Before reading anything more about self-awareness, stop for a moment and consider just how well you know yourself. What is it that makes you, you?
Many people have become virtual strangers to themselves. No longer understanding what makes them the way they are. And over time, this can lead to a form of isolation from yourself.
If you can’t understand what causes your mindset to be like it is, then you can’t make changes for the better.
Knowing yourself better than anyone else starts with knowing how to be self-aware. Consider that self-awareness is an understanding of your character and your personality.
Hence, it explains why you feel the way you do about certain things.
If you are not self-aware, then you start to lose yourself amongst the crowd. Not truly understanding what it is that makes you an unique individual.
The Importance of Self-Awareness
There have been volumes of research performed about self-awareness over the years.
While much of this research comes from recent years, self-awareness has been a topic of conversation since ancient times.
The act of being self-aware has vital importance in emotional intelligence.
Also, it gives an individual the ability to act consciously, not in a passive way.
With self-awareness, you can achieve a more positive view of life and improve your mindset and mental wellbeing.
Being self-aware holds close ties with the achievement of success.
As an individual becomes more self-aware, they begin to understand their desires in life much better.
From this, you can get a more comprehensive grip on what drives you in life. By understanding your motivations and passion to act, you can better direct your efforts.
Understanding what it is that you truly want, and understanding why you want it can refocus your attention.
If there is negatively in your life, then self-awareness can help you to find it.
10 Ways to Increase Self-Awareness
A better understanding of yourself is the first step to making positive changes in your life.
But increasing self-awareness also gives you a deeper understanding of the past events that have influenced your overall outlook.
There many methods that you can utilise to increase your self-awareness.
Here are ten of the most natural and most effective ways to start understanding yourself better, and become more self-aware:
Method One: Separate Character from Experience
Your character is a combination of the qualities that make you unique. These are your mental qualities and your moral ones.
Experience is the way that the world has changed you. For every experience, your character will change because of the new influences.
Separating your true character from the one created through experience will help you to become more self-aware.
Take a moment to reflect.
Everyone goes through tough experiences, but have they changed your outlook on life?
It is normal to feel anger or perhaps be bitter after being fired unexpectedly from a job.
It is normal to feel determined or disheartened when you’re told that you’re not good enough by another person.
Each experience can adjust your outlook on life.
Where you determined before? Were you angry before? You may not have a bitter personality, but experience can make it feel that way.
If you bow to experience over character, then you lose sight of who it is that you truly are. You lose the ability to think of self-awareness with clarity.
These changes to character and personality can condition you to think a different way.
It can lead you to do things you otherwise wouldn’t have done, such as seeking a career that doesn’t match your personality.
Developing from each new experience is important. But an experience should never completely define your mindset and who you are.
The world can either change you, or you can change the world. To be more self-aware, unravel how the experience has changed you.
Then focus on your true character underneath.
Method Two: Get a Better Understanding of Your Unique Personality
The second method to become more self-aware is to understand what makes you unique. Sometimes it can be hard to understand your own individual personality.
But everyone is unique in the way that they think and in their perspective.
There are hundreds of individual personality traits. Each person will have their own combination.
A person can be aspiring, calm and capable, but they can also be messy, complicated, and adaptable.
Your traits will be different from the next person. To distinguish yourself and understand your personality, knowing your key traits is important.
Specially designed psychometric tests and personality tests can help a person get a better view of their most prominent traits.
Tests, like the Predictive Index test, for example, focus on your self-awareness.
These are not your standard ‘correct or incorrect’ tests. Instead, they aim to help you reveal your inner traits.
What traits you have reflect yourself and as such, there is no wrong set of traits to hold.
Method Three: Get an Objective View of Yourself
Nobody can give you a clearer picture of yourself than you can. To get that clearer picture, you must be willing to view yourself objectively.
It is very easy to fog our visions and think of ourselves in a different way to what we are truly like.
In the quest to improve self-awareness, this can only hinder your development.
An objective view needs to consider everything positive about yourself. But it also needs to be honest and look at the characteristics that you don’t like.
Have an open heart and an open mind. If you can see yourself objectively, then you can begin to accept yourself.
Nobody a can move forward and progress until they accept what makes them who they are.
- Are you prone to procrastination?
- Can you be inclined to be messy?
- Are you argumentative?
Take a good look at what makes you, you. The agreeable characteristic and the negative ones.
What this will achieve is a whole new perspective. You will get a clear picture of who you are and what makes you unique.
