A flaw that many people have, but do not recognize they have, is self-awareness. This is not an indictment on anyone, our nature is to seek patterns and see ourselves as the “good guy.” Often, it is these two habits that lead to biases and poor self-awareness. As we practice self-isolation, this is a valuable opportunity to work on your own self-awareness.
What is self-awareness
As our teachers always told us, define your terms! When I say self-awareness, I mean having a stronger understanding of your strengths, weaknesses, habits, values, and your why (motivations).
Benefits of being self-aware
You will know yourself better. Your strengths and weaknesses will be clear to yourself; allowing you to use your strengths at the right time and work on your weaknesses. In turn, your mental state will improve, you will know where your line is and how to avoid crossing it. So, without further ado, here are some ways you can improve your self-awareness.
Inward objective observation
Unsurprisingly, this is the part where I tell you to pull out your journal. Identify the following: your perceptions of yourself, things you are good at doing, what you could improve, what you are proud of, and what makes you tick. Ask those you trust to give objective feedback and to write down their answers about you. While you are doing this, do not censor yourself, nor compare yourself to others. This exercise is about you.
Make a list of goals and priorities
This list will be short-term, and long-term goals for your personal life. For the bigger goals, break them down into mini goals where you can have checkpoints along the way. Make sure your goals are “SMART goals.” SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Relevant and Time- Bound.
Perform daily self-reflection
At the end of the day spend fifteen minutes unpacking the day. What made you feel good, what bothered you, and what triggered certain emotions? Write all of this down and see if patterns emerge over the weeks and months. Perhaps a certain coworker keeps coming up in a negative way. Now you can start to look for what it is they do (or do not do) that bothers you. Then you can begin to understand why that action or inaction affects you, which will help you have a conversation with them.
Ask for feedback
As you continue to practice strengthening your ability to be self-aware it is important to ask for feedback. This could be from family, friends, or co-workers. You will see yourself one way, but others may see you differently! It is important to understand why they see you the way they do. This will allow you to shape how people perceive you.
We can all work on self-awareness. People’s perceptions shape how they view us, so we need to ensure that they are viewing us in the light we want to be seen.