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What is Self-Awareness and Why is it Important? [+5 Ways …

Posted: July 1, 2019 at 4:44 am


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From the ancient Greek Aphorism know thyself to western psychology, the topic of self-awareness has been studied by philosophers and psychologists for the last century.

In this article, we will cover what self-awareness is, how it can be beneficial in a therapy session, why it is difficult to achieve, and how one can cultivate it.

It is worthwhile to reflect on this overlooked attribute. After all, high levels of self-awareness benefit oneself and ones social relations.

Simply put, self-awareness is an awareness of the self, with the self-being what makes ones identity unique. These unique components include thoughts, experiences, and abilities.

The psychological study of self-awareness can be first traced back to 1972. Psychologists Shelley Duval and Robert Wicklunds developed the theory of self-awareness.

They proposed that:

when we focus our attention on ourselves, we evaluate and compare our current behavior to our internal standards and values. We become self-conscious as objective evaluators of ourselves.

In essence, they consider self-awareness a major mechanism of self-control.

Psychologist Daniel Goleman proposed a popular definition of self-awareness in his best-selling book Emotional Intelligence, as knowing ones internal states, preference, resources, and intuitions.

This definition places more emphasis on the ability to monitor our inner world, our thoughts and emotions as they arise.

In my view, it is important to recognize that self-awareness is not only about what we notice about ourselves but also how we notice and monitor our inner world.

Have you ever held judgment towards yourself regarding the thoughts or experiences you have? If so, then you are not alone, and there it is time to work towards a non-judgemental reflection of yourself.

This isof courseeasier said than done.

If non-judgmental quality is an essential component of self-awareness, how do we work towards that?

As we notice whats happening inside us, we can acknowledge and accept them as the inevitable part of being human, rather than giving ourselves a hard time about it.

Hint: if you have ever said to yourself I should/shouldnt have done it, then you know what I mean. Next time you are judging something you said or did, consider the question:

Is what I experienced also a chance to learn and grow? Have other humans possibly made a similar mistake and learned from it?

Self-awareness goes beyond accumulating knowledge about ourselves: it is also about paying attention to our inner state with a beginners mind and an open heart.

Our mind is extremely skillful at storing information about how we react to a certain event to form a blueprint of our emotional life (source).

Such information often ends up conditioning our mind to react in a certain way as we encounter a similar event in the future.

Self-awareness allows us to be conscious of this conditioning and preconceptions of the mind, which can form the foundation of freeing the mind from it.

Self-awareness is the key cornerstone to emotional intelligence, according to Daniel Goleman.

The ability to monitor our emotions and thoughts from moment to moment is key to understanding ourselves better, being at peace with who we are and proactively managing our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

In addition, self-aware people tend to act consciously (rather than react passively), and tend to be in good psychological health and to have a positive outlook on life. They also have a greater depth of life experience and are more likely to be more compassionate.

An investigation by Sutton (2016) also examined the component parts of self-awareness and their benefits.

This study found that the self-reflection, insight, and mindfulness aspects of self-awareness can lead to benefits such as becoming a more accepting person, while the rumination and mindfulness aspects can lead to emotional burdens.

A number of researches have shown self-awareness as a crucial trait of successful business leaders.

In a study undertaken by Green Peak Partners and Cornell University, 72 executives at public and private companies were studied. They all had revenues from $50 million to $5 billion, and it was found that a high self-awareness score was the strongest predictor of overall success.

Self-awarenessin this studywas the strongest predictor of overall success.

Self-awareness is also crucial for psychotherapists.

Therapists need to be aware of their own biases, values, stereotypical beliefs, and assumptions in order to appropriately serve culturally diverse clients (Oden et al., 2009).

It has also been called a precursor to multicultural competence (Buckley & Foldy, 2010). In other words, self-awareness allows counselors to understand the differences between their lived experiences and their clients lived experiences.

This can help counselors be more nonjudgmental towards their clients, and help them better understand their clients.

If self-awareness is so important, why arent we more self-aware?

The most obvious answer is that most of the time we are simply not there to observe ourselves. In other words, we are not there to pay attention to whats going on inside or around us.

Psychologists Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel T. Gilbert found that almost half of the time we operate on automatic pilot or unconscious of what we are doing or how we feel, as our mind wanders to somewhere else other than here and now.

In addition to the constant mind-wandering, the various cognitive bias also affects our ability to have an accurate understanding of ourselves; we tend to believe narratives that support our already existing sense of self.

For example, if we have a solid belief that we are a high-quality and loyal friend, then we are likely to interpret eventseven ones where perhaps we did make a mistakeas an anomaly of our identity as that loyal friend.

This pre-existing belief about ourselves might influence how we handle the aftermath of, say, forgetting about a lunch date with a friend.

Additionally, confirmation bias can trick us into searching for or interpreting information in a way that confirms our pre-conception of something.

Have you ever had that feeling when youve accepted a job offer, but are still looking for extra assurance that it is the perfect job for you? That is confirmation bias, in its finest.

Furthermore, the lack of the willingness to seek feedback could also work against us if we want to have a more holistic view of ourselves through the eyes of others.

If we want to cultivate our own self-awareness, how do we reconcile that with these psychological tendencies where we only acknowledge certain versions of ourselves?

It is not easy, but there are some options.

What further complicates the picture is the different aspects of the self we relate to in everyday life.

Daniel Kahneman, is a Nobel Prize winner for his contribution to behavioral science.

In his TED talk, Kahneman explains the difference between the experiencing self and the remembering self, and how this affects our decision-making.

He explains how we feel about the experience at the moment and how we remember the experience can be very different and share only 50% correlation.

This difference can have a significant impact on the story we are telling ourselves, the way we relate to self and others, and the decision we make, even though we may not notice the difference most of the time.

For our purposes, let us say that self-awareness consists of being mindful of our identities and lived experiences and how they relate to those of other people.

Self-focused attention consists of simply thinking about ourselves.

