Most people think they’re rather self-aware, but very few actually are. For the most part, we wander through our lives focusing on things that don’t matter and ignoring things that are important. But what if all that changed? By improving self-awareness, you stand a much better chance of being successful.
The Importance Of Self-Awareness
In the business world, self-awareness will take you a long way. It allows you to see yourself for who you really are and make the appropriate changes to get where you want to be.
“You’re self-aware so that you can autocorrect,” says Christopher Howard, president of Robert Morris University. “If you’re self-aware, you can make those changes necessary to be successful. It’s pretty painful to look at yourself in the mirror and see your flaws. I think many people would prefer to sugarcoat it and say, ‘Well, it wasn’t my fault, it was their fault.”
Other people also notice when you’re self-aware and feel more comfortable giving you responsibility. They know that you’ll be able to see clearly, regardless of the circumstances.
Tips For Being More Self-Aware
Self-awareness doesn’t come naturally. The world is constantly bombarding us with external stimuli and our natural proclivity is to worry about what others think. But if you want to become more successful, the following tips will help.
1. Try Meditation
While not a common practice in the Western World, there’s a lot to be gained from regular meditation.
“As most people know by now, meditation is the practice of improving your moment-by-moment awareness,” entrepreneur Anthony Tjan explains. “Most forms of meditation begin with focusing on and appreciating the simplicity of, inhaling and exhaling. But these don’t need to be formal or ritualistic — greater clarity can also come from regular moments of pause and reflection.”
Whether you’re sitting at your desk and feeling overwhelmed, or you’re at home on the weekend and want to recalibrate, meditation helps you become more aware of who you are in the moment.
2. Ask For Feedback
It’s impossible to be 100 percent self-aware. Your mind won’t let you go there. Sometimes the best way to become more aware of who you are is by asking others.
Most people won’t be honest with you, so you need to find a trusted friend who will be honest and upfront. Once you gather this feedback, avoid getting defensive and making excuses. Instead, use this feedback to recognize who you are and where you can improve.
3. Reflect On Your Story
“Your narrative identity is the story of your life, but it’s more than just a story. How you understand your narrative frames both your current actions and your future goals,” psychologist Bill George says.
How often do you spend time thinking about the past and how it has shaped you into who you are today? While you don’t want to spend all of your time in the past, there’s value in recognizing how your narrative shapes your existence. It provides you with the clarity you need to make smart choices moving forward. It helps you recognize why you are the way that you are.
Make Self-Awareness A Priority
How self-aware are you? The irony of this question is that you can’t really answer it. You may think you’re self-aware, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you are. It’s hard to be objective when it comes to your own brain.
However, regardless of where you are on the self-awareness spectrum, you can always improve. Make it a priority in your personal and professional life and you’ll see positive fruit.
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