Self awareness is a keystone to attaining and creating the dream you and dream life you wish for. Self awareness is properly knowing and understanding yourself. Properly and truly as much as you can. Knowing your personality – the weaknesses as much as the strengths – and really understanding and clearly perceiving your thoughts and motivations. It is building your belief system actively for yourself and not just accepting the beliefs around you. And critically it is getting to grips with your emotional state as effected by all these things…thus honing your emotional intelligence.
A brilliant by-product of knowing yourself is you can also be aware of how others perceive you, and in turn understand them.
We may well believe we are self aware and not feel we need any development at all, but just thinking that might well be a sign that we do need a little awareness! There is always room for self improvement…!
Often our emotions and attached behaviours are the obstacles between us and the success we desire, they are the things that trip us up and allow us to repeat patterns of self sabotage or remain in a state of inertia. To regain control of ourselves and our lives we must develop awareness and then use this new and wonderful knowledge to make the changes in ourselves and our reactions to the world around us, to achieve our goals. We can improve every aspect of our lives from work and relationships, to health and spirituality.
Awareness is a visceral, in the moment thing, rather than an abstract idea that you might read here or in a multitude of books. It is about actual, practical observation of yourself and focusing your attention on the emotional reactions you are experiencing at that exact moment. Making these observations and changes is only truly possible in the actual moment the emotions are flooding through you. Afterwards or in a removed state the truth might be lost or distorted. Being self-aware mustn’t be confused with being self-conscious.
Two very usual but destructive emotions are frustration and anger. By paying specific attention to your emotions at these times, you will start to see revealed the behaviour, thought patterns and reactions that led you to be in the emotional state that you now wish to change. A hyper awareness of the self, if you like. Study that process and see where there was a chance to re-interpret the situation, or pivot a chosen reaction to create a different, positive emotion and final outcome.
Note that it is as important to put effort into supporting and enhancing your strengths as identifying and dealing with your weaknesses. It’s not judgement or a ridicule of something wrong or bad, it’s just tweaking and adjusting established patterns to achieve a happier state or a smoother journey towards the dream life you wish for. It’s awareness of strengths and limits that will then give you the self-confidence to overcome negative emotions and to prevent them destroying the life around you.
Self awareness can be developed, of course, and it takes time and effort. Ideally some time needs to be set aside to do this. Reflection on your emotional intelligence and where the problems might be. Mindfulness and meditation can help this process. Keep a diary of your emotional journey and write down every reaction and the thoughts you had around them. Do you see patterns forming? If you have a trusted friend who you feel will give you honest feedback then ask them how they see you and try to be open to their thoughts.
Throughout don’t judge yourself and criticise your actions, your values or habits. You’re on a journey of discovery and acceptance and self-praising is as vital as the ultimate awareness.