For example, self-focused attention might mean that a counselor thinks about how anxious they are about the therapy session, which leads to the client feeling that the counselor is not paying attention to them.

Self-awareness, on the other hand, would mean that the counselor realizes that if they are anxious about the session, it may indicate that the client is anxious about the session, and uses this to try to help the clients anxiety as well as their own.

In other words, as one researcher concludes, self-awareness might be a tool to decrease the negative impact of hindering self-focused attention on counseling self-efficacy (Wei et al., 2017). This studyoffers an important look into how counselors can change this habit, and move towards self-awareness while meeting with clients.

Being self-aware about all aspects of ones thoughts is crucial, rather than being aware of the current emotion one is feeling.

Some of the strategies that therapists can use to stop self-awareness from being distracting include remembering to focus on the client, their needs, and the goals of the counseling session.

Another strategy is using self-awareness as a way to better understand the client, rather than only being self-aware of ones thoughts and appearing distracted.

If you are not a counselor or in the field, there are many more ways to increase self-awareness in your everyday life.

The tremendous benefits of high self-awareness can be felt by anyone who puts time towards it.

Self-awareness, as arguably the most fundamental issue in psychology, from both a developmental and an evolutionary perspective, is a rich and complicated subject.

As human beings, we may never fully understand ourselves, if there is such a destination. But perhaps it is the journey of exploring, understanding and becoming ourselves that makes life worth living.

Whether you want to be more accepting of yourself or more accepting of others, cultivating self-awareness is a good place to start.

Id love to hear from you. Would you say you are a self-aware person? How do you see the role of self-awareness in your professional and personal life?

Please leave a comment below to share your thoughts.

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What is Self-Awareness and Why is it Important? [+5 Ways ...

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July 1st, 2019 at 4:44 am

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How Self-Awareness Makes You a Better Manager | Harvard …

Posted: April 23, 2019 at 2:54 pm


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Becoming a truly effective manager requires a great deal of self-reflection, observation, and growth.

For most of us, its an ongoing process. Whether youre a seasoned manager or relatively new to the ranks, you may have learned the hard way that the skills that helped you move up the ladder arent necessarily the skills you need for successful leadership.

It's not unusual to see new managers stumble early on as they stretch beyond their previous roles. Perhaps stellar technical skills helped you get a promotion to team lead, but in a managerial role you'll be relying much more heavily on interpersonal communication skills.

Similarly, if you are too narrowly focused on results, you may lose sight of the fact that your ability to affect change is ultimately dependent on relationships and networks.

Lets look at the example of a rising star who is promoted by his bosss boss. Once in the new position, he disagrees with his supervisors sales projections and has to navigate a tricky set of interests and relationships.

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April 23rd, 2019 at 2:54 pm

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Self | Britannica.com

Posted: March 27, 2019 at 8:42 pm


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Self, the I as experienced by an individual. In modern psychology the notion of the self has replaced earlier conceptions of the soul.

The concept of the self has been a central feature of many personality theories, including those of Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler, Carl Jung, Gordon W. Allport, Karen Horney, Carl Rogers, Rollo May, and Abraham H. Maslow.

According to Carl Jung the self is a totality consisting of conscious and unconscious contents that dwarfs the ego (q.v.) in scope and intensity. The maturation of the self is the individuation process, which is the goal of the healthy personality.

Rogers theorized that a persons self-concept determines his behaviour and his relation to the world, and that true therapeutic improvement occurs only when the individual changes his own self-concept. Mays approach was similarly existential; he conceived the self as a dynamic entity, alive with potentiality. Maslows theory of self-actualization was based on a hierarchy of needs and emphasized the highest capacities or gratifications of a person. See also humanistic psychology.

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Self | Britannica.com

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March 27th, 2019 at 8:42 pm

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Self Awareness Test – iNLP Center

Posted: March 23, 2019 at 7:45 am


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SelfAwareness Test submission count updated: 9/1/2018

Welcome! The iNLP Center self awareness test is on this page. Youll get your results once you hit the submit button. No email or obligation is required.

You can scroll down to the quiz right away, but we suggest reading the introductory sections first the instructions.

Approaching 10,000 submissions, this is our most popular online quiz because it reveals uncommon opportunities for personal growth. The self awareness test does not include interpersonal skills, which may be a future project.

Created by the iNLP Center. Private. Non-commercial. Confidential.

Do you have enough curiosity to take a penetrating self awareness test with a few twists? The quiz on this page will inspire you to think about areas of life you may have never considered. It could be challenging. Thats good!

Why?

Because enlightenment begins with self awareness. This quiz puts self awareness in a framework that creates insight. On a journey toward greater enlightenment, this could be a tool youve been missing. Most people report more than one aha-moment.

Sound good?

The iNLP Center uses the diagram above when teaching the NLP Meta Model, which is a set of questions that probe beneath the surface of vague communication. The Meta Model opens the door into a whole new world of self-discovery. Some of these discoveries are featured in our self awareness test.

The self you can be aware of is much more than the conscious mind. Neuro-Linguistic Programming suggests much of our thinking and communication lies outside conscious awareness (non-verbal communication, to give one simple example, goes largely unnoticed by most). Non-conscious thoughts and communication have a much greater impact than what we consciously notice. Heres a great post that cites research on this.

Likewise, your unconscious mind has a greater impact on your life than you can imagine. For example, 90% of decisions are made unconsciously, according to research. You only know what youve decided moments after the fact.

The more aware you are, the more choices you have!

NLP and life coaching students have an advantage over non-NLP-trained people. Theyve learned things that expand self awareness. Of course, you dont need to be enrolled in an NLP course to benefit from this test. Its for everyone.

The self awareness test should prove to be enlightening to anyone, even to those whove been working on themselves for years.

Each question on the self awareness test has five response options. Choose the option that best describes you. When you submit the self awareness test, youll be forwarded to your score and an interpretation.

FYI, this self awareness test is not a scientific or clinical assessment. Its based on 25 years experience as a counselor, NLP trainer and life coach. We have no control over the test conditions, so consider your results for entertainment purposes or education only.

