to success so far.
Leadership qualities are not limited to the corporate sector only, these qualities are essential in the domestic setup as well. Reflect on this attribute and get a clear picture of yourself in any arrangement. If you come up with the result of having great qualities, start using them as your strength in every sphere of life.
Identifying and managing emotions
Emotions are a significant element of human life. How you identify and manage them can totally alter the course of your life. Being not able to understand your emotional state and not handling it accordingly will surely create a mess in your life. So on your journey to self-awareness, do reflect on not only how you recognize your emotions but also how you deal with them.
6- Watch yourself with detachment
While walking on the path of self-awareness you must not be so hard on yourself. When you look inward, there might be many bad habits, unpleasant occurrences, and the dark side of you become visible to yourself. You might find yourself making choices in your life which have not been very beneficial for you but you just made those choices cause of being on autopilot mode. That is why you ought to look at yourself with detachment while introspecting about your thoughts, decisions, choices, and priorities. If you get stuck in right and wrong, it will make your introspection troublesome for you, hence you have to understand the fact that your thoughts and choices are not you and they would be sometimes according to the standards of right and wrong and sometimes they might not meet your standards.
Introspect and own yourself
Introspection will open up the persona of yourself that you never knew you had that one, and it will be full of good qualities and bad qualities since humans are the blend of both. Therefore, you need to own yourself with all the chaos inside you. If you will look at yourself subjectively, it might stick you in being judgmental about you and you will start to reject many of the things you do and think just to get satisfaction and validity from yourself. Introspecting and owning yourself is how you will achieve self-awareness
7- Take self-tests to develop self-awareness
There are numerous tests available on the internet, which help you explore your personality type and your psychiatric patterns. All you need is to search on the internet for the category you are trying to discover at the moment. From personality type to interpersonal skills, from IQ to EQ (Emotional Intelligence), from extroversion to assertiveness, arguing style to parenting style, from coping skills to procrastination test, everything is presented on such psychology websites. These types of self-tests confer you ease and a better understanding of your personal traits along the journey of self-awareness. These tests will tell you exactly where you stand on that particular trait, so that you may improve on the areas where you truly feel more confident and contented which are currently your strengths. Being perceptive of your weaknesses and strengths lets you employ your aptitude in more apposite endeavors ensuing more accomplishments in your life.
Understanding “what is self-awareness” in its very essence and implementing it to our lives for self-development will lead surely lead us to a contented, fulfilled, and conscious life. That life will not only be favorable to our own well-being but also for the people around us because it will no longer be on autopilot. We will be conscious of our behaviors, thoughts, beliefs, and values and their repercussions that will aid us in creating a life worth living.