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Develop Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is the foundation for personal growth. Self-awareness gives you the capacity to learn from your mistakes as well as your successes. It enables you to keep growing

Having self-awareness means that you have a sharp realization of your personality, including your strengths and weaknesses, your thoughts and beliefs, your emotions, and your motivations.

Self-awareness is where you can recognize your emotions and feelings as well as your abilities and preferences. You also have an understanding of how your thoughts impact your behavior and how your behavior impacts others.

If you are self-aware, it is easier for you to understand other people and detect how they perceive you in return.

Self-awareness is a vital first step in taking control of your life, creating what you want, and mastering your future. Why? When you are self-aware, you can see where your thoughts and emotions are guiding you. It also allows you to take control of your actions so you can make the necessary changes to get the outcomes you desire

Developing your self-awareness is a journey. There's no quick fix. What we know about those that reach high levels of success in their personal and professional lives is they share one key attribute, and that's self-awareness. If you want to develop your leadership skills, enhance your career progression, or focus on your personal development, building self-awareness is critical. And there are some simple steps that you can take to achieve this.

Here are five ways to develop your self-awareness:

  1. Understand your beliefs and identify your values

  2. Ask for feedback

  3. Look at yourself form other people's perspectives

  4. Create the habit of reflection

  5. Understand the impact stress has on you

Understand your beliefs and identify your values

Have you ever had the experience of walking into a new environment and, pretty quickly, knowing whether it's the kind of place where you'd fit in, or whether it's definitely not the place for you?

Values are your beliefs about the world, your personal judgments about what's important in life. They direct much of how you interact with others and how you fit into situations. Understanding your values helps you to become clear on what's important to you, enhancing your self-awareness.

We all have values; some we share with others and some we don't.

The decision we make are driven and based on our own personal set of values, so it's important to understand our values and live by them if we want to live our best life, create a successful career fit and build strong and fulfilling personal and professional relationships.

Ultimately, it's very hard to be happy if you're living in a way that doesn't align with your core values. But how clear are you on your values? If I asked you right now what your values are, would you be able to answer?

Ask for feedback

Making assumptions on how you may come across to others can create what we called blind spots. A blind spot, broadly speaking, is an area where your view is obstructed.

Our blind spots hinder self-awareness. You may be in control of the impression you intend to make but you're not totally in control of the impact you make. Impact is how the other person perceives you.

The only way you can find out how others see you is by asking for their perspective. You can imagine, you can speculate but you can't know. By asking others for feedback about how you come across, you can review where you come across as intended, where you don't and most importantly, you can find out why and adjust your approach.

At the end of the day, developing self-awareness isn't just about how you think about yourself. It's also about understanding how others perceive you which can provide an insight into your personality, character and behavior.

Look at yourself form other people's perspectives

When did you last have a conversation with a friend and discover you perceived the exact same situation in a different way? Sometimes the differences can be so extreme, we wonder if we're even talking about the same situation. How can two friends who have so much in common see a scenario in completely different ways? The answer is perspective.

We all have our own perspective, our own individual opinions, values, ideas, and ideals. We all have our own history and unique way that we process information in our heads. Our perspective feels like the truth. It's the way we see the world and it dictates how we interact with others. But the fact is, my perspective is no more truthful than yours, it's just a difference in the way that we see the world.

Looking at situations from other points of view is one of the most effective ways you can enhance your self-awareness. It will broaden your perspective, allowing you to see alternative opinions and opportunities. In fact, it's very hard to be self-aware without stepping outside of your view of the world.

Create the habit of reflection

The first strategy you should start with is creating the habit of reflection. Why is it we start here? There are two reasons.

  1. Firstly, this is the most simple self-awareness strategy you can use.

  2. Secondly, you don't need to rely on anyone else to practice reflection. It's something you can do alone at any time.

But, what is it I actually mean by reflection? It's taking the time and space to consider where you are, events that have happened around you and your feelings and thoughts. Whether you're feeling fairly positive or experiencing negative emotions, either way, reflection will help you to understand where you are right now and your role in the situation and what you can do to move forward.

One exercise I like to do every moth is to reflect and rate different areas on my life. I rate my health, career, relationships, finances and personal life from one through 10. Identifying areas that are lower than others and identifying what can I do to increase those ratings over the next month helps me not only to become more self-aware but also continuously focus on my self-growth.

Understand the impact stress has on you

Sometimes, we become so used to experiencing stress, it just becomes the norm or other times, something in our life causes us stress and it spills over into all areas of our life. Understanding how you become stressed is one of the key factors that helps to build self-awareness.

Changing your stress levels requires you to get clear on what pushes your buttons so you can create strategies to deal with these situations in a different way.

Firstly, it's important to understand how stress affects you. How do you know when you're stressed? How do you feel when you're stressed?

Second, identify the sources of your stress. Think about the events or situations that trigger stressful feelings. Maybe it's your family, work, health or relationships. Try to be really honest here. What is the real root issue that's causing your stress?

Third, learn your stress signals. What is it that happens to you when you're stressed? Do you retreat into yourself or do you lash out? Does it become more difficult to make decisions or concentrate? Can you feel angry, frustrated, irritated, overwhelmed or out of control or maybe you have physical symptoms such as low energy, headaches or muscle tension.

Fourth, recognize how you deal with stress. Think about how your behavior is affected. Do you find yourself indulging in unhealthy behaviors such as drinking alcohol, overeating or over exercising? Do you have coping mechanisms in place that help you such as moderate exercise, socializing with friends, taking part in a hobby? All the specific situations that result in specific behaviors for you. Once you're clear on the signs, you can put strategies in place to cope with these situations effectively.

In summary, building your self-awareness takes commitment and focus. In return, you can improve relationships, helping you to react positively to challenging events, turning obstacles into opportunities, boosting confidence, and helping you to be happier. Building your self-awareness takes commitment and focus, but in return, you can improve relationships, helping you to react positively to challenging events, turning obstacles into opportunities, boosting confidence, and helping you to be happier.

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