The areas represented on the self awareness test represent the hot spots of self awareness that can save you from problems and pain or lead you straight into them.

A classic model of neuro-linguistic programming, the VAK model suggests we process information on the inside through seeing, hearing and feeling. Further, our processing is redundant. In other words, seeing an internal image will inspire feelings about the image and sounds either related to the image or our own inner commentary. Seeing, hearing and feeling all work together.

A personal paradigm is a worldview. It answers questions about how life exists and why were here. There is a God who created the universe. There is not a God. People are basically good and here to help each other. People are animals interested in survival. And so forth.

Personal beliefs are perspectives about what is true (for you). In the self-awareness test, well focus on your internal beliefs related to who you are and what youre capable of accomplishing in the world.

Life values are indications of whats important to you in life. You can trust that a value is important to you (or congruent) when it successfully guides your decisions. So, if health is important to you, then you will make healthy decisions. If success is important to you, then youll make decisions and spend your time in ways that lead to greater success.

Inner conflict is part of the human condition. It happens when your beliefs conflict with each other. For example, you may believe you are capable of succeeding in life. At the same time, you may harbor doubt about your abilities. This is a sign of inner conflict.

You may also have values that conflict. You may value security because it helps you feel safe. At the same time, you may love freedom. These two values may lead to conflicting desires and difficult decisions.

Triggers are those things in the outside world that automatically set you off into a negative state. A classic example is someone running their fingernails down a chalkboard (although chalkboards arent so common anymore:) This might make you cringe instantly.

When you find yourself in a negative state, there is always a trigger. Something that prompted your reaction. A particular tone of voice or seeing a specific object (dirty socks on the floor) might trigger you, for example.

The influence of parents or primary caregivers is pervasive. Nobody leaves childhood without taking their parents with them on the inside. Beliefs, values, behaviors and personal paradigms are all heavily influenced by parents during formative years. How are you carrying your parents?

We all have limitations. Some of these are self-imposed, usually due to limiting beliefs. Others are legitimate limitations to our intelligence and natural skills. For example, I know I do not have the intellectual capacity to formulate physics theories like Einstein. I know I cant beat Roger Federer in tennis. In this case, the word cant is not a negative term. Its simply the truth about the limits of my skills or natural gifts.

Your own worst enemy! Do you know why you sometimes sabotage your success? Do you know how or understand the intention behind self sabotage? This part of the quiz will highlight how you might get in your own way.

People are naturally goal-oriented. We move toward what we want. Consciously setting goals is one way to be intentional about the future. This section of the self awareness test will help you learn where you stand in this area.

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About Mike BundrantMike Bundrant is a retired psychotherapist, Master NLP trainer, and practicing life coach. He and his wife, Hope, co-founded iNLP Center in 2011.

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Self Awareness Test - iNLP Center

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March 23rd, 2019 at 7:45 am

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33 Self-Awareness Activities for Adults and Students

Posted: March 21, 2019 at 10:41 am


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Having self-awareness means that you have a clear recognition of your overall personality.

This includes your strengths and weaknesses, thoughts and beliefs, emotions, and sources of motivation. Having self-awareness helps you understand other people and how they view you and your actions.

Many people assume that self-awareness comes easily and naturally, but this sense of heightened awareness can actually be hard to come by.

With practice, however, you can learn to increase your self-knowledge and find new ways to interpret your thoughts, actions, feelings, and conversations that you have with other people.

Achieving self-awareness gives you the opportunity to make positive changes in your behavior and increase your self-confidence.

Here are 33 self-awareness activities that can help increase self-awareness in adults and students.

What is Self-Awareness (and Five Ways to Increase It)

Not sure about how to be more self-aware? In this video, we define self-awareness and five proven strategies that can help you increase it. And for more actionable, habit-related videos, be sure to subscribe to our brand new YouTube Channel.

Self-Awareness Activities - Written Exercises

1. Write morning pages.

This exercise comes from Julia Camerons An Artists Way, which teaches readers techniques to gain self-confidence by harnessing their creative talents and skills.

For this exercise, compose three pages of longhand stream-of-consciousness writing every morning as soon as you wake up. Not only does this help declutter your mind, but it also helps you recognize the things that are in the forefront of your brain that you may need to address that day.

Keeping a journal creates a permanent record of your thoughts, feelings, and the events in your life. This will allow you to look back on important life events and rediscover how you felt at the time. This can be a learning experience because, as you grow and live through new trials and tribulations, the way that you react to certain situations may change.

By reading about your past experiences, you can see how you have grown or matured, and put things into perspective. Its also nice to have a written record of your past.

3. Use feedback analysis.

When you are faced with an important decision, write down exactly how and why you came up with your decision. What factors motivated you, and what steps did you take to come to your conclusion?

After a set time (usually nine months), go back and reflect on your decision-making process. Assess the outcome of your choice in detail and analyze your ability at the time to make the best decision based on your self-awareness at the time.

4. Create a life vision-mission.

In an organization, mission and vision statements serve three important roles. They state the purpose of the organization, they inform people of strategy development, and they display measurable goals and objectives to gauge the success of the organization.

Creating a vision-mission statement for your life can define your clear direction and rank your priorities. It will help set measurable goals and provide a tactical way to measure success.

5. Write a personal manifesto.

A personal manifesto describes your core values and beliefs, the specific ideas and priorities that you stand for, and how you plan to live your life. This acts as both a statement of personal principles and a call to action.

A personal manifesto can help frame your life, point you in the right direction to help achieve your goals, and act as a tool to remind you of your primary concerns.

To get started, ask yourself questions such as: What things do you stand for? What are your strongest beliefs? How do you want to live your life? How do you want to define yourself? What words do you want to live by? A personal manifesto can be a powerful tool for bringing about your best life. Refer to your personal manifesto often.

6. Record your ABCs.

This is a good activity to do after you experience an adverse event. It is a helpful way to debrief yourself and get a chance to reflect and discover your beliefs after a big, negative incident occurs in your life.

