Ways to improve your self-awareness

Self-awareness is an attribute that teaches us how to identify our emotions and be aware of them, their triggers and their impact. Here are a few tips for developing your skill in this area:

1- Get to the birds-eye view

Imagine if you could let go of your personality and watch yourself from above. Like a bird who flies high above the ground and has the whole picture in sight. If you could let go of a narrow first-person view and look at your life in general, how many more things would you be able to see and understand about yourself?

Stepping back can help you develop an understanding of your own behaviour. You should be aware of your emotions and thoughts as the situations comes to life. You should try to inject yourself between the trigger and the reaction in order to allow yourself to process all the information and to look at things from a distance. The goal is to remind yourself of what you are actually feeling beneath all the other layers.

2 - Revisit your values and act accordingly

Your life is dynamic, your job is hard, your family is demanding. You try to set aside time to learn, to have fun and to keep your mind and spirit in peace. Replying to emails, taking phone calls, commuting to work. Playing with kids, doing sports with the friends, watching TV. Just a few of those activities would be enough to fill your day. And it also causes you to focus on the outside, not on the inside and on yourself.

If you ever feel overwhelmed, stop and review your values:

  • Does your career go into the direction you want to?

  • Does your job require you to do things with which you are not comfortable?

  • Do your colleagues treat you the way you would like to be treated?

  • Do you have enough time for your family and a social life?

  • Does your current path lead to where you want to be in two years?

These are just a few sample questions that you could use to re-evaluate your life against your values and beliefs.

  • Values is what you believe in (trust, responsibility, sustainability).

  • Mission is how you want to change the world (I want to make low cost pens available to the poorest people).

  • Goal is what you are aiming at (in 3 years I want to be Head of Marketing).

3 - Check yourself (especially under stress)

Self-awareness is mostly internal process, but there are external implications of your internal situation. Get into the habit of examining these regularly in order to make sure that everything is OK.

  • How does your face look?

  • What are you wearing?

  • How does your desk look?

  • Is everything sort of tidy?

  • What is your posture like?

  • Do you walk with your face down?

  • How regular is your breathing?

Be aware of your normal self and be on alert for the times when you feel stressed. Notice how everything changes. If you are aware of those changes, it might be easier for you to detect the stress factors in the future, before they reach your conscious mind.

4 - Fill the blind spot with feedback

And last but not least, remember the windows of knowledge. There is an intimate part of you that nobody knows. And there is the shared part which is public. But there is always a spot that you do not see. This spot is called “the blind spot“. Your own view of yourself can never be impartial, but other people are pretty good at seeing our true qualities.

Do not be afraid to look outside for help. Get your partner or colleague to a comfortable location and ask him or her for feedback. Gather your friends and talk to them. Ask even your parents.

Remember to observe the rules of communication. If you ask for feedback, you should be listening more than talking. Open your heart and be truthful. Try not get defensive, the people closest to you only want to help.


For more top tips, visit the original article at by Gil Mayer at Thrive Global