When was the last time you sat down for 20 minutes and really got to know the most important person you have in your life? I’m not talking about a significant other or even a family member; I’m talking about taking the time to sit down with yourself and take the opportunity to get to know who you truly are.
In a world where we spend the majority of our day connected but not really connecting, it can be easy to overlook and not prioritize taking the time to sit in silence, completely uninterrupted, or to open up your notebook and start to journal the thoughts you have in your head. We become so aware of what’s going on around us and with other people, that we can become completely unaware of what’s going on inside ourselves.
Self awareness can be defined as a conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives and desires. It’s foundational in the development of our emotional intelligence, yet it’s easy to neglect. It’s easy to spend more time trying to get to know others and understand their motives than we do working at understanding our own.
So where do you start? How do you teach yourself to become more self aware?
The beautiful thing about self awareness is that you can begin by just thinking about self awareness.
Maybe you want to begin by sitting in silence for 10 or 20 minutes and simply just pay attention to your body’s sensations or the thoughts that are flowing through your mind. If you’re a writer (and even if you’re not), try journaling for 15 minutes every day for week. Write about the challenges you’re facing, the lessons you’re learning, or the things you’re grateful for right now (like having the courage to take action on your idea).
Spending time with yourself is one of the most empowering and beneficial thing you can do for yourself both personally and professionally. Understanding what drives you is a powerful tool for success. Becoming more aware of your emotions and how they influence your behaviour allows you control them rather than allowing them to control you.
However you choose to practice awareness, the main point is to make sure you practice it! It’s like playing an instrument, sport or learning a new skill; in order to get good at it, you need to do it regularly.
Socrates said it simply and best, “know thyself”.
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Matt Tod is an international speaker, leadership facilitator, writer and lover of all things Zombie-related.