Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” – Carl Jung
Self-awareness is defined as a conscious knowledge of one’s own character & feelings. Most of us believe we’re pretty switched on in this department. After all, we wake up with ourselves every morning and go to bed with ourselves every night. We think our thoughts, feel our feelings, and are the only singular person to have experienced our life, our relationships and our adversities exactly as we have. However, just as we don’t want to admit to ourselves that we might be crappy in bed or an awful driver, many of us have a pretty rubbish understanding of who we are in a deep and meaningful way.
So, how do we develop more self-awareness?
For many people, we learn most about ourselves by just doing life – working through challenges, overcoming adversities, changing, growing, exploring, etc. Developing wisdom in this way is nourishing but it can take a lifetime. If you’re keen to kick-start your self-awareness journey, it takes a conscious and mindful examination of yourself.
You can start by asking yourself the following questions…
1. What am I good at?
(Do these things offer you pleasure? Purpose? Direction?)
2. What am I not-so good at?
(Do you want to improve? How & why?)
3. What makes me calm?
(Think of big things and little things)
4. What makes me rage?
(You might need to refer to your response for Q3 after thinking about this one)
5. What are the most important things in my life?
(Think quick and see what first comes to mind)
6. Who are the most important people in my life?
(What do those relationships look like?)
These questions offer a little taste into self-exploration. It can be useful to write down your answers, and pop down the first things that come to mind – often you’ll know in your gut what you really want to say and what you genuinely believe. There are no wrong answers!
Developing self-awareness is challenging. If it was easy, we’d all be floating around like little Buddha’s.