Self-Awareness (New Year New Energy)
Do you have that one thing about yourself that bothers you to no end? Like something about your personality you wish to change, or a habit/behavior that’s hard to change despite the negative effects you encounter? I know I do. Everyone does, however, a new year will bring you new beginnings, new energy, and new ideas.
While it is impossible to become completely perfect. What we can do is improve continuously and keep inching closer and closer to the perfect version of ourselves. The key to achieving this is self-awareness and believing that we can achieve our new self goals.
Self-awareness is something that anyone can learn. It will allow you to understand yourself and figure out how to craft the best version of yourself. While it can be difficult to achieve, it is not an impossible goal.
Here is how to gain self-awareness.
Pay attention to what bothers you about other people
What specific thing bothers you about other people? A lot of times, this is one of the clearest indicators of what you dislike about yourself. Therefore, the next time someone does something that irritates you more than it should, take a pause. Think about the annoying thing they have done and ask yourself whether you do some version of that yourself. You might realize that the main reason why you have such strong feelings about that thing is that you dislike some version of it in yourself.
Meditation and mindfulness are tremendously beneficial in a lot of things. Not only is it important for your overall health and well being (for both your physical and mental health), but it also helps with improving your level of self-awareness. Through meditation, you’ll get a lot of insight into how your mind and your thoughts work. You get to separate yourself from your thoughts while also gaining the power to decide what thoughts you’d like to have. Suddenly, you won’t be thinking too much and you won’t be spending huge chunks of your day lost in thought. You will realize that you are not your thoughts, and in the process, gain control over them along with your self-awareness.
Identify your emotional kryptonite
Negative emotions like guilt, anger, sadness, shame, and emotional pain do not feel good. While everyone tries to avoid all these emotions as much as possible, we all have that one negative emotion that we especially dislike and will do almost anything not to experience it. For example, you might find yourself going to extreme lengths to avoid feeling sad. Or you might be so afraid of loneliness that you will engage in harmful habits just to avoid that feeling. People do these things even if it means that other negative emotions like guilt and shame will be amplified in the process. Such emotions are your emotional kryptonite. The problem, though, is that when you are this afraid of a certain emotion, trying to avoid it can lead to negative consequences in the long term. For example, turning to drugs to avoid feeling sad can leave you with a lifelong addiction. Additionally, when you avoid a certain emotion, you are ignoring what your mind is trying to communicate with you. Learn to embrace all emotions and learn from them. It’ll give you a lot of insight into yourself and open you up to a world of self-awareness.
Draw a timeline of your life
Here is an interesting little experiment that you can do in about 20 minutes: take a blank piece of paper and a pencil. Draw a timeline of all the major events that have happened in your life up to this point. Start with your birth and work your way to the present including both negative and positive events. Drawing a timeline of your life will give you one thing: clarity. You are going to realize quite a lot about yourself within just a few minutes. You might even start to make sense of some things that happened to you because you are looking at them in context. This is very important for your self-awareness.
Make time to clarify your values
What are your aspirations in life? What do you value most? How often do you take the time to consider these things?
With the lives we lead these days, it is easy to forget about the things that matter in life. When you have a 9-5 that turns your days and weeks into a constant barrage of never-ending activities, self-reflection gets thrown on the back burner.
Sadly, failure to self-reflect and to consider what your values are is one of the main reasons why you may not be reaching your goals. Because you barely think about what your values are, you end up chasing default values and goals, striving for things that society says are important. 9 out of 10 times achieving these artificial goals won’t mean much to you. Self-awareness means knowing what matters to you.
What sort of life will you find truly fulfilling? What achievements will you be most proud of?
Set aside some time every month (or even better, every week) to think about your values. Sit down in a quiet place and write down the things that are most important to you. Get some clarity on what you want. When you start to seriously thinking about these things, a clear path to your goals will start forming in your mind.
While self-awareness can sound like an intimidating, abstract thing that only a few chosen humans will ever get to achieve, it doesn’t have to be. With the tips outlined here, you will be able to look into yourself and notice the things that make you unique. When you know what those things are, you will have absolute power over them, and you can finally start to create the version of yourself that you truly want.