5 Ways to Become More Self-Aware
Deciding to walk away from an argument or listen to music instead of getting angry about the traffic on the way home are examples of being self-aware. Self-awareness is the ability to identify, evaluate and understand feelings and how they affect behaviour. It is a great tool that develops at around 18-months old when toddlers start to recognize themselves in mirrors and pictures.
Self-awareness does not get better with age. It is estimated that only 10%-15% of people are fully self-aware. Those who are self-aware are often better at decision-making and have more self-confidence. They are more creative, happier and better at communication.
There are two types of self-awareness that can be both beneficial and dangerous. Private self-awareness is identifying and reflecting on internal emotions. Feeling nervous because of a test is an example of private self-awareness. Self-consciousness is a negative effect of private self-awareness, which results in low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression.
Public self-awareness is the image that is presented to others and mainly focuses on the concern and appraisals of other people. The disadvantage of public self-awareness is that people spend too much time worrying about what others think of them. Jonathan Osler, who is an educator, writer and non-profit leader, could not plan and execute strategic activities if he constantly thought about the opinions of other people. The father of two girls would not have developed lesson plans and curriculums that incorporated social justice if he listened to what other people had to say.
Ways to Become More Self-Aware
Osler had to practice becoming a great communicator. Self-awareness also takes a lot of practice and can start at any age. Below are five ways to become more self-aware.
Take some time to listen to that little voice that is often ignored when making decisions. Think about accomplishments and the positive and negative thoughts about plans and personal traits.
Write down thoughts and decisions made after self-reflection. This method allows persons to identify what triggers negative emotions and how to keep them at bay. A journal is a great way to assess one’s thoughts and become aware of how to respond in certain situations.
3. Try New Things
Learning a new language or trying a new restaurant takes a person out of their comfort zone. New experiences allow people to gain insight into how they act or feel in strange situations.
4. Gain Insight from a Trusted Friend or Family Member
Hearing what others think about can be hard, but constructive criticism allows for growth and self-development. Listening to the perspective of a sibling or friend provides insight into negative and positive behaviours, traits, or attitudes.
5. Personality and Psychometric Tests
There are many personality and psychometric tests online that aim to develop self-awareness. These tests do not have right or wrong answers, but encourage participants to identify and evaluate their unique character traits.
Jonathan Osler believes that being self-aware is a journey that takes time to master but can improve each person’s way of life. There are many more ways to become more self-aware, but these five are a great start to becoming a better person.