Self-awareness is about understanding certain things about yourself, such as your personality, characteristics, and how you are being perceived by others.
If you are self-aware, you are aware of your own personality traits, how well you control your emotions (emotional intelligence), your strengths and weaknesses, and generally being able to look at yourself objectively.
Many people may believe that they are self-aware, however, for many it simply is not true. Our minds can play all sorts of tricks on us which can distort the truth (faulty thinking). Our egos can make us believe that we are better at something than we really are.
Not being self-aware can lead to more failures, because they make decisions based on faulty information or a false self-perception. Also, when these failures happen, learning from those failures and preventing the same mistakes from happening again is far less likely, and perhaps impossible.
Developing your self-awareness is key to improving your emotional intelligence. Those who are able to control their emotions are often more successful with greater levels of achievement.
Being Successful in Life
Having good self-awareness is perhaps the most important first step in succeeding and taking control over your life. It will allow you to focus on what is important, and get your life going in the right direction.
You will have better success in work and business, and also in your personal life. You will develop better relationships with friends, family and with people in general.
How to develop your self-awareness
Analyze your life story
Who we are today is partly a result of our past life experiences. We are more susceptible to outside influences when we are very young. These influences include people, events, and any experiences which have an impact on us.
Often, it’s not good to dwell on the past. However, in this case, it can be very useful. Think about those dramatic events and experiences in your life. Think about them objectivity, and consider how they have affected you. How they have influenced you into the person you are today?
Writing about these events is one of the best ways of doing this. It has been shown by studies to have a positive effect on our mental health.
Get feedback from others
Sometimes we just need some good, honest feedback from other people, a fresh look or new perspective on things. Be careful of who you ask, because actually getting honest feedback can be difficult.
Some people may give an overly negative or positive opinion. For example, someone may want to avoid being honest to spare someone’s feelings.
Another issue can be actually accepting honest feedback, if that feedback is not something that we wanted to hear. So, when we get honest feedback, we have to be objective about it and honest with ourselves.
Daily self reflection
Devote a small amount of time every day to self-reflection. Reflect on the things that you said and did that day, understand why you said or did certain things, what were you trying to achieve? Be honest with yourself, admit when you did or said something that you are not proud of. After your honest self-reflection, be positive and pro-active.
Know Your Personality
The Big Five Personality Model is mainstream psychology, and it’s the most recommended personality model to learn about yourself.
The MBTI is a good test for becoming aware of certain personality traits that you have. The MBTI only goes into a limited level of depth about a person’s personality, and it doesn’t take into account more complex levels of a person’s individuality. Plus, it’s not always very accurate. However, it can be useful for seeing similarities and differences in certain aspects of our personalities.
There are also a few other popular personality tests out there which can give an insight into who we are and broaden our knowledge base.
When we have to deal with new experiences, we see different sides of ourselves that were before perhaps unknown to us. When we observe how we deal with new experiences, we automatically improve our self-awareness.