Self-awareness refers to a conscious understanding of how one thinks, feels and behaves in relation to any given situation. It’s the practice of being aware of who you are as a person, what your intentions are, where you’re going in life, what you’re doing, how you’re doing it, why you’re doing it, and how you feel every step of the way. It’s a learning tool vital to your personal growth, and arguably one of the most important life skills you will ever learn to master.
Everything you want in life starts and ends with you.
The reason why self-awareness is such an important quality to develop is because it serves as the bedrock of goal setting and creates a solid foundation for developing the life you want for yourself based on the core of who you are as a person. This includes what you believe about yourself and the world around you, your most important values, and what you truly need to be happy and fulfilled in any area of your life, whether it be health, finances, career, or relationships.
When you have a better understanding of yourself, it’s easier to make the changes you seek from a grounded place. From this place, you can more effectively reflect on what’s working (or not working) for you, explore alternative options, and begin taking action that is more in alignment with who you are, and what you stand for as a unique individual making a contribution on this planet.
Being able to look within yourself to hear the wisdom beneath the ego allows you to to clarify what it is you really want or need to live a dream come true life, or at least a life by your own design. It can also help you develop a stronger sense of personal integrity when you take the time to really honor yourself and what you may be feeling about something so that you can actually do something about.
Without a strong sense of identity or purpose, life becomes meaningless and leaves you feeling empty inside as you go through the motions of life in a zombie-like fashion.
Self-awareness holds the key to unlocking your personal power.
The key to change is asking yourself the right questions. Life has an uncanny way of giving you exactly what you ask for. If you keep asking “Why me?” then you may very well find yourself experiencing the same type of situations over and over again. You see, your mind is programmed to give you exactly what it thinks you want. So when you ask yourself dis-empowering questions like “Why can’t I make more money?” or “Why does this always happen to me?” then the answers will present themselves in a way that continues to dis-empower you.
However, if you start asking yourself an entirely different set of questions, then your experiences will naturally guide you to solutions you didn’t know were already there, and you’ll start stumbling upon resources you didn’t know existed. Your mind starts shifting its focus away from the problem and toward a desirable outcome. When you start asking yourself empowering questions like, “What’s next?” or “How do I want my life to be?” or “What’s one thing I can do differently to get a different result?” then the answers will eventually present themselves in a way that will empower you.
This is where self-awareness comes into play and why it’s so critical to master. When you get real and honest with yourself about where you are now and where you want to be, change becomes easier. Why? Because now, you’re no longer turning a blind eye to the limiting beliefs or unhelpful behaviors that were keeping your stuck.
How can you become more self-aware?
Self-awareness is often the first step to transforming any area of your life. It’s a personal practice that looks different for everyone. Some people like to meditate, which helps them develop a deeper sense of awareness by focusing on the inhale and exhale of their breathing. Other people like to journal, which helps them become more aware of their thoughts and feelings as they write them down. Some people love personality tests and personal assessments, which helps them understand themselves better and how they relate to others. Other people value the feedback they get from peers and colleagues, which helps them hone in on their strengths and identify areas for enhancements.
Bottom line: You can’t make changes or improvements when you’re not even sure what exactly needs to change or improve. Luckily, a spoonful of self-awareness can go a long way.
Niki Payne is freelance writer and hypnotherapist. An advocate for healthy relationships, Niki helps young adults and single women create new pathways to love, sex and intimacy. She lives in Los Angeles where she attends graduate school and spends her free time singing karaoke and volunteering. Connect with Niki on Instagram.