According to Harvard Business Review, “Research suggests that when we see ourselves clearly, we are more confident and more creative. We make sounder decisions, build stronger relationships, and communicate more effectively."
The ability to see yourself clearly and know exactly who you are through introspection and reflection is what it means to be self-aware. Though it might sound farfetched at first to be able to gauge your thoughts, emotions, and behavior as objective, it is certainly possible over time to reach a level where you understand your yourself better.
For many of us, we go through our day on kind of frenzied autopilot, busily reacting to things in a positive or negative way, letting outside factors dictate our mood, getting fixated on tasks or maybe even not doing what we’re supposed to. Anyone here tend to procrastinate? How often do we stop to think and focus on our inner-self for a check in?
"When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.”
― Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
For example, when we’re honest with ourselves and can see our strengths and weakness clearly, we can objectively discern whether they’re helpful or not. That’s when we start noticing patters, positive results and consequences. We can finally understand as well how we affect others; this is how our world and opportunities also improves as we become better within our personal and professional relationships.
There have been plenty of studies conducted since the original term was coined by Shelley Duval and Robert Wicklund (1972). They prove that self-awareness is a necessary component that helps you live a better, more fulfilled life. It has a huge impact on how we act, how we think, and how we react to the things happening around us.
Why is Self-awareness Important?
What if you could be more aware and in control of yourself, evaluate yourself while interacting with people or performing tasks, and see things from a different perspective? You could make better decisions and be less likely to have blind spots in your personal and professional life. In addition, being aware of things and being able to observe situations or people without passing judgement and reacting emotionally gives us a better sense of control of ourselves and how we interact in all sorts of situations.
When it comes to how we see ourselves and come off to other people in the world, according to the Johari Window we have 4 different areas of the self that define who we are and how we act in the world.
Things we know about ourselves and others know about us - this is the self we associate with ourselves and also how others see us. This is the 'you' that shows up in most situations and the 'you' that you allow others to get to know. It comes from the sense of how you want to portray yourself to the world.
Things we know about ourselves that others do not know - this is the part we don't show others because we don't feel like we can be authentic or appear vulnerable.
Things others know about us that we do not know - this is what other people can see in us when we don't see it in ourselves. This works in positive or negative ways because sometimes people could see good qualities in us we miss but other times could withhold telling us the truth for fear of how we might take it.
Things neither we nor others know about us - this can be positive traits or things we have untapped within us or can also be representative of things within us that can limit us from growth as well.
Here are some ways that becoming more self-aware can impact your life positively:
Improve your ability to be reflective
When you can be proactive about your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, it encourages self-development and growth
Improve your decision-making
When you're honest about who you are, how you react to situations, and what common pitfalls to avoid, you can make better decisions
Improve your performance
When you know your strengths and weaknesses and how to manage them, you can perform better.
Improve your communication
When you know what you want and how to express it, you can learn to articulate better. Having the ability to communicate clearly enhances your sense of confidence and improves your relationships.
Improve your empathy and perspective
When you're able to look at things objectively, you can better understand people and respect their opinions. This allows you to see things from others' perspectives too instead of being centered around your own wants and whims.
Improve your productivity
When you understand your productivity levels and what you need to succeed without burning out, getting depleted, or getting overly stressed, you can learn new things faster and get ahead
So how can you improve your self-awareness?
If you want to focus on being self-aware, here are some things you can do:
- Learn about yourself and have the ability to be honest about your thoughts and behavior and how they affect you and other people- even when it's difficult.
- Learn which patterns are working for you and which ones aren't - any recurring themes or ways you sabotage yourself or others?
- See your personal growth and self-awareness as a journey - accept yourself fully but always know that you can be better to yourself.
- Keep journals to identify and clarify your thoughts and feelings so you can note your challenges and also look back on your progress.
- Practice mindfulness through meditation and mindfulness which will help you focus on your inner skills and strengths - stopping to pause can give you time to reflect.
- Practice mindfulness through yoga routine, a mental practice that induces self-acceptance, discipline, and awareness.
- Hire a life coach to help you evaluate the areas of your life that are working and other areas where a lack of self-awareness or the right tools could be holding you back.
“The only person who can pull me down is myself, and I'm not going to let myself pull me down anymore.”
― C. JoyBell C.
Hire a Transformational Life Coach!
A life coach can help you identify and process your thoughts in a much better way such as:
- Helps you process your negative thoughts without getting stuck in them so you become solution-oriented.
- Helps you identify the barriers that are stopping you from moving on towards success.
- Helps you create a more empowering mindset, which leads to a better sense of decisiveness and reduces resistance
- Helps you figure out what you want and need to make better decisions in your life.
Maybe you can do all that yourself - maybe you're one of those rare people who always knows what they want and how to get it without any lingering negative consequences such as lack of work/life balance or relationship challenges. If so, that's fantastic! Keep it up! :)
But if you're like most of us, a bit of guidance goes a long way!
Hiring a life coach can the best decision you can take to make sure you achieve the state of being self-aware. Life coaches know their ways around the minds of people who are struggling with their thoughts and feelings all the time. They help you in knowing yourself so that you can lead a better life.
Are you ready to take the steps towards your personal growth so you can become more self-aware and thrive?
Are you still asking yourself if you need a life coach? Check out this video to learn more!