In the path to mastering your mindset, the first and the most important step is ‘Self Awareness‘. It is a superpower that everyone should possess in order to live a great life. Our decisions, today, are highly influenced by other people and we’re not true to ourselves. Think about it, shouldn’t you be the person who knows you the best because no one else has spent that much time with you, as you have with yourself. But this isn’t the case.
“Self Awareness is probably the most underrated quality of humans.”
Let’s take an example. Suppose you want to go to place (say New York), Can you go there without knowing your current location? Even if you know your destination very precisely. It’s the same thing with goals. How can you improve yourself and overcome your shortcomings when you don’t know where your shortcomings stem from in the first place?
What Self-Awareness looks like?
You might be wondering, but how do I know if I’m self-aware or not? Or what does the term ‘being self-aware’ means? Here’s the answer.You know what motivates you Tony Robbins says “Motivation that comes from within is the best motivation.” No amount of videos or lectures can drive you as much as your own purpose. When you have a reason behind your goal, that becomes your motivation and that lasts longer than anything else.
1) You know your strengths and weakness
When you are self-aware you know what are your pros and you embrace them. You also know what are your blemishes are and you accept them. Then only you can work on them to enhance them.
2) You’re conscious of your emotions
Why sometimes you feel a lot of emotions all together but have no clue why you feel them? . When you become aware of it, you can work through them and find out the root cause. Often, we also tend to suppress our emotions until they burst out. Being aware of your emotions can help you process your emotions better.
3) You know what your values are
Our decisions are highly influenced by other people. And often, when we’re not aware of what we truly want, we take the route suggested by others only to find out that doesn’t brings you happiness in the long run. Your values help you stay ‘true to yourself’ and keep you from falling into false societal constructs.
4) You trust your intuition
And hence make better decisions. As Einstein said,
5) You understand that your perspective frames your beliefs
You learn about your limiting beliefs and change them. As a child we are told a lot of things and we overhear conversations of the people around us. And they get programmed into our subconscious brains. Our subconscious mind stores the things that it sees repeatedly. Maybe your aunt told you that ‘you’re not good enough’ and you’re still holding onto that thought unconsciously. Maybe you are not able to make more money because you have a scarcity mindset. You sabotage your own actions because of these beliefs.
6) You know what you need to change
You have a clear picture of your assets and liabilities. “You have to audit who you actually are, only then you’re not going to bullshit yourself.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
Now that you know what Self Awareness looks like and how important it can be in creating a better life, let me help you figure out how you can, too, develop your self awareness.
How to Develop Self Awareness?
“If you’re not looking for it, it’s hard to find.”
1) Observe your moods
The simplest way to be more self aware is to try to notice your emotions and how your mind reacts to certain things. Yes, it’s that simple. But you have to be intentional about it. The moment you start noticing your moods or your thoughts, you’ll start learning new things about it. And you’ll start becoming more aware.
2) Pay attention to your likes/dislikes
You need to process your emotions, you need to pay attention to the things that make you feel happy or sad or angry. And I know that ignorance can feel like bliss but it isn’t really, not in the long run. Ignoring your emotions and suppressing them eventually leads to an emotional outburst.
Meditation helps you connect to your mind at a deeper level. All too often we lack self-awareness because we’re actually thinking too much. We easily become lost in our thoughts. You can follow the basic meditation where you have to sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes and focus on your breath. Or you could try an advanced level.
4) Read books regarding awareness
Writers give you a great insight on how the human brains works. Self development/self help books help you understand the psychology of our brains. It helps us to understand ourselves better and to separate our inside voice from extra noise. I’ve also discussed about the habit of reading in this blog.
Writing down your thoughts whenever you start to feel overwhelmed help a lot in understanding the cause of the emotions. There are several journaling prompts that you could use to dig deeper inside your mind. You can also create a timeline of your life events (big and small) that’ll help you understand how your thoughts & values molded with time.
6) Identify your negative emotions
People work too hard to numb themselves and to avoid feeling sad. It has become easier today to plug in your earphones, binge watch Netflix, indulge in work or get intoxicated in order to numb your feelings. But this leads to an emotional outburst eventually and is, often, harmful for your own self.
7) Do some travelling
A change in location and strange environment can get you out of your comfort zone and push you to discover new things about yourself. A change in routine definitely helps in learning how we react to new things. And we learn the most about ourselves and how we act when we are put in uncomfortable positions.
8) Know your values and aspirations
We have a difficult time reaching our goals and finding satisfaction because we do not spend enough time contemplating what that looks like for us. Instead, we end up chasing artificial goals that our society tells us are more important ( school, good college, big house, nice car, secure job) and then feel lost in the middle of our life.
So to avoid this, set aside some time every week/month to look at your goals(long term and short term) and to figure out your values. And revise them to check if your actions are aligning with these goals and values.
This might appear a bit complicated on the outside but self awareness can easily be developed if you are intentional enough. In fact, self-awareness can become your biggest strength. Some of us may already know about it and some of us might just start figuring out. Both ways, there are plenty of methods you can use to be more self-aware.
Do let me know in the comments below which practices will you begin with? And which ones do you think will help you the most?