Practicing Self Awareness

parenting self awareness self development Dec 16, 2020

It's one of those things that most people don't consciously set out to learn and consistently practice. You won't see it jump out at you on the top of your to-do list, yet practising self-awareness could be considered one of the most essential life skills. 

Firstly, it's important to recognise exactly what it means to be self-aware. Described as the ability to monitor our inner and external world, and our thoughts and feelings that arise as signals from these worlds. Becoming self-aware gives us the ability to recognise, and more importantly choose, how you behave and respond to external situations.

So how do should we make sure we are reminding ourselves of this, and implementing daily practices to keep ourselves in check? There are many ways in which we can look to improve this. Importantly, it needs to work for you, so below are a few of our top tips of what we think are easy to start integrating with your current lifestyle:

1. Journaling - in your daily journaling practice, it's easy to talk about things that have happened and to go through the motions of what you have and haven't done since your last journal entry. Try to remember to include your feelings, how you responded to things that have happened and why you believe you acted that way. Ask yourself your thought process was as you responded and take note. This will help you to understand how your brain is currently working and provide you with the ability to reflect on how or if you would like to do things differently in the future in order to achieve a different outcome.

2. Meditation - it's incredibly easy to become lost in our thoughts. To let our thoughts dictate how we act and feel without actively reviewing what we are thinking and how it is determining our mindset and our actions. Meditation is the simple practice of keeping your attention focused. Mindfulness meditation is one of the best ways to learn more about how your thoughts work. At HQ, we're raving fans of Headspace.

3. Seek feedback - when was the last time you asked someone for feedback about yourself? Let's be honest, there are always things that we can improve about the way we do things. We all have blind spots, and the beauty of asking for feedback from others is they are in a great position to view us objectively. Choose someone you already have a solid relationship with, someone who knows you relatively well. Explain to them that you are working on improving and practising your own self-awareness and as part of that journey you would like to get a better understanding of how they view you. It's important to not be defensive, take the criticism well, acknowledge their response and thank them. Later on, you can write it in your journal and reflect on how you feel about it.

4. Get out of your comfort zone - It's fascinating how much we can get 'stuck in our ways' without even knowing it. Travelling is wonderful for helping to put us outside of our comfort zone, without all the normal creature comforts and daily habits (good and bad). Book a trip and take notes. It doesn't have to be an exotic luxury holiday. Discover what you do in your daily life and identify what is and isn't contributing to helping you become the person you want to be.

5. Develop a personal mission statement - Always remember that life is a journey and your mission statement is your map. Write out what contributes to you being your best self, acknowledge what brings out the worst in you. Write down who positively influences you and make time to be with these people. Detail what about them you find to be a positive influence and practice doing these things yourself. Daily. Then write down three things that you can start doing right now that will help you to become the person you want to me. Schedule a review in your calendar each month to make sure you are staying true to your mission statement. Review it, modify it, adapt it, share it. Keep it visible. Your daily actions can and should be tied into your personal mission statement, and if they're not, either change your actions or change your mission statement. You will know which one you should make the change to. 

Remember that practising self-awareness is just as important for adults as it is for kids. There are a ton of activities available on the internet that can help kids to develop this practice. Helping them recognize their strengths and telling them the strengths that you see in them is a fantastic place to start.

There are endless benefits to practising self-awareness. It can help you to build better relationships, improve your mood, enable clearer thinking, make better decisions, improve your communication and increase your productivity. Who wouldn't want that!?


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