Doing this can help you understand your response to stress. While many people can experience the same activating adverse event, their thought processes about it can have a great impact on their lives moving forward. Using the ABC model can help people recognize their automatic thoughts when they're upset or mad, and change those thoughts into positive things.

For example, imagine you are stuck in a long line, but you are in a rush. You may become very anxious at the thought of possibly being late to your next obligation, causing you to complain out loud to the people around you about how long the line is taking to move. Alternatively, you may decide to relax and put on your headphones to listen to some calming music while you wait. Either way, the "A" remains the same, but the "B" and "C" show how you respond to the stress.

This can help you look at things more positively and lead you to find alternatives to solving problems and staying calm.

7. Write a regret letter.

Write a letter to your younger self. This is a surprisingly cathartic exercise that is more than simply listing what you wish youd known. Tell your younger self about the regrets youve had in your life so far, and apologize for any mistakes that you may have made and opportunities that you let pass by.

Aside from gaining a feeling of empowerment from accepting your vulnerable younger self, your words can also help others who are in similar situations as you faced in the past. Your newfound wisdom can let readers know that they are not alone in their struggles, and provide them with advice on how to move forward.

8. Do the funeral test.

This exercise was made popular by Stephen Covey in his book,The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

To do this, write your own eulogy and answer questions such as:

Doing this will help you add more purpose to your everyday activities and how you live your life. It may also help you think twice before reacting to a situation harshly or making a decision before thinking about its possible outcomes first.

9. Record your personal narrative.

How would you tell the story of your life to yourself? What would your autobiography look like?

One essential component of our personalities are our life stories, so mapping out what yours is may help you make some positive changes for the future.

10. Write down your most important tasks regularly.

Your most important tasks (MITs) are the things that you need to accomplish each day to help you achieve your long-term goals. Every night, write a to-do list of your three priority tasks for the following day.

This will allow you to start your day with a purpose and keep you aware of where your focus should be. It will help set a precedent for the day if you are able to accomplish your main goals first and get them out of the way to make room for other items on your to-do list.

11. Create a bucket list.

Having a bucket list will help you identify your personal and professional goals. When the daily routines of your life begin to set in, you are likely to let the days pass by without thinking too much about your long-term goals and desires.

Use a bucket list to keep yourself focused, and make an effort every day to accomplish at least one small task that will lead you towards crossing things off of your bucket list.

Self-Awareness Tests You Can Take By Yourself

12. Know and understand your personality type.

Knowing your personality type will help you understand why you're different or similar to other people, help you manage your time and energy better, and help you recognize your emotions.

When you are armed with this information, you will be better equipped to view other people as being different rather than wrong. It will also help you understand what you need to be able to thrive, and allow you to structure your days accordingly.

There are many free psychometric tests you can take online, including:

13. Discover your Eulerian Destiny.

Filling out the Eulerian Destiny circles provokes critical thinking and self-reflection.

Doing this requires you to look at four areas of your life by answering the following questions:

Take a while to write these things down in four overlapping circles and see where they all meet. This may take time and serious thinking, but it can result in defining and refining your purpose in life. This will provide you with a framework to form your future and a basis of self awareness.

14. Utilize The Freedom Diagram.

The Freedom diagram is one of the fun self-swareness activities. It is a short and practical guide to help figure out where you should use your energy in life, you can use The Freedom Diagram.

The three components of The Freedom Diagram are talent, fun, and demand. Talent refers to what you just happen to be good at doing. The fun component is what you wish you could do all the time, even if you werent paid to do it. Demand is what people in the world actually need or want, and will pay for.

Creating this guide for you will help you decide what skill you should focus on building so you have a higher chance of success.

Self-Awareness Activities - Thought Process Exercises

15. Ask the "Three Whys."

Many self-awareness activities simply asking yourself difficult questions and trying to answer as honestly as possible. The "three whys" is the perfect example of that.

The "Three Whys" are exactly what they sound like. Before making a big decision, or if you are trying to get to the root of an issue, ask yourself "why?" three times. This will help to reveal deep and specific issues that you may not otherwise consider.

It's not coincidental that "why?" is a rather simple question. It is an important realization that you must go a few layers deeper before making any critical decision. Whether you are trying to create a new business, hire a new employee, add a new feature to an existing product, or buy something expensive, you always have to dig a bit deeper to reveal the truth behind your motives.

16. Put a name to your feelings and emotions.

Expanding your emotional vocabulary will allow you to articulate yourself better. Once you are able to specifically identify what you are feeling, it will allow you to release stress and resentment that may be building up inside of your mind.

Here is a list of feeling words that are better able to describe your emotions than simply "good" or "bad". Getting more specific to explain how you feel is a cathartic way to relieve stress and anxiety.

17. Pay attention to your self-talk.

Have you ever noticed how we are quick to praise other people in the same instances where we often criticize ourselves? When we fall just short of achieving a goal or we dont live up to some high expectation, we tend to judge ourselves and dismiss our efforts.

How you talk to yourself in response to your successes and failures affects how you view yourself, and how you think others view you as well. Rather than focusing on small things that you are not able to accomplish at a given moment, think about how far you have come, or your successes up to that point. Focus on the positive rather than the negative.

18. Question your assumptions.

Assumptions are a natural thing that people use to help make quick sense of the world. You probably expect people who are in a certain place to look and dress in a particular way. If your expectations do not meet reality, you make assumptions that can be absolutely wrong.

James Altucher suggests putting a question mark instead of a period after each of your opinions. This helps you create an argument with yourself on some of your beliefs and worldviews, which can prevent you from falling prey to irrational thoughts.

19. Ask questions about yourself.

The Proust Questionnaire is a self-exploration questionnaire that is designed to help you uncover your outlook on life and get clarity on how you think. This questionnaire is about one's personality, and will make you think about what you want out of life and the things that you appreciate the most.

