Self awareness is understanding your own strengths, blind spots, communication styles, leadership styles and everything else that makes you tick. Without self awareness, you cannot utilize your behavior to improve yourself and your surroundings. The more you know about yourself, the better you will be at adapting your situation to suit your needs.
By being aware of ourselves and our behavior, we have a better understanding of our environment. We are able to identify what triggers may make us angry or upset, as well as know what can distract or derail us from a task.
It is difficult to be fully self-aware. Usually, this is because we operate on auto pilot. We don’t pay a lot of attention to how we are feeling or what we are doing to accomplish our task. It takes a conscious effort to look at our behavior and emotions to understand how it is impacting us. Once we learn to notice our own behavior, we find that it is difficult to look at without bias. We may write actions off as “having a bad day” without looking at deeper and re-occurring factors.
Learning to be self aware is a critical key to using your behavior to your benefit. Without the quality of introspection, it is useless to study your own behavior because you will not be able to properly utilize the information.
There are multiple ways to improve your self awareness. Here are some of our favorites:
- Create some space for yourself. This can be in nature, your favorite coffeehouse, anywhere. The goal is to find a place where you can focus on looking into yourself and assessing what you see without distraction.
- Practice mindfulness. This is a state of being aware of yourself and your surroundings. This is extremely helpful in self-awareness, as it requires you to constantly assess yourself and your situation.
- Keep a journal. Documenting your thoughts and action is a great way to learn more about yourself and your behavior. Not only will you have the record to look back on, you’ll also have an excellent outlet to example any complicated emotions or situations you may encounter.
- Practice being a good listener. Opening yourself to others will not only help you gain understanding for the people around you, but also yourself. Listening to others thoughts and experiences can teach you a lot about yourself.
- Gain different perspectives. By opening yourself to new ideas and experiences, you are opening your eyes to the life you have lived so far, and the way it impacts you everyday. This teaches you a lot about yourself, your personality, and how your perspective might differ from others.
Learning to reflect on your thoughts and emotions is a key factor to being about to utilize your behavior. Without an accurate understanding of WHO you are, you can’t understand why you act the way you do, or the best way to leverage your behavior for success.