Do you take notice of all that’s happening around you, from significant to seemingly insignificant things? Or, do you let life pass in front of your eyes missing potential opportunities to capitalize on your growth? The latter happens from a lack of self-awareness—an understanding of the atmosphere you live in and the ability to mold it into to the life you want to lead. By diving into your own self-awareness and becoming familiar with it, you’re one step closer to finding yourself.
In this article, we’ll cover one of the pillars of self-discovery—self-awareness—which I created to give you the best shot at discovering yourself. If you’re looking to do a deeper dive on self-discovery, get a copy of my book, You Deserve This Sh!t.
Purchase your copy or download chapter one for free below.
What Is Self-awareness?
While awareness is the ability to recognize what’s happening in your surrounding environment, self-awareness is the ability to control that environment. Cultivating self-awareness puts you in the driver seat of your own life and gives you an opportunity to make conscious decisions that align with your character, feelings, and what inspires you. Without awareness and self-awareness, nothing can change. So, are you going to work on becoming self-aware, or are you going to remain the same?
Why Should You Care to Become Self-aware?
Not convinced about diving into self-awareness? Well, let me put it this way: If you choose to not practice self-awareness, you risk living a life that passes by in front of your eyes, one that is gone before you know it. Tapping into what moves you physically, mentally, and emotionally yields you the greatest chance to seize any opportunities that come your way to step into your power. The nice thing? Practicing self-awareness is not all that difficult.
How to Practice Self-awareness
If you’ve never practiced self-awareness, that’s completely okay. It’s never too late; it’s always the right time to start. Self-awareness was the first thing I embraced on my own quest for finding my most authentic self, and I think it’s the perfect place for you to start, too. Use the below exercises and tools to help bring awareness into your own life.
1. Take Up a Journaling Practice
Anytime someone asks me for guidance on their journey of self-discovery, I first tell them to buy a journal. Cultivating a daily writing practice is one of the easiest and affordable (it’s free; all it costs is your time) ways to tap into your self-awareness. Journaling gives you an opportunity to discover more about yourself that you may have otherwise never discovered if you didn’t put the pen to the paper.
Journaling doesn’t need to take hours. In my personal practice, I set aside five to 10 minutes every morning to journal, which has let me practice and become more self-aware. A writing practice like this can make you the author of your own life, as it will let you dive further into your self-awareness than ever before.
Never tried journaling? Not a problem. Here are three journal exercises I use to help me practice self-awareness and tap into the best version of myself:
- Gratitude journaling: Gratitude is the readiness to show thankfulness. So, every morning, write down five things you are grateful for, or five things you’re thankful for.
- Verbal vomit: This exercise is meant to be a brain dump with no restrictions. Write down whatever comes up. Don’t resist. You may learn something new about yourself or your feelings that can change the course of your life for the better.
- Guided brainstorm: Simply write down a question you’re looking to answer, like “What is my purpose?”, and then brainstorm a list of ideas that help you uncover the answer to your question.
Mediation is becoming more mainstream. There, I said it. A simple meditation practice changed the course of my self-discovery journey, and I’m confident it can do the same for you, too (so are studies). While it may seem challenging at first, meditation gets easier and more comfortable the more you do it. Meditation is like a muscle; the more you flex it, the stronger it gets. Will practice make perfect? I don’t believe so, because perfection means you think you can’t improve anymore. However, practice creates confidence.
If you don’t know where you start, that’s completely okay. I would never leave you hanging; I’m here to support your journey. If you’re new to meditation, start small. Use a five- to 10-minute guided meditation on YouTube, or if you want to challenge yourself, try sitting in silence with your eyes closed for five minutes. Any time you and meditate, you will increase your self-awareness.
3. Connect With Your Feelings
Remember, self-awareness is understanding what moves you physically, emotionally, and mentally, and being able to control each of those. When you’re connected with your feelings—your emotions—you’re able to understand what in life you should do more and less of; do more of the things that give you energy and do less of the things that take from you. It’s a simple equation, but you must have the awareness of your feelings to do so.
So stop pushing your emotions to the side; men, I’m especially talking to you. Avoiding your emotions does you no good; it keeps you from tapping into your self-awareness. Next time an emotion (or emotions) arises, stop, recognize, and feel it.
4. Recognize Your Surroundings & Adapt With Them
Similar to pushing your emotions to the side, it’s easy to float through life without the awareness of what’s happening around you. I get it, life’s busy and sometimes you may feel like you don’t have enough time to slow down. But I’m telling you right now, slowing down will let you become aware of your surroundings and adapt with them to improve your life or seize new opportunities.
The more you choose to slow down and take note of what’s happening and changing around you, the more likely you are to continuously mold and design your life in a way that supports your journey of self-discovery. If you never choose to slow down, you risk missing new opportunities that might guide you closer to your desired path.
5. Ask For Feedback From Your Inner Circle
Asking for feedback is typically a handy way to uncover things about your life that other people see but you may never know are present, whether that be tendencies or other things you are not aware of. Be cautious about who you ask for feedback from; make sure it’s someone you trust and who will be honest. When receiving feedback, it’s crucial to see it as an opportunity to improve on something rather than a way to feel bad about yourself.
The feedback you’ll receive will help you become more self-aware in various areas of your life. Sometimes it’s easier for another person to identify something about your life than it is for you to do it yourself. Be open to hearing what your inner circle may have to say. Their feedback may change your self-awareness and life forever, and for the better.
3 Ways Self-awareness Can Change Your Life
- Recognize your strengths and weaknesses: When you are self-aware, you’re able to identify what in life you are exceptionally good at and areas of life you could improve on. Being able to see both will allow you to become the best version of yourself and continue to push the needle when it comes to your personal growth.
- Control the environment you live in: Self-awareness not only lets you understand what moves you physically, emotionally, and mentally, but it also lets you control your environment to only include things that align with your values. Self-awareness puts you in the driver seat of your own life.
- Invites presence into your life: Becoming self-aware and embodying that awareness, simply makes you more present. Life will no longer zoom by in front of you. You will begin to appreciate every temporary moment more than ever before.
Self-awareness, one pillar self-discovery, ultimately lets you live in the present moment and make conscious decisions the control the world you live in. Without cultivating it, you risk letting life happen to you and losing control of your direction and path. It’s time you step into your power and become the best version of yourself.