20. Observe your stream of consciousness.

Your stream of consciousness is unpredictable, and not always influenced by the world around you. For example, you may be at work trying to focus on a project when all of a sudden you start thinking about a memory you made years ago on a family vacation.

Be an observer of your own thoughts and feelings, especially those that are negative. Let these thoughts simply pass you by as you move on.

21. Build the Pause-and-Plan Response habit.

We are all well aware of the fight-or-flight mode that we tend to find ourselves in during stressful situations. During these times, it is common to stop thinking rationally and just go with your initial urge. If you act in the moment, you likely will not make the best decision.

How can you overcome your natural fight-or-flight response and reactivate the rational thinking areas of your brain? The key is to engage the pause-and-plan response habit. Here, your brain is able to connect with your body to accomplish your goals and pause your impulses.

The pause-and-plan response is able to lead you in the opposite direction of where the fight-or-flight response takes you. Rather than speeding up, your pulse slows down and your muscles relax. This will help set you up to make positive choices.

Self-Awareness Activities - Physical Exercises

22. Be aware of your body language.

Sometimes self-awareness activities are not about what you do or say but how you go about doing it. Body language is an example of this.

Not only will your posture and gestures affect how you perceive yourself, they will also have a great impact on how others perceive you. Your body language will also set the tone for how others act around you.

For example, if people feel that your body language is showing that you are uncomfortable, they may try to look for the cause of your discomfort so they can remove it. Alternatively, if someone feels that you are relaxed, they are likely to be able to relax as well, and enjoy their interaction with you.

While few people have actually trained themselves to deliberately analyze people's body language, everyone still subconsciously reacts to it. For instance, if your body language demonstrates that you are bored or disinterested in what is going on around you, others will think twice before engaging in conversation with you.

Evaluate your own body language by studying a video of yourself so you can find ways to improve.

23. Practice grounding techniques.

Grounding techniques can be used to help keep you in the present. People who have anxiety about future events often forget to live in the moment and take things as they come. Practicing techniques to keep you grounded will help relieve anxiety and make future tasks seem easier to do.

24. Observe other people.

Just as we can use our bodies to communicate how we want other people to perceive us, we can also observe other people to try to figure them out. Observing other people can be a fun and potentially worthwhile hobby. If you stop to watch the behavior, postures, and mannerisms of the people around you, it can help you learn about how similar or different you are from them.

While you don't want to constantly compare yourself to others, it is something that you will naturally do when you are faced with other people in your environment.

Some traits that you are likely to notice are someone's appearance, their self-esteem, their emotional state, their warmth, and their extroversion. Knowing that other people are observing you as well will certainly help you be more self-aware.

25. Take a morning walk.

Taking a walk first thing in the morning can help you connect with your senses and examine your thoughts and feelings. Take this time to meditate about what is going on in your life, and your goals for the day. Sort through your feelings and make an action plan to be productive with your time.

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26. Practice Zhan Zhuang.

Zhan Zhuang is a simple yet effective tai chi standing practice that helps you gain mental clarity and energy. While practicing Zhan Zhuang, you keep your body still and mostly upright, and become aware of your body as it stabilizes itself. Doing this will help you gain control over your health, posture, and muscle stability. Heres how you can start practicing it.

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33 Self-Awareness Activities for Adults and Students

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March 21st, 2019 at 10:41 am

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Developing Self-Awareness The 5 Stages of Awareness Mastery

Posted: August 2, 2018 at 11:47 pm


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Developing self awareness The 5 stages of awareness mastery

When I was young I remember listening to my elders promulgating that knowledge is power.

Learn, my child, they used to say, for knowledge makes you smart and smart people have a chance to thrive in this world we inhabit.

Their words sounded vague to my callow ears. What is the knowledge they are referring to? Knowledge of mathematics? Knowledge of physics? Knowledge of languages? Street knowledge? Knowledge of human relationships?

Unable to properly fathom their equivocal advice, I grew up to become a generalist. That is a person with a wide array of useful knowledge. Although I did complete my studies in Electrical Engineering and Business, I didnt choose to specialize in them. I preferred to use them as a stepping-stone to acquire more knowledge. Knowledge that could help me achieve generalist status.

I did that hoping that a generalist reality can grant me access to a huge network of information that will allow me to view reality from a holistic perspective. For I thought that this was the secret to decoding the hidden message of the knowledge is power adage. I thought that this was my only good chance of finally understanding.

I cant really say that I regret my decision. The generalist pathway urges you to delve into different topics and, eventually, try to develop an interdisciplinary approach when it comes to thinking. I started to think in systems and this mode of cognition led me to deeper states of consciousness that challenged the way I interpreted the world. I became more aware of my own existence, my own limitations, and my own potential.

And thats when it dawned on me.

The elders were right, but not right enough.

In their quest for knowledge, bewildered by its intimidating nature, they ignored the true essence of what knowledges purpose actually is.

Knowledge is indeed power. But the path from knowledge to power is not immediate. There is a succession of steps one needs to follow and it could be summarized in the following sequence:

Knowledge -> Awareness -> Control -> Power

Knowledge breeds awareness. That is the consumption of knowledge leads to a collection of wisdom nuggets that, when properly construed, can raise awareness. Awareness is the ability of the individual to make sense of oneself and, consequently, of the world around him. Once this process manifests itself, one is able to transition from a state of cluelessness and incompetence to a state of control and power. For power transpires when you focus on things you can control. And you can control only what you can understand what you are aware of.

So the imperative word here is not knowledge, but awareness.

Allowing oneself to embrace this word and immerse into the totality of its nucleus is akin to allowing oneself to become totally free. For awareness has always been the key to a life defined by clarity, intent, and cohesion.

Apropos, there is a path that one needs to follow in order to properly grasp what constitutes awareness and where its real potency lies. And this path I endeavor to lay out today.

In the following paragraphs, I will examine 5 stages one needs to cover in order to develop extreme self-awareness. For awareness does not develop overnight. It is a gradually evolving process that is predicated upon the willingness of the individual to battle through the obstacles encountered in every stage.

