Most of us desire to become better versions of ourselves. Deep down, we know that it will help us to feel more comfortable in our own skins, and that it will improve our relationships. Having a clear understanding of our own thought and behaviour patterns will also greatly assist us in understanding other people. The key lies in growing our self awareness.
Self-awareness means having a clear perception of our personalities, our needs, strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivations and emotions. It is the mental ability to recognize who and what we are. It implies that we are able to recognize our feelings as they occur, and to understand the impact they have on our lives. Self-awareness requires introspection. So often, we are totally unaware that what we're doing, is not aligned with what we really want.
When we start asking ourselves questions about why we do the things that we do, we open up new ways of thinking, different possibilities and a greater awareness of other ways in which we could respond. When we pay closer attention to our behaviour and our personalities, we begin to notice aspects of which we were previously unaware. Suddenly, patterns emerge, and we begin to notice the triggers that set our emotions off on a particular course. Only with self-awareness can we see where those steps are actually taking us. We are then better equipped to make the necessary changes. Self-awareness is about noticing our responses to whatever is taking place at a particular time. It enables us to understand what is going on in our minds and why.
When we are self-aware, we know when to change our thoughts and how to shift our emotional responses so that our relationships are enhanced rather than threatened. In changing our thoughts, we can change our feelings and then redirect our actions more timeously, to bring about a more positive outcome. Self-awareness can help us to be more consistent in what we say, think and feel.
How can we grow our self-awareness? The most powerful and effective way is to spend time each day in quiet meditation and reflection. It is only when we remove ourselves from the noise and distractions to spend time alone, that we can think clearly about who we really are, how we are feeling and what we really want. Another very powerful tool, is to write down the things that are really important to us, as well as our daily responses to life, in a journal. It is also suggested that we write our own story. Asking for honest feedback from others is yet another effective way in which to get to know and understand ourselves better, especially in relation to the various roles that we play in life.
Becoming self-aware does not take place overnight - it is a lifelong journey.
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