Being self-aware is the ability to identify and understand what you are thinking and feeling in every situation and interaction. It is the ability to become introspective and to become the observer of your thoughts and emotions. Becoming self-aware is an ongoing process. It is your personal journey which consists of consistent daily practice and that will guide you in becoming the person you are willing to become and live that life you dream of.
You need to know yourself first!
The concept is clear; the more aware you are, the more you know. And, the more you know, the more likely you are to change and modify anything you don’t like about yourself and your current lifestyle. How else will you change, if you don’t know WHAT to change?
In this blog post, I want to give you the first few steps to becoming self-aware. The main objective is to start seeing yourself objectively. In order to become aware, you must identify who you are, what your strengths and weaknesses are, what your beliefs are, and what your purpose in life is. It is also important to notice how you are thinking, feeling, and behaving in any given situation and around whom.
I want to introduce you to a concept that I’d like you to keep in mind from now on; the three perceptual positions.
Whenever you are living experiences such as a discussion, a conversation with friends, a critical situation, facing an unknown circumstance, etc you first position yourself in the first perceptual position. Identify and understand how you are thinking and feeling about the situation. Then, jump into the second perceptual position and try to see things from other’s point of view. Understand how the person beside you thinks and feels about the same situation and realize that everyone has their own version of reality. Lastly, jump into the third perceptual position and have a look from the outside, as if it were a movie. The ability to jump from these perceptual positions will allow you to reflect and have a greater picture of everything.
If you are willing to become your best version and improve the quality of your lifestyle, you can develop and increase self-awareness by practicing the following exercises;
- Practice jumping from the first perceptual position to the third followed by the second. Think about how you are perceiving a situation and how someone else might be experiencing it. Then, think about how someone may see it from an external point of view. Can you notice how different we all see the same thing?
This exercise is powerful as it shows you how we all have our own concepts, visions, thoughts, and feelings about people, places, and situations. None is better or right, they’re all equally acceptable.
- Start a journal for the next 30-90 days. Write your thoughts and feelings every night. This exercise is key in Cognitive Behavior Therapy and in Neuro-lingüistic programming. Handwriting whatever is happening inside you is a technique that will make you become self-aware as you are giving light to those inner thoughts and emotions. Once they’re out your system you can decide to change the limiting patterns you notice.
- Ask your friends and family for feedback. We all have strengths, but also weaknesses. Write down what your definition of self-belief is (what you think about yourself, who you are, what your values are, and what your vision is) and ask other’s how they see you too. Either positive or negative, it will help you see the hidden part of yourself. Remember that the more you know about yourself, the more you can improve and grow.
- Take a challenge. Leaving your comfort zone and trying new experiences will allow you to discover yourself in different levels. Doing things for the first time, taking risks, and going on adventures will teach you things about yourself you probably don’t even know!
- Sit in silence for a few minutes. It doesn’t require much time but it is quite an effort! By sitting on your own in a quiet place and letting yourself be present…feeling whatever you’re feeling, catching your thoughts, and just focusing on being, is fundamental to start having a connection with your inner self.
The more you practice and learn to become a neutral observer of yourself, you will be able to simply observe without acting impulsively or in ways that don’t contribute to your personal and professional growth. In addition, by becoming self-aware you are also becoming more emotionally intelligent. This is highly valuable to adopt as it can bring countless benefits to your life. From creating stronger relationships to a successful business to becoming a strong leader to learning how to communicate with others, improve your social skills, understanding not only your emotions but other’s too, etc.
Hope you will start playing ‘being the observer’ and discover the real you!