The major issue young people face and have always been facing is cluelessness and incompetence. Empirical investigation has led me to believe that the reason for that is twofold and has little to do with intelligence or experience.

The two major forces that enforce this circumstance are the education system and the development of our frontal cortex.

A brief history of how modern education came about (you can read the detailed summary here) reveals that from the 17th century onwards the purpose of school was to create better workers, not better humans. Employers in industry viewed school as a means to teach future employees the rules of punctuality, following directions, tolerance for long hours of tedious work, and a minimal ability to read and write. On top of that, as nations became more centralized, national leaders saw a great chance in schooling to lay the foundations for the facilitation of future patriots and soldiers.

In essence, the school was not a place where the child could enjoy a holistic education and develop a healthy personality. It was more like a prison where he or she would, eventually, lose his or her identity, become a virtual nonentity and blend into the uniformity of collectivism.

Prolific biologist Robert Sapolsky revealed in one of his lectures something groundbreaking: The frontal cortex is the last part of the brain to fully develop.

The red part is the prefrontal cortex Wikipedia

On average, the frontal cortex manages to completely mature at the age of 25. This astonishing finding postulates two things:

If we take into account these two factors and combine them with the proclivity of humans to, usually, choose the path of least resistance when it comes to action taking, we find ourselves in a very unfavorable situation. Developing self awareness under such circumstances becomes a far-fetched goal. We end up with a huge amount of the population feeling not only clueless about who they are but also lacking the necessary context that would empower them to discover their individual constitution.

Nonetheless, the first stage is possible to overcome, firstly if the individual understands his or her limitations and secondly by methodically accruing knowledge relevant to the alleviation of these limitations.

How to stop feeling clueless: Patience is key here and when coupled with an incessant tendency to question conventional wisdom, it can produce extremely interesting outcomes. My suggestion would be to delve into the fundamentals of personal growth and attempt to internalize them. Such fundamentals include: Meditation, working out, improving productivity, improving social skills, to name but a few. 30 Challenges 30 Days Zero Excuses is a great place to start.

The prominent maxim know thyself has been echoing through history since its first usage by Plato in his dialogues. There are at least six instances during which Plato employs the maxim, and in every one of them he does so in order to stress out the importance of self-discovery in the development of the individual.

Plato Wikipedia

Although the context in each instance is different, the rationale remains the same. A self-aware individual is a conscious individual. Individuals who cant partake in the process of self-exploration will systematically fall victim to their own lack of awareness and to the ramifications that such a state begets. Some of the ramifications include:

Essentially, a lack of self-awareness is the main source of dogmatism in society today. Sam Harris, during one of his podcasts, while examining why dogmatism can ruin a persons life, stated beautifully:

The state of being dogmatic is the state of believing in things strongly, despite an absence of evidence or even in the face of counter evidence. That is the state of having no error-correcting mechanisms in your worldview. Youre simply not available to reality and you will continually bump into hard objects wherever you go.

Sam Harris Wikipedia

Humans will always seek to belong and this lust for tribalism can often yield friction within society. Most people who cling to certain (usually extreme) ideologies do so because they havent sorted themselves out. The absence of a strong individual identity destabilizes the substrate of their being and they are constantly in the look for more stable worlds to grab onto. These stable worlds are often dogmatic worlds that reject certain aspects of reality in an attempt to deal successfully with its innately chaotic nature. Religions, political movements, cults, extremist groups, all fall in that category and are there to remind us what a lack of self-awareness can engender.

In a way, people who belong in these groups are manifestations of a persons inability to face the concept of the shadow as Carl Jung put it forth.

Carl Jung Wikipedia

The shadow is the unknown dark side of our personality. Dark because it is very obscure and also because we need to dig very deep within our psyche in order to discover it. It is a conglomeration of all our fears, desires and impulses like sexual lust, power strivings, selfishness, greed, envy, anger or rage, and due to its unenlightened nature it operates in a subconscious level. A person can never reach the state of self-actualization if they havent managed to face the shadow until they can understand it, deal with it, and eventually internalize it.

Plato also pointed out that understanding thyself, would also result to a greater understanding of the nature of a human being. Syllogistically, understanding oneself would enable a person to form an understanding of others as a result. Which is our next stage.

How to understand yourself: In order to understand yourself, first you need to understand your past and how your past affects your present and your future. The operative word here is past, but I use it to allude to both our past as individuals, but also to our past as species. From an individuals perspective, psychoanalysis is the most pertinent tool one can use to explore certain aspects of their personality. Major events in your past have played a critical role in shaping your persona. Going back to these events, facing them and creating associations with current ones can significantly raise self-understanding. From a species perspective, humans are a work of evolution in progress and our current state cant be fathomed if we dont examine closely the practices and habits of our ancestors and draw parallels to current behavioral patterns.

The complexity of our social fabric is an omnipresent conundrum across the span of our lives. We are egotistical creatures that perpetually try to balance individuality with togetherness. Usually, we fail dramatically in that attempt but it doesnt always need to be that way.

The way a person forms their understanding of social dynamics is fostered during childhood and depends largely on the way the upbringing functions. Within the household, a child can get a glimpse of how real society operates and adopt certain characteristics that will help him or her transition smoothly from the microcosm of his or her family to the wilderness of the real world.

Therein the child develops an intuitive ability to interact and cooperate with others. Hence most people make judgments about others based on intuition. Intuition is indeed a powerful skill but alone is not enough. It can offer a rough understanding of social patterns, but if you want to understand the mechanics deeply, you need to enhance your social repertoire with more skills.

In that respect, I am going to briefly touch upon three major areas one needs to be aware of:

Our perception is usually confined within the limits that our ego dictates. We are raised to think individually and not syllogistically. That process seriously hinders our capacity to understand and cooperate with fellow humans and our ability to form mutually beneficial connections suffers dramatically.

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. It is the process that leads to a complete re-engineering of a persons worldview since it can offer them a completely new perspective on life.

