It was only a few years ago when I first heard about the concept of self-awareness. This notion of “self” had always been something unspoken, for I’d always been told it was psychologists who were in charge of analysing people and their patterns of behaviors. As a response to this abstraction, I struggled to understand what this idea truly entailed. I had always been me, so how could I not know who I am?
Time passed and I was introduced to the art of yoga and meditation. In my practices, this word kept showing up and I became more curious to understand what it was really about. Reading from the different perspectives of psychologists, philosophers and spiritual teachers, I realized just how naive I had been.
The truth is that being self-aware is about creating a stable and honest relationship with the person you’ll have to deal with for the rest of your life: YOU.
Self-awareness is defined as “the quality or trait that involves conscious awareness of one’s own thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and attitudes” (Cherry, 2018A). In essence, being self-aware is the ability to recognize and accept yourself for your external and internal existence.
When have you not been you? Never!
When will you not be you? Never!
You are the one who knows yourself better than anyone else. You are the one who holds the deepest memories of all the experiences you’ve lived and all the relationships you’ve made. Self-awareness goes beyond a simple definition of identity. It’s about accepting who you are and what you have been through in hopes of learning, growing and improving. As I like to say, it’s like being your own psychologist – and the Self-Power Club is here to support you along the way.
These are 4 steps I take to keep expanding my own self-self-awareness, I encourage you to try them out with me:
- Start a journal. Even if you don’t like to write, having a journal is a great way to store your ideas and thoughts. Sometimes I’ll write about what makes me feel insecure, what I am proud of, what I have learned about a specific situation. I think its the ability to physically see what I am feeling that helps me move past those emotions. It’s also nice to look back and and see how much I’ve evolved. Try it out with this first prompt: what matters most in your life?
- Ask a friend or relative to describe you. Have you ever thought about how other people might perceive you? I remember when I asked some friends to describe me they said I was “confident” when I’d always seen myself as someone more reserved. This definitely impacted the way I viewed how I interacted with others and made me become even more confident. So go ahead and ask someone close to you what they think about your personality, you’d be amazed at the things you forget to catch up on.
- Make a gratitude list. We become lost in the world of infinite options- or at least I know I do. Instead of focusing on the things that you don’t have, first try to look at what you already do. From a shiny day, to a good homemade food, there are many simple and yet valuable moments to be grateful for.
- Be compassionate with yourself – We all have our own things going on. There will always be the good, the bad and the okay. While I know I may not be perfect, I use my weaknesses to improve and my potentials to grow. Remember that we are all part of a shared human experience trying to find our way.
Life is a constant adaptation of new states of mind. We are always changing and learning from prior knowledge. Once you start becoming more aware of who you are, you can direct your time and energy to the things that really matter to you. Live from the inside out and, I guarantee, you will make this crazy ride called life a much more enjoyable one.
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom” – Aristotle