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Who are you? The moment you will be able to think of an answer that goes beyond your name, gender, profession, likes-dislikes, and ethnicity, consider yourself on the right path towards self-awareness. - By Nikita Arya
Have you ever noticed how you take a little while to answer when someone asks you to tell something about yourself’? When the regular conversations about the regulars―name, profession, likes-dislikes, ethnicity, etc―are over, what else do you tell them?
It’s funny how we make it a huge deal to find out stuff about someone else but don’t even bother knowing who we really are. But beyond all the pronouns and social identities associated with you, there is a unique existence, of which you are perhaps still unaware.
According to experts, self-awareness is about looking yourself in a way that acknowledges your impact on yourself and on others, and how others perceive you. It’s a practice of carefully observing how you emote, think and act in different situations in life. By looking at yourself through this self-acknowledging lens, you tend to understand yourself better, and in the process, become able to assess your own strengths and weaknesses without any bias. Becoming self-aware helps you in cultivating a growth mindset, allowing you to set goals for yourself, knowing where and what you lack, and working on yourself to become an improved version of yourself. A self-aware person knows his/her strengths and leave no stone unturned to grab right opportunities, which other people without self-awareness often let go.
Self-awareness is a life-long journey, and you are never too late to embark upon it. Though the path might look plain and cemented, it requires sincere efforts to walk through. Here’s how to become more self aware.
1. Explore New Experiences
What’s life without new experiences! New experiences always come with great learnings. Seeking a new experience not only helps you stepping out of your comfort zone, it also allows you to observe how you think, react and feel in unfamiliar situations. It also lets you explore a new part of your personality that might have been buried deep inside you since forever. These new experiences needn’t be big. Something as simple as exploring a new hobby or solo-travel, making new friends, eating alone in a restaurant or anything that you’ve never experienced. It could also be something that you’ve always find challenging.
2. Identify What Pulls Out Your Negative Side
Do you know what situations pull out the most negative side of yours? Most probably, it is when you’re frustrated, sad, mad, frustrated, or jealous. Understanding what makes you feel that way can help you in lot of ways. Firstly, it helps you control how you respond when things are not in the way you wanted. Secondly, it helps you become more selective of people in life so that you can avoid situations that might put you in that negative emotions.
To identify how these emotions are triggered, try to analyze any previous situation where you felt these ways. Just take a moment and ask yourself questions like — “What did the other person say that triggered me to feel this way? Why did I react in such way? Is this something that I would like to feel?” Based on your responses, you can make better choices in similar situations and avoid engaging in activities that can lead you to feel negative emotions.
3. Take a Moment Before Responding to Situations
Imagine your boss points out something wrong in your presentation on which you worked really hard for weeks. In such a situation, would you rather react or respond? Your reaction is an instinctive outcome to a particular situation, without thinking about the outcome. Response, on the other hand, is more thoughtful and takes into consideration the desired outcome of the conversation.
Try to be responsive in your life, especially in situations where your words might ruin something valuable of yours, for instance, career and relationships. You can practice it by giving yourself some lag time to respond so that you can come up with the most appropriate response.
4. Ask For Feedback About Yourself
Sometimes it might feel overwhelmingly difficult to assess yourself, so a little help from outside does no harm. Someone who you trust could help you by sharing their thoughts on your reactions, behavior, and personality trait. In this way, you’ll be able to see things from other people’s perspective and will learn how to nurture constructive criticism. However, constructive criticism isn’t easy to embrace. Do your best to listen what others say about you without getting offended. Work upon things that require change and acknowledge yourself for the good things they say about you. Knowing other’s perspective also allows you to break negative thought patterns that might have led to low self-confidence all this while.
5. Identify What Your Core Values Are
Your core values are the principles that guide you in making all your decisions, big or small. They explain the ‘why’ behind all your doings and sayings. Getting your core values clear will help you in knowing more about yourself and what you’re seeking in life. If you aren’t clear about what your principles are, you may end up in situations where you shouldn’t be. To identify your values, reflect on the times when you faced hard times, how you handled it, and which decision led you to what outcome. This will help you in recognizing what’s important for you in life. If your actions and outcomes didn’t turn out to be good for you in the past, you may need to shift your attitude and grow into a better person.
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