Cultivating empathy is the first step into unweaving the mysterious entanglement that encompasses our social life.

Humans are evolved primates with an extremely sophisticated set of cognitive tools. The way, however, our social structures are formed rely more on power rather than sophistication. For years we have attempted to evolve our social edifice from a dominance hierarchy to a more egalitarian constitution. For years we have failed miserably to do so.

That reality is a result of an eclectic amalgamation of reasons such as cultural discrepancies, environmental influences, intelligence, tribalism, nepotism and a general lack of affinity towards forming collective views. It seems that, on average, our primitive mind tends to dominate our more rational one and the future doesnt look much promising in that respect.

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Developing Self-Awareness The 5 Stages of Awareness Mastery

Written by grays

August 2nd, 2018 at 11:47 pm

Posted in Self-Awareness

Awareness: Anthony DeMello: 9780006275190: Amazon.com: Books

Posted: July 16, 2018 at 11:42 pm


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Awareness: Anthony DeMello: 9780006275190: Amazon.com: Books

Written by simmons

July 16th, 2018 at 11:42 pm

Posted in Self-Awareness

What Is Self-Awareness? (and 8 Ways to Become More Self Aware)

Posted: June 27, 2018 at 7:41 pm


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Having self-awareness means that you have a sharp realization of your personality, including your strengths and weaknesses, your thoughts and beliefs, your emotions, and your motivations.

If you are self-aware, it is easier for you to understand other people and detect how they perceive you in return.

Many people assume that they have a healthy sense of self-awareness, but it is best to look at a relative scale to see where you fall on it compared to others. Being aware creates an opportunity to make changes in one's behavior and beliefs.

While you develop self-awareness, your own personal thoughts and interpretations will begin to change. This change in mental state will also alter your emotions and increase your emotional intelligence, which is an important factor in achieving overall success.

Becoming self-aware is an early step in the creation of the life that you want. It helps you pinpoint what your passions and emotions are, and how your personality can help you in life.

You can recognize where your thoughts and emotions are leading you, and make any necessary changes. Once you are aware of your thoughts, words, emotions, and behavior, you will be able to make changes in the direction of your future.

Who originally came up with the idea of self-awareness?

Self-awareness was first theorized in 1972 by Duval and Wicklund in their book A Theory of Objective Self-Awareness. This book argues that if we focus our attention inwardly on ourselves, we tend to compare our behavior in the current moment to our general standards and values. This triggers a state of impartial self-awareness.

How does this concept/question relate to building positive habits?

Self-awareness is a vital first step in taking control of your life, creating what you want, and mastering your future. Where you choose to focus your energy, emotions, personality, and reactions determines where you will end up in life.

When you are self-aware, you can see where your thoughts and emotions are guiding you. It also allows you to take control of your actions so you can make the necessary changes to get the outcomes you desire.

This may include changes to your emotions, your behavior, or your personality. Until you achieve this, you will have a hard time making changes in the direction your life is taking you.

How can self-awareness be important in different fields?Leadership

You cant be an effective leader without being able to answer the "what is self-awareness?" question.

It provides the necessary base for having strong character, creating the ability to lead with purpose, trust, authenticity, and openness. Self-awareness explains our successes and our failures while giving us a clear understanding of who we are and what we need most from other people to have a successful team.

It also gives leaders the opportunity to identify any gaps that they might have in their management skills, and reveals the areas in which they are effective and where they might need additional work.

Knowing these things can help leaders make discerning decisions and increase their effectiveness in positively motivating their employees. Learning to be self-aware is not a simple process, but doing so can improve one's leadership skills and lead to a more supportive business culture.

Social Work

As a social worker, having self-awareness is an important part of preparing to encounter clients in their specific situations. Much of the process of becoming an effective social worker is made up of becoming self-aware. This can happen with encounters with professors, classmates, and clients that work to continuously challenge us to be aware of our feelings. While this is not an easy thing to do, it is a worthwhile achievement.

Social workers have to be aware of their own biases when they are dealing with clients so they can make sure they are treating every client equally.

Counseling

Self-awareness interplays with the therapeutic process of counseling. When one is able to gain a greater understanding of themselves through the input of a therapist, it leads to self-discovery.

Counseling is a journey of self-discovery, as one observes their own thought patterns and how they affect their mood and behavior. Observing ones own thoughts and feelings builds self-knowledge, and doing this with a counselor provides an objective opinion during the observation.

Education

Self-awareness plays a large role in education because it helps students become focused on what they need to learn. The ability of students to think about their thinking increases with age. When teachers work with students to teach them to reflect, monitor, and evaluate themselves, students are able to become more self-reliant, productive, and flexible.

Self-awareness plays a large role in education because it helps students become focused on what they need to learn.

Students improve their ability to weigh their choices and think about their options, especially when the correct answer is not obvious. When students have a hard time understanding a concept or idea, they use reflective strategies to acknowledge their difficulties and try to fix them. This also gives students tools to self-reflect and grow in their emotional and social lives.

Nursing

Self-awareness is used as a therapeutic tool for nurse-client relationships. A nurse who is self-aware can provide a therapeutic environment to care for their patient. Because of this, it is recommended that nursing schools should teach students about development and self-understanding.

It would also be beneficial for professional nurses to be able to get help and guidance to continue the growth process throughout their careers.

How to develop and increase self-awareness

1. Look at yourself objectively.

Trying to see yourself as you really are can be a very difficult process, but if you make the right efforts, getting to know your real self can be extremely rewarding. When you are able to see yourself objectively, you can learn how to accept yourself and find ways to improve yourself in the future.

So, what is an easy way to get started with this?

In the end, you will come out with a fresh new perspective on yourself and your life.

You can write about anything in your journal, even if it is not related to your goals. Recording your thoughts on paper helps to relieve your mind of those ideas, and clears it up to make space for new information and ideas.

Take some time each night to write in your journal about your thoughts and feelings, and your successes and failures for the day. This will help you grow and move forward in your achievements.

