Self-awareness is a powerful predictor of success. Research shows having a conscious knowledge of your emotions, motivations, and desires can increase emotional intelligence, confidence, and creativity. Furthermore, it improves mental clarity, communication, and relationships.
So, how well do you really know yourself? Most people think they’re very self-aware but in reality, they aren’t. In a self-awareness study of 5,000 people, only 10-15% were actually self-aware.
It can be difficult to build self-awareness because you must admit your weaknesses. Also, you have to be vulnerable enough to uncover your long-hidden wounds. As a result, many people deny their flaws which over time get much worse.
Benefits of building self-awareness
- Knowing what is working in your life and what isn’t
- Make beneficial choices
- Take control of your mood
- More efficient productivity
- Build resilience
It’s time to stop neglecting yourself and start getting curious about who you really are. Furthermore, release the need to get defensive when you’re confronted with a harsh truth.
Be brave and start the valuable journey towards self-awareness with the following tips.
1. The first step to self-awareness is developing a growth-mindset
A growth mindset is knowing that with some consistent effort you can transform yourself and your life for the better.
Whereas someone with a fixed mindset believes that they’ll always be the same way and they’ll never change. Therefore, they don’t try to improve.
Neuroplasticity is proof of the validity of the growth mindset.
The brain has the power to alter itself so you can perform tasks easier, almost on autopilot. For example, after years of repeatedly doing something, like driving a car, you no longer need to use tons of mental energy to do it. The subconscious takes over and it becomes habitual.
So, in order to break bad habits or change who you are, you’ll need to replace the old with new positive behaviors.
2. Journal to gain self-awareness
Journaling is a great way to learn about yourself. It helps you realize what’s going on in your mind. Otherwise, those thoughts could linger for years just below the surface of your consciousness. Journaling will reveal them to you.
Add writing into your daily routine to check in on how you’re doing.
If you notice something you don’t like, don’t ignore it, instead, get curious. Dive into the aspects of yourself that need work so you can find a solution.
3. Write down your greatest strengths
Realizing your strengths and weaknesses can boost your level of self-awareness fast. Take some quizzes to discover them.
Write a list of your best abilities and include activities you loved to do as a child. This list can help steer you in the right direction. You might even find your life’s purpose?
4. Make a truthful list of things you need to work on
Okay, this might take some courage but be willing to face the reality that you are not perfect. Furthermore, it’s harmful to you to think you have no flaws, and denying issues won’t make them vanish.
Acknowledging and improving your weaknesses are the only ways you can eliminate them. But, if you can’t change them then accept that truth and let it go.
So, don’t dwell too much on petty imperfections but work on fixing the things that cause the most misery in your life.
5. Ask someone you trust for their opinion of you
Getting feedback from a friend can help shine some light on things you’ve overlooked. Also, those aspects might be what was holding you back the whole time. You can’t have a detached view of yourself so of course, it’s best to ask someone who knows you.
Therefore, this is going to require that you let go of the habit of reacting to criticism with defensiveness. You’re going to need to be strong and open-minded to what they tell you.
After all, no one’s perspective is wrong so there’s no use in fighting against it. So, think of their feedback as priceless advice, not a stab at your ego.
It’s the key to breaking past the barriers that have blocked you for so long. Use this valuable information to fine-tune yourself and make headway on your goals.
6. Practice self-acceptance
Don’t forget to embrace self-acceptance because if you reject the reality of who you are then you can’t advance. So, make sure you accept who you are, regardless of any weaknesses.
7. Take the MBTI personality test and research your results
Taking a personality test can be incredibly eye-opening. If you answer the questions with complete honesty, your results can be quite useful. It’ll pair you with careers or even other personality types best suited for you. Take the test here.
Also, try these self-awareness quizzes:
Quiz: How Self-aware Are You?
8. Be aware of your emotions
Pay attention to how you react to others and adjust your response to be more kind. Sometimes people do stupid things and make bad choices but you don’t need to rub their face in their mistakes. Build up your emotional intelligence so you can realize when you’re about to become angry or mean and take a different route. Allow people to learn from their slipups because they won’t listen to unwanted advice anyway.
9. Fix any cognitive distortions
A cognitive distortion is a lie you tell to yourself that warps how you view yourself and the world. They can be an enormous obstacle on your journey to self-awareness.
Here are some examples of cognitive distortions:
- Catastrophizing or blowing things out of proportion.
- Blaming others for everything.
- Herd mentality or acting, doing, and dressing the same way as others.
- Taking things too personally
In short, building self-awareness is crucial for personal development. It will be well worth your time to develop a deep understanding of who you are and where you want to go.
Take the time to journal about what you’re thinking and your goals. Learn about your personality type and your strengths. Then improve what you can and accept what you can’t change.
If you stick with it, you can change your entire perspective on who you are for the better!
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3 Replies to “How to Build the Self-Awareness You Need to Make Progress”
Sheryl, Another great post! Thanks for reminding us that we can all achieve higher levels of self-awareness. Personally, I know that when I look back at “who I was” many years ago, I can see now that I have indeed changed to become more self-aware, and I continue working on this as it is a very valuable tool going forward!
Thank you, Trent! We all go through phases in life and that’s why continual self-awareness is so important. We aren’t the same person we were years ago so it’s best to update our perspective.
Thanks for sharing this insightful article on self-awareness! It’s important to understand what self-awareness really means, and this article provides a great explanation. As the author explains, self-awareness involves understanding our own thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, as well as how they impact those around us. Building self-awareness can help us make progress in all areas of our lives.