Method Four: Understand How Other People View You
The next step is to understand how other people see you. This can be incredibly difficult at first but is also a rewarding experience.
If you don’t ask how other people see you, then you will never be able to truly understand. The characteristics that you think you show may not be the ones that you show.
Talk to a friend that you can trust and who knows you well. Ask them to describe your traits and characteristics.
It is important that they are honest with what they say. Only hearing a positive side will not be able to help you become more self-aware.
Equally, only hearing negative things will not be able to help you.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get a clear picture of what they see and think. If there are changes that you want to make, then enlist their help.
It can be of great assistance to have an ally that will be able to notice characterises that you wish to change.
If you want to be less argumentative, then ask them to point out when you’re acting in that way.
Method Five: Never Be Shy to Ask for and Accept Feedback
Feedback at work is a crucial part of development. In a similar way to asking your friends for their view of you, it is also important to get feedback from others.
It is very difficult to become more self-aware, without knowing where you stand with those around you.
Constructive feedback will allow you to focus on what it is that you’re not completing to the best of your ability.
Formal feedback in a work environment can quickly change your outlook if you are willing to accept what’s said.
If you shy away from asking for feedback, you will never be able to get that clarity about your abilities.
This can also help you to revaluate. If your characteristics are not truly right for your working environment, you could find greater happiness in a different profession.
Equally, your characteristics could be ideally suited to what you do. Feedback is great for getting a different, constructive perspective.
Method Six: Start Practicing Meditation
Taking time out of your day to meditate is an effective way of getting clarity and achieving self- reflection.
This can help you with self-awareness and awareness of your mindset and true thoughts.
By focusing on your breathing and clearing your mind, you give your body and mind chance to relax. Take time here to reflect on your goals and whether you are achieving them.
With no distractions, you can focus on your moment by moment awareness. Delve into what is helping your goals, what is preventing them, and what needs to change.
Bringing these thoughts to the focus of your mind will enable you to reflect on their importance. Think about what your goals mean to you.
Method Seven: Reflect on Your Day Before You Sleep
You can’t get a better understanding of yourself without taking the time to reflect on yourself.
Just taking five minutes at the end of the day to reflect can do wonders for your self-awareness.
Put the time aside each night to take a break and think about the day. This doesn’t have to be in the form of mediation. It can just be a minute to yourself with quiet.
Ask yourself important questions about your day. These can be anything personal to you.
- Did I achieve what I wanted to today?
- What am I proud of doing today?
- What can I do tomorrow that is different?
The simple questions can reveal a lot about what you think.
Method Eight: Start Writing a Journal of Your Thoughts
Writing a journal is another form of reflection but one that you can easily reflect on later down the road.
Your journal is yours. It is entirely private and can be filled with whatever you wish. It could be pictures, thoughts, a recount of your day – anything that you want to put down on paper.
Letting your thoughts spill out on paper is an effective way of becoming more self-aware. It can give you a different personal perspective of yourself.
One that you may never have realised existed.
Ideas, thoughts, and desires, written by your hand, can turn into development.
Self-awareness can very quickly improve when you allow yourself to get this clear image of what you think.
Method Nine: Put What You Want to Achieve down on Paper
A large part of self-awareness is understanding who you are but also where you want to be.
Fleeting ideas and inspirations can be wonderful, but the feeling of not progressing towards them can fill your mind with negativity.
Having your goals and desires written down can help you to refocus yourself.
Further, when you start to plan your goals and put down steps to achieve them, you find the underlying cause of why you want them.
Those large goals that we envision far off in the future are often forgotten due to the sheer enormity of them.
Break them down, turn them into achievable pieces, and give yourself a chance to understand how they can be achieved.
This will allow you to see what it is that you want and give you the motivation to achieve it.
Method Ten: Actively Incorporate Mindful Habits into Your Routine
As with anything that you hope to improve, putting everything into practice is the most effective first step.
Instead of saying ‘I will focus on increasing my self-awareness’, start saying ‘I am focusing on my self-awareness’.
Start incorporating mindful habits into your routine where you can. First of all put time aside in the evening to reflect. Make your first entry into a journal. Discover those traits that make you, you.
To be self-aware, you must want to be self-aware. And developing self-awareness won’t happen overnight. It will take time and commitment to understand yourself.
Once you have put the methods of increasing self-awareness into practice, you start your journey to understand who you are and what you want.
Drop a comment below, and let me know how you increase your self-awareness and keep yourself on track. Want to know yourself better? Find out here.