There is no one definition for self-awareness. But for me, I define it as being able to reflect on yourself and to see yourself as clearly as possible, and to become aware of your thoughts, behaviors, and emotions by constantly examining and observing them and knowing where they stem from. So in a nutshell, self-awareness is basically a skill and a habit you develop in order to cast your attention on how you feel and think as well as the way you behave.
But the dilemma is that often we think that we know ourselves and that we are fully aware of our mental and emotional processes inside of us. But to be frank, self-awareness is not easily found in us, and it takes a lot of work and effort to cultivate self-awareness and to maintain it as well. We often go through our lives without actually examining who we really are and how we feel and operate. Without trying to understand our personalities, neither understanding the tendencies and behaviors we have and are ingrained in us. We do not work on identifying our triggers and tackling them, or even sometimes we keep doing things even though we know they will just do us harm and we are going to get negative outcomes out of them yet we keep doing them over and over without examining that behavior and the space we are coming from. All of what has been mentioned is strongly connected to the self-awareness of each one of us.
Cultivating self-awareness is not easy and it requires a lot of work and testing different techniques until you get to a level where you cultivate a robust self-awareness in your life. Self-awareness helps you in identifying your purpose and your calling in life. When you are self-aware, life becomes easier for you, and you will make decisions better and you will be better at navigating your relationships either the personal or work ones. In addition to that, you will improve your emotional intelligence and become better at managing your feelings and knowing where they are coming from.
I think after reading this, the benefits of being self-aware are crystal clear. Self-awareness is a skill that improves the way you process and understand your emotions and moods. Besides helping you in identifying and working on your patterns when it comes to thinking and viewing situations and events that you experience and go through. When you are self-aware you have more control over your life and you can lower your levels of stress and anxiety because you are aware of your triggers and emotions.
The question is, how can we cultivate self-awareness? what can we do to become more self-aware? what steps should we make?
To answers these questions, there are plenty of things that you can do in order to cultivate self-awareness. Here in this article, three major yet simple steps are covered to help you cultivate self-awareness and start your journey. These steps require little time and resources so you do not have to worry about not having enough time neither the right resources. So let us dive into it.
1. Practicing Mindfulness Meditation
This practice is considered to be magnificent and extremely helpful in increasing your levels of self-awareness. Mindful mediation is one of the best things you can do in order to learn more about yourself and go deeper and deeper and discover things you do not know about yourself. Besides helping you in becoming more self-aware, mindful meditation is scientifically proven to reduce levels of stress and getting better sleep, and improve your attention as well. All you have to do is start allocating five or ten minutes of your time on a daily basis for this practice and you can take it from there and increase the time the way you feel comfortable. There are many apps that you can download to stream guided meditations and make the process easier for you.
This practice helps you in keeping and maintaining track of your thoughts and feelings as well. When you are journaling you are actually logging your state of mind. When you keep track of your feelings you will be able to have a better clear picture of who you truly are and you can manage your feelings better and effectively. Journaling helps you to reflect back on your old self and how you used to feel and how you processed things in the past. You can journal about the conflicts you are having with others. Or how you tend to react in certain situations. And you can journal about life-changing events you have been through and the way you felt about them. These are some of the things you can journal about to cultivate self-awareness and the options are endless.
3. Ask for feedback from others
The key to doing this step is to take the feedback you will receive very well and be open about it because you will probably receive things you do not want to hear or know about yourself. But come on! what is the point of doing this?
We are humans and we all have negative traits that sometimes we are not aware of and we cannot see them unless someone points them out to us. These negative traits will only become apparent when someone opens up and tells us about it. All you have to do is to take a look at your circle and the people surrounding you and reach out to them and get their honest opinions and views when it comes to your traits and personality. And just so you know, you will probably receive shocking things and comments but that should only push you further and give you an insight on how to become better and transform your life.
Cultivating self-awareness requires an immense amount of work and effort but believe me it is all worth it. Once you harness the benefits of being self-aware and see how the quality of your life improves because of that. You will thank yourself for putting all the work and effort into that. And there are countless practices and exercises out there that you take advantage of and embark on your self-awareness journey.