Book suggestion: Finding Awareness: The Journey of Self-discovery: https://amzn.to/3vAR2z2
Why do you do the things that you do? What triggers you and why does it trigger you? Do you know who you are and why? Most of us think that we know ourselves well, but this is not as common as we think. According to Merriam Webster, self-awareness is awareness of one’s own personality or individuality. (Merriam Webster). Debbie Ford, #1 New York times bestseller, says “Self-Awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life without any attachment to it being right or wrong, good or bad.” In order to become self-aware, you will need to consistently self-reflect, recognize your strenghts and weaknesses, reflect on criticism from others, consider the feelings of other people, and read personal development books regularly.
Journaling is a great way to self-reflect. You write in your journal consistently and then go back and read what you wrote about a week or even a month later. What thoughts did you write down? “Why did you think this way at the time? In the moment, we may feel a certain way, but when time passes, we can look at the situation with new eyes. You can assess situations that occur in your life, positive and negative situations. How did you handle the situation? Be objective about your actions. If you have a conflict with someone, the other person may have been in the wrong, but if you handled it in an unhealthy way, reflect on why you did this. Ask yourself, “Why did this trigger me?” Get to know yourself like you would get to know a close friend or spouse.
Recognize Strengths & Weakness
We all have strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes, we only focus on the tangible qualities, such as being organized, or having a talent in the performing arts. Strengths and weaknesses also involve you character traits. This is often forgotten, we identify oursleves according to our jobs or careers, but we all have unique personality qualities that separate us from one another. A weakness can always be improved and a strength can always be improved as well. Know that you are in charge of your growth, if you want to become better in an area, work at it. All of us can learn to be better if we invest time to become better, through our daily actions. For example, if you are a naturally shy person, you can actively work on your communication skills by asking people questions about themselves. Learn to ask open ended questions. Work in customer service to help you interact with more people more frequently. You will probably always be a bit shy, but you can always work to improve so that you gain more confidence along the way.
Reflect on Criticism from Others
Criticism can be a taboo word in our society, especially since most people give criticism out of issues or advice from their own personal journeys. Constructive cricitism is a great way to build personal growth and self-awareness, however crticism coming from a neagtive place does not usually lead to your growth. Learn to discern the difference the two types of criticism by considering the source giving you the criticism. Sometimes constructive criticism can hurt, but if it is coming from someone who really has your best interest at heart and he/she/they has no hidden agenda, there is probably some truth in their statement about you. Pay attention to how you feel when you hear criticism, whether constructive or not. Self-reflect, “Is there merit to what was said?”; “Is this an area that I can improve?” If we are honest, most of us would say we do not need to improve and that we are fine as we are. Yes, you can accept yourself as you are, but personal growth is a must in order to deal with the ups and downs of life. Self-awareness can give you a leg up during extremely difficult circumstances that are beyond your control.
Consider the Feelings of Other People
When you are self-aware, you can empathize with other people’s feelings. Someone may be upset about something that you do not understand, but you can give that person their space with no judgement, because you know that all feelings are valid. There were times when you were upset, people didn’t understand, and you probably wished someone would have validated your feelings. We all had different life experiences and those life experiences effect how we feel about a situation. When you are self-aware, you become accustomed to acknowledging how you feel without judging your own feelings. Our feelings are not good or bad. However, how we express our feelings can cause us to make poor choices that effect others, but there is nothing wrong with any feelings no matter how big or small the issue. Also, when you are aware of what makes you feel a certain way, you can advise other people on how to deal with difficult of challenging feelings too.
Read Personal Development Books
Reading personal development books can be a life changer. Listening to motivation speakers like Jim Rohn, Tony Robbins, Stephen Covey, Oprah Winfrey, or Dani Johnson can give you insight into who you are. Why? These successful writers, speakers, entrepreneurs now know who they are, but this was not always the case. Listening or reading about someone’s life or life choices can inspire you to work on your own personal growth. You would need to read or listen to these books regularly for this to be effective long term. I suggest immersing yourself in an audiobook or reading a book 15 minutes a day. These 15 minutes can make a difference in motivating you to get to know your self.
Often, we walk through life on autopilot and we are not attuned to ourselves, or our needs and our wants. Sidenote: gaining self-wareness and discovering who you are is not selfish. Some people may think this, but when you are working toward healing and know when you are regulated, you can effectively influence other people in a positive way. Selfish people do not usually have self-awareness because they can only see the world through their own narrative, usually do not take criticism well or any advice at all, and refuse to become more enlightened on their feelings and actions. If you want to have a sense of self, learn to self-reflect, recognize your strengths and weaknesses, reflect on criticism from others, and consider the feelings of other people. Becoming self-aware is one of the greatest gifts that you can give yourself and the world.
Hope this helps,
What are your strengths and weaknesses? Comment below!
Cited Work: “Self-awareness.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/self-awareness. Accessed 3 Aug. 2022.