When a person becomes self-aware, they begin to understand why and how they respond to the different challenges and situations of life, which can empower them to take charge of their responses, handle stress better, and have a better self-understanding of their own triggers and capacities.
Also, increasing self-awareness allows a person to communicate more honestly and effectively with others and with the internal dialog one has with oneself. There is a greater openness that can come through within one’s emotions and personality traits provided by the greater understanding of our values, and psychological needs that drive our thoughts and behaviors. A person can then gain a better understanding and awareness of other’s points of view and of the impact one’s behaviors can have on other people.
Here are 5 Ways to Cultivate a Deeper Self Awareness
- Keep a Journal- There are so many benefits from recording your thoughts. This allows you the time to self-reflect, relieve stress, inspire creativity, and organize your thoughts, for example.
- Try a New Hobby- If you’ve thought to yourself that something might be fun and interesting to try, take the next steps to actualize this. For example, maybe you’ve always wanted to start gardening but never took the time to do so. Try to learn a bit about gardening, and then give it a try. An important part of this is to enjoy the journey of discovery and doing, regardless of the outcome- enjoy the journey. You may have great success, or it may not turn out well. Learn from either situation and give it another try with your greater knowledge next season! With gardening, you may have success one year, and then the next year, it may fail, due to all sorts of factors like weather or pests. Regardless, enjoying the doing, and learning more about how you approach a new hobby can cultivate a deeper self-awareness of how you think and operate.
- Practice Mindfulness- Discover the power of “Being here now”, which means to be fully in the moment when performing a task. For example, if you are potting a plant, just be doing that, not thinking about other obligations, world problems, an argument from long ago that creeps back into your mind from time to time. This is definitely hard to do, but worth the effort! And it’s important that when something pops up in your mind (and it will) to just gently refocus your mind back to the task at hand- don’t get angry or frustrated, just calmly redirect your attention back to what you are doing in the here & now.
- Know your Weaknesses & Strengths– Through self-reflection, you can come to discover inner strengths that you bring to the table, and also situations or feelings that may trigger negativity within you. You can accentuate your strengths once you identify them, and perhaps even build off of them or find that they can help supplement ways to overcome a weakness within you that you may have discovered or recognize. Additionally, if you can identify a self-weakness, you have taken the first big step to overcome that weakness, even if the solution is to remove yourself from thoughts or situations that trigger the weakness.
- Follow Your Values with Keeping an Open Mind- Know what you believe and know why. Be able to explain this to yourself and to others if questioned. Nothing is more powerful than the truth, but that takes questioning and an open mind often to get to it.