Self-awareness is the starting point for all change. If you want to change the way you create your life, begin with awareness. It is an important tool for attaining clarity in all aspects of your life.
You need to become aware of exactly who you are. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are your likes and dislikes? What makes you unhappy or uncomfortable?
Using this skill will allow you to recognize your patterns. Do you know what makes you angry? Do certain people have the power to “push your buttons”? What is usually happening when you get a tension headache? What makes you want to improve your performance at a given task, and what makes you want to quit?
Personal transformation can only begin by knowing exactly where you are now. Pay attention to what you do, think and why you are doing it. Many people get so caught up in day to day living that they don’t take the time to reflect. It’s impossible to truly meet your potential if you don’t make time to really get to know yourself.
Often it’s not what happens to you in life that is hurting you – it’s the way you react to what happens to you. The first tool you need to use for self-awareness is a journal. Each day, write down an objective observation of what happened that day. Did you have a good day or a bad day? Did you clash with other people, such as your boss, your spouse or your kids? What caused you to have negative feelings? Do you know why you became reactive?
Besides an observation of each day’s events, spend some time getting to know yourself. Make a list of both your positive and negative qualities. What qualities do you want to change or improve? Can you recognize ways in which you are getting in your own way? For example, if you want to improve your eating habits but are continually choosing unhealthy meals and snacks, what does that tell you about yourself? It could mean that you lack self-discipline and that you need to work on that. It could mean that you use food in an inappropriate way, such as a coping mechanism (stress eating).
Don’t focus exclusively on your flaws. Become aware of what your positive qualities are and what you do right each day. Recognize your own efforts at improvement. Give yourself a pat on the back for being less reactive, for refusing to get drawn into a fight with your spouse, for example, or not giving in to your children’s efforts to manipulate you with whining or tantrums.
Another tool used in self-awareness is meditation. Take time to practice deep breathing and quiet your mind. Practice gradually relaxing your body and allow thoughts or dreams to gradually come into your consciousness. This is a way to get in touch with your subconscious.
Self confidence techniques Building self-esteem from self-awareness