What is self-awareness, and why should you want to improve yours? According to the Harvard Business Review, self-awareness leads to greater confidence, more creativity, stronger relationships, and better communication.
Self-awareness describes seeing yourself clearly and understanding how others see you. Here are ten habits that will help you promote your self-awareness to improve your life.
Journaling is a great way to learn more about your subconscious’s feelings and thoughts. It also allows you to reflect and read about your experiences and reactions. Keep track of your emotions, ideas, and energy levels to learn more.
Writing things down can also help to get intrusive thoughts out of your head and come up with solutions to problems. Journaling about the following tips on this list can help to clarify who you are and whom you want to be.
- Analyse what Triggers you in Others
Sometimes when specific characteristics irk you in other people, those are the same behaviours you subconsciously dislike about yourself. Take note of these traits and do some inner work as to why they are so triggering to you. If you find that they are behaviours you exhibit, work on replacing them with more desirable ones.
- Take Constructive Feedback
Ask others for honest feedback about yourself and listen. On your journey to self-awareness, other people might be able to see you more clearly than you see yourself.
Take this feedback and decide if that is how you want to be perceived or if there are things about yourself that you would like to improve upon. Make sure you talk to a variety of people who know you in different facets of your life to get the most precise picture of how others see you.
- Consider The Bad
A fundamental way to gain self-awareness is to reflect on the things wrong in your life—unhappy or unhealthy relationships, life dissatisfaction, general unhappiness, etc. Your problems are a reflection of what is going on inside of you.
For example, if your partner cheats, but you cannot find your way to leaving that person, this can tell you so much about yourself, including how you feel about yourself and your level of self-respect, that perhaps you don’t believe you deserve anything better and much more. We do not learn nearly as much from the happy parts of our lives as we do from those that are not.
- Be Intentional
Set goals and follow through with them. Becoming more self-aware entails being more intentional with your actions and your thoughts. Understanding why you set a goal can be as important as the goal itself. Discover the motivation behind the goals and use that to keep you on track and determined to achieve them.
Say your goal is to get an A in a particular class this semester, and the motivation behind it is getting into the college you have always wanted to attend. Focusing on motivation keeps you aware of how important that goal is to you and will help keep you accountable.
- Determine Your Core Values
Determining your core values is one of the main actions that can help you promote self-awareness.
What does everything come back to for you? What means the most to you in relationships, career, and everyday life?
It’s easy to lose sight of those most critical values in your daily life but focus on them to accomplish more meaningful goals.
Your core values should factor into your decisions, especially the most significant ones that could affect others.
- Expand Your Comfort Zone
Promote self-awareness by expanding your comfort zone and finding new things that can add to your life. Get in the habit of saying yes to new opportunities. Travel, learn something, and meet people. The more you try, the more you will find out about yourself. There are so many experiences to be had that you won’t find just repeating the same routine daily.
Mindfulness improves your awareness of the present moment. It can also help you discover what you want out of life. The American Psychological Association found that mindfulness improves focus and memory, reduces stress, improves relationship satisfaction, and enhances self-insight, morality and intuition. Accessing self-insight, character, and intuition is one way to determine what you value the most.
- Be an Active Listener
Self-aware people often find themselves listening more than they talk. It is essential for them to be present and actively listen to conversations. Hold your judgements and opinions and listen to others; you’ll be surprised by what you can learn. Commonslibrary.org points out that active listening is disturbed by imposing your own beliefs or attitudes on others. This can be avoided by becoming more self-aware and stopping yourself when you are about to interject your own biases.
- Be Honest with Yourself
Be honest with yourself about your strengths and your weaknesses. Being self-aware is impossible if you are not honest with yourself.
According to academia.edu, there are a few steps you can take to try to improve your self-honesty: consider the possibility that you may be wrong, do not automatically close yourself off to viewpoints that you disagree with, look for evidence, and listen to people you can trust.
These tips can help you be more honest with yourself and promote self-awareness in the long run.
The tips above are a great place to start if you are looking to learn more about yourself and how others see you. Employ a few of these suggestions for a few weeks, and you will understand more about why you and others behave the way you do.
Use your new and improved self-awareness to be a better partner, leader, parent, friend, or whatever you want to become. Creating new habits is an acceptable way to achieve personal growth in all areas of your life.