How to be more self-aware?

19 September, 2023 / words by Cloe Vaz-Wiggins

Daniel Chidiac said: ‘You are not grown until you know how to communicate, apologise and accept accountability without blaming someone else’, I hope that as you read the statement, you have the same epiphany that I had, in fact, please, let’s read it again: ‘You are not grown until you know how to communicate, apologise and accept accountability without blaming someone else’.
I knew I wanted to start this piece with his quote and this perspective that is pretty much at the root of someone who consciously practises self-awareness. And for context, do you know what usually causes people to have lack of self-awareness?

Fear. More specifically, fear of being wrong, fear of being judged, fear of being seen as they truly are and not as the persona they created and present to others. And the thing is, there are many different levels to all of these things, it’s not black and white. It’s not like, either you are self-aware or not, or, you’re either presenting a persona or you’re not. Specially not in the society we live in, where social media ensures, that we all, no matter to what extent, curate and edit the parts of ourselves we want to project. We’re all very conscious of how we want to be perceived and in a lot of cases, that is not encompassing of who and everything we are. We are not fully honest with what we choose to share and for most of us, the parts we usually share are the best parts.

But to be more self-aware, regardless of what we want others to see, we have to be honest with what actually is. We have to be honest about who we really are and a big part of that is getting to know ourselves on a deeper level. It’s loving all parts of ourselves; it’s being conscious of what we contribute to situations and it’s taking ownership of our part in the exchanges we’re part of. It’s taking accountability regardless if the person on the other side does or not. It’s practising all of these things, over and over again.

Becoming more self-aware is directly connected to our self-development and personal growth journeys, it’s developing a deeper understanding of who we really are in all areas: our values, habits, emotions, our personality traits, our experiences, behaviours, our choices, our physical and psychological needs and so forth.

So, how can you consciously and intentionally work on being more self-aware:

Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness involves being fully present in the moment without judgment. Engage in mindfulness meditation or simply take a few minutes each day to focus on your breath and observe your thoughts and sensations.

Journaling: Regularly write in a journal about your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. This can help you identify patterns, triggers, and emotions that you may not have been fully aware of.

Self-Reflect: Set aside time to reflect on your actions and decisions. Consider what went well and what could have been handled differently. Ask yourself why you made certain choices.

Explore Your Values: Clarify your personal values and beliefs. Understand what is most important to you in various aspects of life, and align your choices with these values.

Practice Active Listening: Pay close attention to conversations and really listen to what others are saying. This can help you become more attuned to your own communication style and any potential biases.

Embrace Your Emotions: Allow yourself to feel and express your emotions. Acknowledge both positive and negative emotions without judgment. Understanding your emotional responses can provide insights into your inner workings.

Challenge Assumptions: Question your assumptions, biases, and preconceived notions. Consider alternative perspectives and be open to changing your views.

Regular Check-Ins: Schedule regular moments of self-check-ins throughout the day. Pause and assess how you’re feeling, what you’re thinking, and how you’re reacting to situations.

Practice Empathy: Put yourself in others’ shoes and try to understand their feelings and perspectives. This can help you better understand your own reactions and thought processes.

Learn from Mistakes: Instead of dwelling on failures, view them as learning opportunities. Analyse what went wrong, how you contributed, and what you can do differently next time.

Practice Patience: Becoming more self-aware is an ongoing process that takes time. Be patient with yourself as you explore your thoughts and emotions.

Remember, self-awareness is not about striving for perfection but rather about gaining insight into your authentic self. By consistently practicing self-reflection and taking steps to understand your thoughts and behaviours, you can cultivate a deeper sense of self-awareness that will positively impact various areas of your life.


Cloe Vaz-Wiggins


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