As you self-reflect, take some time to think about how you are a leader, and how people working under you likely view you. Think about what you do to help other people, and if you could possibly do more. What are your values, and what is most important to you right now?

Recording your thoughts on paper helps to relieve your mind and clears it up to make space for new information and ideas.

All of these self-reflection questions will help you get a better idea of who you are and what you want out of life right now.

Plan out your goals in a worksheet so they turn from ideas into a step-by-step process. Break down your larger goal into mini-goals so it seems less overwhelming, and tackle it head on.

4. Perform daily self-reflection.

In order to have self-awareness, you must do self-reflection. This requires setting aside some time, hopefully every day, to honestly look at yourself as a person and a leader. Committing to this practice can help you improve.

In our demanding business world, daily self-reflection is easier said than done. There is always pressure to do more with less, and an endless flow of information through our portable technology.

Because it takes time to self-reflect, start by setting aside just 15 minutes each day. Self-reflection is most effective when you use a journal and write down your thoughts. Its also best to find a quiet place to think.

Meditation is the practice of improving your mindful awareness. Most types of meditation focus on the breath, but not all meditation has to be formal. You can also find greater clarity from regular moments of reflection.

During your meditations, you may stop to think about some specific questions.

Practicing meditation and other mindfulness habits helps you find greater clarity and self-awareness.

One of the most frequent forms of meditation you may practice comes from carrying out everyday tasks that give you a sense of therapeutic serenity, such as washing dishes, going for a run, and going to church.

6. Take personality and psychometric tests.

Take these personality and psychometric tests to help understand what traits you have. Some popular tests that are aimed at increasing self-awareness include the Myers-Briggs test and the Predictive Index.

There are no right or wrong answers to these tests. Instead, they compel respondents to think about a set of traits or characteristics that closely describe them relative to other people.

7. Ask trusted friends to describe you.

How are we supposed to know what other people think of us? We have to listen to the feedback of our peers and mentors, and let them play the role of an honest mirror. Tell your friends when you are looking for open, honest, critical, and objective perspectives. Allow your friends to feel safe while they are giving you an informal yet honest view.

Make sure your friends know that they are doing this to help you, not to hurt you. Also, feel free to ask questions of your friends about topics they bring up if you feel like you need some more clarity to completely understand.

You can also ask friends to bring it to your attention when you are doing something that you know you want to change. For example, if you know you tend to "one-up" people when they are telling stories, have your friends discreetly let you know that is happening so you can learn to stop.

Ask trusted friends to describe you. Allow your friends to feel safe while they are giving you an informal yet honest view.

8. Ask for feedback at work.

In addition to consulting friends and family, use a more formal process at work to get some feedback. If your company does not provide a structured way to do this, try to implement one. Provided it is constructive and well done, having an option for formalized feedback allows us to self-reflect on our own strengths and weaknesses.

To have an effective formal feedback system at work, you need a proper process and an effective manager. Once the feedback process is finished, it is important to reflect on it by writing down your main takeaways. Write down any surprising strengths and weaknesses that you did not realize you had before.

It will take quite some time to increase your self-awareness and get to know yourself better. It can even take years and input from many people around you. Building the necessary habits to help you become more self-aware can positively impact other aspects of your life, especially your interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships.

What is self-awareness?

Hopefully this post has given you an answer to your question, "What is self-awareness?" Please share your self-awareness questions and breakthroughs in the comments below.

Don't forget to share it on your favorite social media network!

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What Is Self-Awareness? (and 8 Ways to Become More Self Aware)

Written by grays

June 27th, 2018 at 7:41 pm

Posted in Self-Awareness

The Personality Code: Travis Bradberry: 9780399154119 …

Posted: June 24, 2018 at 6:45 am


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Dr. Travis Bradberry is the award-winning author of the #1 best selling book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, and the cofounder of TalentSmart--a consultancy that serves more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies and is the world's leading provider of emotional intelligence tests and training.

His bestselling books have been translated into 25 languages and are available in more than 150 countries. Dr. Bradberry has written for, or been covered by, Newsweek, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Harvard Business Review.

Dr. Bradberry is a world-renowned expert in emotional intelligence who speaks regularly in corporate and public settings. Example engagements include Intel, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Fortune Brands, Boston Scientific, the Fortune Growth Summit, The Conference Board: Learning from Legends, the American Society for Training and Development, the Society for Human Resource Management, and Excellence in Government.

Dr. Bradberry holds a Dual Ph.D. in Clinical and Industrial-Organizational psychology. He received his bachelor of science in Clinical Psychology from the University of California - San Diego.

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The Personality Code: Travis Bradberry: 9780399154119 ...

Written by grays

June 24th, 2018 at 6:45 am

Posted in Self-Awareness

The Emotionally Intelligent Investor: How self-awareness …

Posted: May 2, 2018 at 4:44 pm


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"Ravee Mehta's book is a true breath of fresh air. Through observation and experience, he deduced much of what brain science is teaching about decision making under uncertainty. In a world that still misunderstands human risk decision making, this is an incredible step in the right direction!" - Denise Shull, Author of Market Mind Games

"It is well written and it makes you think about using both emotional factors with qualitative factors. It will make a solid addition to your investment library." - Bud Labitan, Author of The Four Filters Invention of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger

"It encouraged me to self-reflect more and use empathy, social awareness, technicals and intuition in a more systematic manner while investing." - Shiv Puri, Managing Director and Founder or First Voyager Advisors

"The Emotionally Intelligent Investor is well-written, enlightening, educational and will help any investor make better financial decisions for themselves and their clients. I highly recommend it." - Hendrie Weisinger, Ph.D., Author of The Emotionally Intelligent Financial Advisor

"I devoured this book, scanning through all the best chapters. 90 minutes later I was done. It totally resonated with me. I thought, 'I should have written this book.' That means I loved the book." - Nick Nansen, Founder of Nansen Investments

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The Emotionally Intelligent Investor: How self-awareness ...

Written by simmons

May 2nd, 2018 at 4:44 pm

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