What is self-awareness? The dictionary defines self-awareness as “knowledge and awareness of your own personality or character.” When you’re self-aware, you have an accurate and clear understanding of your personality, strengths, weaknesses, and beliefs. You know what makes you tick. Self-awareness also includes an understanding of how others perceive you.
Lacking self-awareness can lead to a very confusing and frustrating life!
Your level of self-awareness can influence your relationships, career, and happiness:
1. Self-awareness is necessary for taking control of your life. The direction of your life is determined by your thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and reactions. Self-awareness is the principle way of understanding and manipulating these things.
· Self-awareness highlights faulty beliefs and emotional reactions that stand in your way and gives you the power to make adjustments.
2. Self-awareness illuminates the real reasons for past failures and challenges. We often dismiss our failures as bad luck or a lack of proper timing. It’s much more likely that you failed to perceive the situation, others, and yourself accurately. It’s much easier to see the reason behind relationship, work, and other struggles when you can look at yourself clearly.
· Do you consistently struggle at work or in your relationships? It’s only logical to conclude that you’re doing something ineffectively.
· Those who lack self-awareness are puzzled by their negative outcomes or blame others exclusively.
3. Self-awareness is a critical quality for leaders. One study concluded that a high degree of self-awareness was the best predictor of success for executives.
· Executives that have an understanding of their weaknesses are able to build a team composed of members that fill those weaknesses.
· A lack of self-awareness puts a limit on your leadership abilities.
Self-awareness is the foundation for personal progress. Without it, any personal development efforts will be severely hampered. Building greater self-awareness won’t happen overnight, but it can be developed.
How to Develop Self-Awareness
Build your self-awareness one step at time:
1. Write your own manifesto. Think about and then document your views on life, your goals, and your intentions. You might be surprised by what you write. This is a great first step for understanding yourself and your beliefs.
2. Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses. How do you know? Are you certain? Avoid jumping to conclusions. You may have always believed that you’re a hard worker, but are you? To whom are you comparing yourself? Provide yourself with proof before you make any decisions.
3. What would others say about you? Consider how your partner, children, friends, family, co-workers, and boss would describe you. What would they suggest you improve about yourself? Then ask them and see how accurate you are. Do you know how others perceive you? Find out how perceptive you are.
4. Meditate. Meditation is all about developing a better awareness of the present moment and yourself. Meditation is an ideal activity for enhancing self-awareness.
· Meditate at least once each day. Spend the rest of the day paying attention to yourself, others, and your surroundings. You can develop a higher degree of self-awareness by just paying attention.
· Question yourself throughout the day. “What am I attempting to achieve?” “What emotions am I currently feeling and why?” “What are the people around me feeling?”
Self-awareness is the cornerstone of success and self-improvement. Without self-awareness, the knowledge you possess can’t be applied effectively. It’s necessary to understand your beliefs, habits, strengths, and weaknesses to make a personal change. Avoid assuming that you’re self-aware. Give it some time and thought.
Life is easier when you’re self-aware. You can start building your self-awareness, and reaping the benefits, today!