Understanding of your inner feelings, motives, and emotions is the basic brick in building your self-awareness. However, the next step is gaining the power to control them. Being self-aware also means a person takes the responsibility for his or her own fate and finds an effective response for any life situation.
Self-awareness is also one of four basic capabilities of emotional intelligence and a key quality of a good leader, as it not only helps you to realize who you are but also gives an idea what you want to get from other people and how to navigate effectively through life’s challenges.
Becoming a self-aware person may be an interesting journey in your inner world, with accepting your past and creating a vision of your future. It helps you select the right goals for yourself that will give you the most happiness and fulfillment instead of doing what everybody else does. Find below my 10 tips to increase your self-awareness.
Make a narrative of your life, including all the little victories and failures. Start from the very childhood. Sometimes the memories we put in the darkest corners of our mind distinguish our personality the most. Psychologists agree that while shaping your life story in the narrative you shape who you really are. It helps to understand your current motives and the goals you set for future.
An oldie-goldie way to cope with psychological issues and keep track of own thoughts is to write a blog or a diary, where you can frame your experiences and find the connection between the causes and the results. It may help you to build a self-reflection, as you can look at yourself through other’s eyes. Review it as often as you want, would it be once a month or every year for your birthdays.
Every step you take has a particular reasoning. Each time when you have a choice, think why you make your preference. It might be as simple as asking why you choose one movie instead of another, or more complicated as your preference in people, values or life goals. Think how you feel. Are you happy at the moment? Are you under stress? What events do you anticipate to happen again, and what does give you strength to get up in the morning?
Self-reflection is also very successful in a form of meditation. Focusing on the current moment and making your mind clear, while inhaling and exhaling, helps you to improve your moment-by-moment awareness. The great thing that you do not need a special ritual to meditate – simply take a minute of time when you need, focus on your breathing, calm down and then question yourself what you want to achieve, what the obstacles on your way are and what you do to overcome them.
Set your goals and your priorities. Write down the achievements and analyze your progress. This simple procedure will help you to keep track of every little step towards your goal or tell if you are moving towards the right direction.
Ask your close friend or a family member to be a mirror of your personality. Honest and candid feedback from a trusted person can evaluate your “blind spots”, things you have never noticed in yourself. Just make sure your respondent feels confident in expressing sincere thoughts about you, so get ready to accept the criticism without showing any negative reaction towards your friend and do not try to defend yourself.
After you eliminate the traits and behavioral patterns that need to be improved, ask your friend to point them out every time he/she sees them in future. Your friend can become your agent of change.
Gary Vaynerchuk advised: “Find the five people who are closest to you in the world, spend a week, not 5 minutes, making them feel safe for the question you’re about to ask them, which is: Tell me what I am good at, and tell me what I am bad at.” Sometimes the people around us can see clearly our strengths and weakness that we might try to deny about ourselves.
Receiving negative feedback is always difficult, especially from people, who are not very close to you, like your colleagues or fellow classmates. Although, taking regular formal and informal feedback from them might be helpful to understanding your strengths and weaknesses in the society. A good leader always asks feedback from the employees, as it provides objective esteem of personality and behavior.
To hear the feedback is only half of the job. In order to make it complete you have to provide analysis of yourself and think about the ways of improving. And as soon as you set them, make sure to follow the chosen path.
One more good way to improve your self-awareness is to give a video interview. Make sure you have a friend, who stays behind the camera, asks you questions and listens to your stories. It is very important to talk to a real person instead of a camera to feel free and natural. After the recording, take your time to analyze the movie. This way you can observe not only your inner-self but the image of how other people see you. Do you like how you look? Is your language clear? Do you use gestures? Is your pose confident enough? Draw a picture of how you want to look like and try again until you succeed.
When you already have the things that you want to change in your mind, take mental notes every time when you make a progress. Stay focus, and do not allow yourself to repeat the same mistakes again. Being aware every moment of your life can also help you to notice other things, which need improvement, either in yourself or in your attitudes towards the world. Try to be present here and now, without using lazy autopilot or letting others making a decision for you.
One of the most important thing of self-awareness is realizing that you are the one who is in charge of your situation, that you do not depend on fate, and you are the only person who can change yourself and influence the world around you. Once you know who you really are at your core, start being you and never be apologetic for who you are.
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss US
Kimberley is a passionate blogger. She loves writing and traveling. She currently lives in Melbourne Australia. Read more http://www.investivate.com/author/kimberley/
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