“When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.”
Self-awareness. It is a concept that’s at the source of it all. If you are talking about change, improvement, growth, learning and magnanimity. Self-awareness is where it all starts. If you are not self-aware, how can you know where you need to grow, what you need to learn, or why you keep making the same mistake over and over again.
That’s why I want to address it in this article and give some tips on achieving self-awareness. Important is to write down, when you go into the mental search. Your mind and memory can trick you, so make sure you put it in hard writing for revision. I write down a lot of stuff, because I know it works. It has helped me in my decision-making, goal-setting, and self-awareness.
Ok let’s go.
- Retrace your life story
Everybody has their own specific life path. Some grow up in the city, others in rural areas. Some have a broken family, others had trouble in school. Many factors come into play in the first 20 years of your life. They form a big part of your personality and becomes a fixed identity. For some people changing it is nearly impossible. Your life story are all the decisions and events that took you to the exact time and place where you are now. Retracing back, can give you insights into your personality or behavior at this moment.
“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.”
Michel de Montaigne
- What are your strong and growth points
Look to yourself as if you were a business you could invest in. What strengths do you have? What are you good at? What have you been doing for such a long time, to make you an expert in it? What sets you apart from the next guy or girl? Don’t be disappointed if you have not found such a thing. It is sometimes not as clear as a certain skill. This is merely a self-awareness exercise. It shows you if you have already build up certain skills during your past life. Next to strong points, there are weak points. But I prefer to talk about growth points, because all weak points can be turned around if you really want it. Having weak points is not a bad thing though. I have weak points, and love them. Because it allows me to make better decisions of what I am, and what I am not.
- What are your habits
Everybody has habits, whether small or extensive. Write them down and see what makes up your day. Be honest. Self-awareness can be a slap in the face, or even a concrete chair thrown by The Hulk himself. Pretending to be studying or working out, could turn out to be snacking and watching YouTube. Having clear insight into the habit of every single day, is the key to knowing what makes you tick, and what does not.
“At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”
- What motivates or delights you
To know what makes you happy or what gets you out of bed is paramount for achieving happiness. And I think we all want some happiness in our lives. Being self-aware of what motivates you and brings you pleasure can help understand yourself.
- What is your dream or life goal
Write down in a mind map, or make a list of how your life will be in 10 years. If you don’t know where to start you could ask yourself the question; “If I had all the time and money in the world, what would I be doing?” This life goal or dream represents your current wish for the future. You can use it as a picture of your current self-awareness, and use it as a map for the future.
- Get honest feedback
There is no better way to get to self-awareness than asking other people how they see you. No matter how well you think you know yourself, another person can bring you a fresh perspective on you. Make sure to get honest feedback. Some people who like you, can try to soften some feedback. That’s not always helpful when you want to get a full perspective of yourself. Also don’t go with just one person. The more people you ask that know you in different situations, the better.
“One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself.”
Leonardo da Vinci
For me certainly, the realization of the importance of self-awareness created a real mind shift. I use it still to grow, learn, and ultimately be happy. It being the concept at the source, you should start to know yourself.
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