Most people claim that they’re eager and enthusiastic to meet a lot of people in their lives. And so, many people nowadays are fond of joining meet and greet groups, adding as many friends and followers as they can on social media, or create multiple accounts on friendship websites to hopefully know a lot of people and gain some friends. But have you ever thought about trying to get to know yourself first before you get out there and try to know everyone?
Some of you may assume that you have a healthy sense of self-awareness. In reality, self-awareness is a skill that you need to continuously improve by doing the right habits and exercises. Becoming self-aware isn’t an ability that you inherit from your family. Instead, it’s a complex skill that you can only achieve if you intend to do so.
What Is Self-Awareness?
Self-awareness is the act of paying attention to your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. It means observing and understanding all your emotions and thoughts instead of trying to fix or avoid them.
Being self-aware also means honoring your wants and needs so you can use them to establish your personal goals, dreams, and boundaries. To simply put, self-awareness is the habit of paying attention to your inner self.
How To Improve Self-Awareness?
As simple as the definition may sound, many people are still striving to achieve or even understand the importance of self-awareness. The greater your self-awareness is, the more you’re in sync with your emotions and actions, leading to better self-belief, confidence, and overall wellbeing.
For your guide, here are 4 tips to help improve your self-awareness:
1. Practice Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation is the practice of keeping your attention to your breathing while you put your mind and body at ease. This method will make it easier for you to stay in touch with the present moment and concentrate on your emotions and thoughts without losing your mind in the process. Perhaps in the past, you’ve experienced being so engrossed in your thoughts that you lose track of the present. With mindfulness meditation, it’ll be easier for you to return your attention to the point of focus.
Mindfulness meditation is believed to release stress, boost your ability to concentrate, and open your third eye, which are all helpful in increasing your self-awareness. An article about third eye opening explained that people may feel more highly conscious with their emotions and moods. This makes it easier for them to settle on healthier decisions and choices in life.
Overall, practicing mindfulness meditation regularly will keep you in control of your thoughts and emotions without being completely lost, affected, or attached to them.
2. Write Down Your Emotional Triggers
You probably know how writing or journaling is beneficial and soothing for your mental and emotional health. You can use this habit to identify your emotional triggers and understand them better.
For instance, you caught yourself feeling mad, frustrated, or annoyed after another driver beat you to a particular parking space. When you’re still in the moment, the feeling of anger and frustration will dominate your body and mind, leading you to feel anxious and be in a bad mood for the rest of the day.
As you get home, you can write down this experience in your journal and reflect on why or how that certain situation has triggered your anger or annoyance. As you write these down, you’ll realize that perhaps the reason you’re mad or annoyed is that you felt defeated or you felt that you deserve that parking space. And so, you end up blaming the other driver.
But if you listen to the other side of yourself, perhaps the reason you’re annoyed is that you’re driving too slow or you’re too distracted while driving, leading you to miss the parking space. In this case, you’re taking full responsibility for your feelings.
To simply put, writing down your feelings will help you become more aware of your emotions, especially to both sides of yourself. Then, you can use this self-awareness to change or improve yourself for the better.
3. Ask And Listen For Other People’s Feedback
One of the best techniques to enhance your self-awareness is by asking people’s feedback about you. It’s pretty simple to ask numerous people their criticisms or opinions about you. The only tricky part is how you’ll handle it and ensure that you take it well with an open mind.
To make this easier for you, remind yourself that these criticisms, opinions, and feedback will help you know yourself more and hopefully use them to improve and become a better version.
However, don’t mistake this as letting other people define who you are. Instead, understand that asking for feedback is just the same as allowing people to personally and professionally evaluate you, and it’s up to you on what you’ll do with the information.
Before you run around asking other people’s feedback, make sure you’re also asking the right people who can be honest with you. It can be your parents, children, siblings, partners, spouse, best friends, or your boss. As you ask them for feedback, anticipate that not all their answers will be wonderful. There may be instances wherein you’ll feel bad, and that’s normal. You can thank them for their cooperation and use the information to create your plans for self-improvement.
4. Try New Experiences
Trying new experiences, exploring new things, and going out of your comfort zone can help you improve your self-awareness. When you try to do something unfamiliar or anything you never did before, it’ll make you respond in ways you never thought you’d do.
For instance, traveling alone will motivate you to know more things about yourself. Since you’re alone, you have no one else to depend on other than yourself and your skills. So, you’ll be forced to be more self-aware as you try to adjust to the new environment.
Another way you can step out of your comfort zone is by learning a new skill. Trying to learn a new skill encourages you to think and act in unusual ways. Whether it’s speaking a new language, playing a new instrument, or practicing a new dance, trying out new learnings and experiences is a powerful exercise for self-awareness and better mental flexibility.
Developing and improving your self-awareness won’t happen overnight, and there may be times where you’ll fail and get back to your old habits and behaviors. But it’s normal since self-awareness is a lifelong journey.
Acknowledging people’s feedback, writing down your thoughts and feelings, and being bold in trying new things, you can work towards having a better and more developed self-awareness. If you’re still struggling to enhance your self-awareness, you can always choose to work with a qualified coach to guide you in this transformational process.