In today's fast paced world of busy schedules and endless rushing, it's easy to find yourself running on automatic. As soon as you clear one thing off your plate, something else needs to be done and someone else wants your attention.
With so much going on, the prospect of slowing down and taking time to develop self-awareness might be a little bit daunting. It might even seem like a waste of time. But self-awareness is the very skill you need to navigate through all the confusion and chaos.
What is self-awareness?
What is self-awareness? To be self-aware is to be knowledgeable of, and attuned to, one's inner being. Who are you? What are your core values? What are your core beliefs? Why do you do the things you do?
The more clearly and authentically you can answer those questions, the better you'll become at prioritizing what's important and eliminating what's unneeded. Without self-awareness, you run the risk of living a life filled with activity, but lacking in deep meaning and genuine fulfillment.
Use the following steps to nurture and build your own self-awareness.
For a few moments, stop whatever it is that's keeping you busy and distracted. When you're not actively occupied, you make room for your mind to reflect. As your mind quiets down, you may start to notice things you hadn't noticed before, often seeing things that have been hiding in plain sight.
Expend the energy to dig a little bit deeper within yourself. Ask yourself questions, and then answer those questions honestly. Are you finding that your thoughts and feelings too jumbled to sort though? Writing things out in a journal will bring clarity, and you'll get to know yourself better as a result.
Throughout the centuries and across all cultures, there has always been a link between solitude and self-awareness. A common feature among all the wise sages of the world is that they regularly spent time on their own, away from the crowd.
You don't need to cut yourself off from people entirely. However, there's something very powerful about taking a bit of time to simply be with yourself and experience your own company.
Do you need to have the TV or some other noise playing in the background at all times? The vast majority of people are accustomed to being surrounded by noise—so much so, that the notion of silence can be intimidating. But a little bit of silence can do wonders, allowing you to tune in and "hear" your own inner voice more distinctly.
What are the patterns and common themes that run across your life? What can you extract from your past that's relevant in the present? How do the lessons and principles from one aspect of your life apply to another? The ability to consolidate information from past experiences can be a great source of insight. As you bring everything together from different areas and synthesize the findings, the process leads you to a better understanding of yourself.
Conclusion: increased self-awareness won't eliminate all the challenges in your life. But it will provide you with valuable knowledge, so you're better equipped to move through life in a focused and meaningful way. You'll start making wiser decisions that yield better results in both the short and long term. And you'll bring more success into your life, since you'll be able to assess what's best for you, rather than being swept along by external forces and pressures.
Tips for achieving optimal wellness, inside and out.