A Short Guide to Self-Awareness

13th October 2023
Read time: 3 mins 50 secs

“A change cannot be made until you see you need to make one.”

You know those moments at school when someone plays a prank on someone else by sticking a note on their back. They wander around the class or halls totally unaware of the prank that’s been pulled on them. But eventually they figure it out, they recognise something is stuck to them and they then reach back and rip it off. They became aware of what was going on.

You might also know many people who aren’t aware of themselves. Living their lives, oblivious to how they interact with the world, those around them, whether it’s doing good or harm, they are just – unaware. Sometimes I envy them, because I think how blissful it must be. “Ignorance is bliss” comes to mind.

However, we miss out on so much strength and growth from having self-awareness.

Self-Awareness is a skill, one that take time and work. It’s the skill to understand yourself, your thoughts, beliefs, behaviours, values, character, habits, personality, everything in between.

 

Benefits of Self-Awareness

 

Once we start to become more self aware, we are able to potentially make changes that help us move towards a better version of ourselves. If you’re able to become more self-aware you’re able to recognise how you interact with those around you and how you respond to certain situations.

With more self-awareness, we can find:

Smarter decisions

Being self-aware tunes you into your values, emotions, and goals, making you clear on the decisions you can make.

Emotional regulation

Understanding your emotions—what makes you react in certain situations—means you can be more emotionally resilient and respond more effectively.

Stronger relationships

Understanding your own emotions and behaviours improves how you interact with others.

Boosted confidence

When you’re aware, you’re in control of yourself more and that sense of control over your strengths and weaknesses helps build your confidence in yourself.

Increased empathy

Relating to yourself more, you’re able to relate and empathise with others. A vital tool for those in teams and leadership.

Effective leadership

Self-awareness is effectively self-leadership. Self-aware leaders, create more self aware followers. It’s as simple as that. You communicate more effectively, you’re empathetic, understanding, recognise limitations and can adapt.

Self-acceptance

Self awareness involves flexing our self-acceptance muscle, it makes us aware of what’s happening in any moment with us.

Healthier habits

If you’re aware of what you’re current unhealthy habits are that can help you change them into your healhier one. Exercise 2, Chapter 4 of the MindStrong Mindset Course does exactly that.

However, those who are unaware, aren’t able to change, grow or learn. Because they don’t see there’s a problem in the first.

 

How to build Self-Awareness

 

So if we want to develop ourselves, we have to be aware of it. But how do we get there?

Self-awareness is half the battle to create change. Once you become self-aware, your next step is to do something about it.

I want to give a few ideas that might help you on your self-awareness journey—some you may be doing, some you may not.

Get out your Journal

Sometimes we already know the areas we need to improve on but it’s hard to make sense of it in our own heads.

Putting it out on a page makes it real, and being able to read it back gives it a more objective feel.

I’ve spoken about the importance of writing your thoughts down before, but here rather than just trying to do something about them, your simply being aware of them.

Connecting the Body and Mind

Exercise and movement gives you an awareness of your body. Whether that’s running, weights, swimming, golf, or if you’re like me yoga offers a great way to get out of your head and into your body.

Developing your mindbody connection is about understanding the affect your body has on your mind. Over time you’ll understand more about yourself through what works for you, how certain movements make you feel. All of which can be a metaphorical door that you open into asking more questions about yourself.

When you can understand your body, you open the door to understanding way more about yourself.

Meditation

Not the easiest place to start, but one of the GOAT’s of self-awareness.

Meditation gives us a curious insight into our mind and self.

While it can be uncomfortable to start with, over time, continuous exploration and building a more mindful approach allow us to be curious about ourselves.

It allows us to understand what is going on with our thoughts, emotions, and experiences by learning to observe what is going on.

Meditation is at it’s simplest form, the practice of awareness, and learning to be ok with it.

Talk to someone

This could be in the form of a friend, coach, family member, or perhaps a professional (such as a therapist).

I recently started seeing a therapist because I wanted help with part of my emotional self that I felt needed addressing, and I needed that person to give me objective advice.

But it could be you ask a friend to say if there’s anything you could be doing differently right now that would help others? Or anything they think you do that could be better?

It’s important to be ready to hear something that you aren’t going to like.

Which is why I went for a professional, because it objective, they don’t come with any biased opinion of me, now need to protect me from some hard truths.

 

Moving towards awareness

 

Self awareness is, without a doubt, a strength. To be willing to open yourself up like a mechanic on a racing car and examine what is going on. To look at what’s working well, what needs work, and then doing the work to build something better. To do that for yourself takes courage.

Whenever you're ready, there is a couple of ways I can help you:

MindStrong Sport App – Mental Skills Training for Athletes

Personal Mindset Coaching - Contact for more

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