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Self-Awareness

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Self-awareness refers to the ability to recognize and understand your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. It involves being able to objectively observe yourself and gain insights into your own personality, motivations, and emotions. Self-awareness is an essential part of personal growth and development as it allows you to make more informed choices and take actions that align with your values and goals.


An example of self-awareness is when someone recognizes that they tend to get angry when they feel criticized. They might notice that when their boss or coworker provides feedback, they immediately become defensive and feel a surge of anger. By recognizing this pattern, that person can take steps to manage their emotional response and communicate more effectively. Once the pattern is recognized, they might take a few deep breaths before responding, acknowledge their emotions, and ask clarifying questions to better understand the feedback being given.


Another example of self-awareness is when someone recognizes that they tend to procrastinate when faced with a difficult task. They might notice that they often put off starting a project until the last minute, which leads to unnecessary stress and lower-quality work. By recognizing this pattern, they can take steps to overcome their tendency to procrastinate. For example, they might break the project into smaller, more manageable tasks, set specific deadlines for each task, and enlist the help of a colleague or friend for accountability.


Self-awareness is a critical component of emotional intelligence and personal growth. By recognizing your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, you will be able to make more informed choices, develop stronger relationships, and achieve your goals more effectively.


To become self-aware, you have to monitor yourself. Non-judgmental monitoring is a key aspect here. It involves observing yourself without labelling or criticizing your thoughts, feelings, or behaviours. By adopting a non-judgmental stance, you can gain a more objective understanding of yourself and your experiences, which can lead to greater self-awareness and personal growth.


To non-judgmentally monitor yourself, there are several techniques that can be helpful:

  • Mindfulness meditation: Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment and observing your thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations without judgment. By practicing mindfulness regularly, you can develop the skill of non-judgmental observation, which can be applied to daily life.

  • Journaling: Writing down your thoughts and feelings in a journal can be a helpful way to monitor yourself without judgment. By simply observing and describing your experiences without labelling them as "good" or "bad," you can gain insight into your own patterns and behaviours.

  • Self-reflection: Taking time to reflect on your experiences and actions can help build self-awareness. This can involve asking yourself questions such as "What am I feeling right now?" or "What patterns do I notice in my behaviour?"

  • Seeking feedback: Asking trusted friends, family, or colleagues for feedback on your strengths and weaknesses can be a helpful way to gain insight into your self-perception and behaviour. It's important to approach feedback with an open mind and a non-judgmental attitude.


Overall, non-judgmental monitoring involves adopting a curious and accepting attitude toward yourself. By passively observing your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours without judgment, you can gain a deeper understanding of yourself and make more informed choices in your personal and professional lives. This is a tried and true path to becoming self-aware.


Do

Take a moment right now and think about how your day has gone so far. Think about how you responded to different situations, and how you’re feeling mentally and physically about each one. Without placing judgment on the good or bad feelings just acknowledge the good and bad as they come. If you’re feeling conflicted, happy, angry, sad, anxious, good, great, or excited - that's all okay. The only ‘do’ is to reflect, and think about you.


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