Who am I? Am I self-aware? Why is my career/job/grades/ relationships the way it is? Why is this happening? Why… me?
If you haven’t ever asked these questions,or have but still can’t find answers. Then maybe by the end of the article you might start thinking of differently. You might have more questions or you may find answers to some questions that you have already had. So stayed tuned, folks! And let the self awareness journey begin.
“We ourselves are the indefinitely small and the indefinitely great, and we’re the path between the two.”
What Is Self-Awareness?
Definition: Awareness of oneself as an individual that exists in the real world.
Okay, so, now we have a definition, let’s get to the real talk and completely throw that definition in the trash and build a new, detailed and complex one.
Self-awareness is the right balance between your own perspective of you as well as of how others perceive you. It is the line drawn between your experiences of how the world works and theirs too. But that doesn’t mean you get off of your own track and hop onto theirs. You find midway. The balance.
Are You Self-Aware?
Possibly not as much as you think you might be.
Who you think you are and where you stand in life mean nothing if you aren’t able to think correctly about yourself. Your job, your career, your relationship or anything alone doesn’t define you. It’s everything as a whole. You as an individual as well as your place in the world. If you’re able to reflect upon that, than yes you’re self-aware.
Various different studies show that even good days, a day we’re well informed about ourself, our behavior, moods, thoughts e.t.c., we’re lying to ourselves. We’re not fully aware of ourselves. Which brings us to the question where does self-awareness come from.
Where Does Self-Awareness Come From?
The two main points where self-awareness come from are:
- Where you stand as an individual, i.e, to see ourselves clearly. To understand who we are.
- How others see us, i.e, whether or not others see you in the same way as yourself and to see where you fit into the world.
Knowing this, you need to learn the art of introspection and extrospection.
Definition: A looking inward; specifically, the act of process of self-examination, or inspection of one’s own thoughts and feelings; the cognition which the mind has of its own acts and states.
Synomyms: Self-conscious, self-reflection, inlook.
In simple words; no one knows you more than yourself. Your underlying thoughts and memories are all yours. What you do of them and how you can use them to understand yourself better is up to you. If you do it right, it will bring you on the right track.
Briefly, the subjective study of you, about yourself.
Advantage: It’s simple and basic. You have the access to your mind. You have the power to explore yourself. It is a gateway through finding out more and more once you start.
Disadvantage: Let’s break it to you, no offense but you can’t always be right about yourself. But worry not! You have extrospection and you’ll soon be told what it’s all about.
Definition: The observation of things external to one’s own mind, as opposed to introspection. Ordinary sense of perception or reasoning concerning the things perceived.
Okay, that was confusing. Let’s make it simple:
It’s how others see and think of you. How your individual personality is in their point of you. Or how you perceive others can also be the case.
Shortly, the objective study of you, by others. Or of others, by you.
Advantage: Others can see parts of you that you’re missing out on. They can help you find where you lack or need improvement. As well as they can approve that whether or not you’re thinking correctly about yourself.
Disadvantage: The truth can be hard to digest and accept.
Others can’t always be right about you either.
And because of the contradictions between both these methods. As spoken of before, you need to find out the balance between the two. And you’ll be soon told how you can do that.
Why Do We Need To Be Self-Aware?
Self-awareness gives us power over ourselves. Makes us better at decision making. We are able to understand situations better. You would think being self-aware would make things easier for you,and you’ll be more satisfied. But it doesn’t work that way.
Sometimes being more self-aware is very upsetting and dissatisfactory. We might usually not like what we see but with that it leaves room for improvement an growth. You learn to be a better person and are able to tackle life’s situations more smartly.
What Should You Be Doing To Become More Self-Aware.
Here are a few of many things you can do to become more self-aware.
- Ask yourself the right questions.
Stop asking why and start asking what. Here are few stated examples:
- Once you start coming out of the question why me you can start asking yourself what I can do to make myself/the situation better.
- Sometimes in life you’re your own barrier to reach your goals. That is because you’re not thinking correctly.
Instead of thinking why was that person criticizing me for no reason you can think what did the person say when they were praising me.
iii. Another one includes, not asking why can’t I just be happy and rather what can I do be be happy.
- Look at yourself objectively
To look at yourself objectively is to be your own best judge. It is to be able to look yourself more than what you just are but also what you do to become who you are.
Try to criticize and understand where you go wrong. Don’t be too hard on yourself and try to make things right once you’ve figured out what is it that wasn’t right.
- Find your own space.
At least ten minutes a day, pause and think about everything. Introspect. Ask yourself questions. Think about life. About others. Take a walk, meditate or even find that space and time during chores, perhaps even go to the spa. This helps you reflect upon yourself and help you unwind when you’re getting too worked up. Or when when things stop making sense, you’re able to bring some sense back.
- Seek therapy
Sometimes when you don’t know what to do and even introspection doesn’t help, you seek a therapist. As they are trained professionals and you are able talk to them when you can’t make sense of situations, they help you by looking at you objectively, they allign your mixed up thoughts and put things straight in line with their experiences and knowledge.
- Ask others for opinions and criticism
Be more open to constructive criticism. Silence your thoughts and listen to what others have to say of you. Use that information and try and apply it to yourself. When someone tells you something, try to find the reason behind it and make it an opportunity for yourself to understand yourself better.
- Read self help books
Self-help books are readily available. There are tons! Although they aren’t always 100% correct. They are a good start to help you have a much more better understanding of situations that might have happened to something similar that you have been through! They give you an insight. Writers shar with you their experiences and knowlegde, n that way you’re able to have a starting point for self-questioning to being.
- Expand your knowledge
Try and learn new things. Read more, watch documentaries, watch videos and Ted talks. Watch the news, read the news. The more you learn about the world the more you are able to find your place in it.
At the end of the day, week or month or even year, write your thoughts down. It can be a single line or a whole 10 pages and so you are able to reflect some light upon and analyse things better.
- Come out of your comfort zone
Humans have a habit of staying in their bubbles of comfort. They are scared and feel vulnerable when they are placed into situations they aren’t comfortable to be in.
So, if life ever brings you to this position. Always know to not run back into your cocoon, but are able to learn from it and it also helps you become more creative as well as self-aware.
- Take a personality test
You can take a personality test and learn more about the kind of personality you fall into. Just like self-help books, even they are not fully accurate but they are a start to finding out who you are. Some famous tests include:
- The Myer-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
- Disc Assessment.
- The Winslow Personality Profile.
- The Holtzman Inkblot Technique.
- Hexaco Personality Inventory.
- The Personality Assessment System.
All of these methods don’t conclusively make you reach you the end of your complete self-awareness journey. But they are a start! And always remember that self-awareness is a very gradual and slow way. It’s step by step and it changes with the times and situation. Each time you think you need a self-enlightenment session, you can start any of these methods. And always remember to always keep them a habit and never stop, being you’re a masterpiece and you’re much bigger than you think you might be.