5 Simple Ways to Cultivate Self-Awareness

Developing the ability to observe ourselves is key to cultivating self-awareness. 

Self-awareness is the ability to know what we are doing as we are doing it and understanding why we are doing it. While awareness is knowing what’s happening around us, self-awareness is knowing what we are experiencing.

Developing the ability to observe ourselves is key to cultivating self-awareness. Nowadays, we are largely unconscious of our thoughts and behavior because our egos act autonomously — we do not monitor our thoughts, feelings, actions, and behavior from moment to moment. This is why we must learn to cultivate the ‘inner observer’. Through this inner observer, we create space between the thinker of the thought, the feeler of the feelings, and the doer of the actions. The inner observer can then monitor our thoughts, feelings, and actions with objectivity. 

So how can we effectively develop self-awareness? Here are five simple ways to cultivate your inner consciousness.

Mindfulness practices such as journaling 

Journaling is a great way to explore your thoughts and expound on what you truly feel safely. Often, when we are just beginning to really think for ourselves, there is a lot of fear and doubt that comes with the act of self-expression. Your journal is going to be your best friend during this time. Write down your thoughts and feelings and try to identify why you feel or think this way. Be an observer of your thoughts and get to know your mind space. 

Be curious, not judgmental

Keep investigating your mind without judgment. The process of unfurling the web of your mind and reaching self-awareness is going to be rocky. You will have to face thoughts and ideas that are not exactly light. This process may even disrupt your whole world! 

Keep asking yourself questions and just trust your intuition. Soon enough, you will find the answers that will bring clarity to your whole life.

Be honest with yourself

A big chunk of what we think we believe is actually just thoughts and ideas we copy from others. When I was younger, I believed that to be a lawyer and an investment banker is the pinnacle of life — I thought that was the only way I could be happy and successful. Looking back now, I realized that this ideal is actually the ideal of my parents, my friends, and our society overall. I was just copying what other people thought was the right and obvious thing to do!

Take a step back and ask yourself: Am I just agreeing with other people? What do I really think about this? Your thoughts don’t have to be right. Very rarely are there definitive right or wrong answers in life. What is important is that you voice out your own thoughts on a subject.

Seek feedback

Asking your trusted friends or mentors about who they think you are, what your strengths and weaknesses are, and what your leadership style is, allows you to gain an objective outsider view of yourself.

Sometimes, we act differently when we are playing a role at work. We try to present ourselves in the best light possible and we become more mindful of our actions and speech. By getting feedback from other people, you can get a clearer view of your inner and outer self and you can find ways to align these two to find your more genuine self.

Be consistent with your practice

Many people gain a lot of clarity just from a few meditation or journaling sessions. They start feeling more grounded, more confident, more motivated at work..and they stop the practice.

So much can be gained with being consistent with your self-practice. The process of cultivating self-awareness is a lifelong continuous journey. You don’t just get it done in a week and forget about it.

Even when you have attained success in your chosen field, you will still find many discoveries about yourself along the way. I’m surprised that even now that I am a top motivational speaker, novel thoughts sometimes come out of nowhere and reveal something new about my mind space. We are constantly evolving, and no matter where you might go, your self-awareness practice will anchor you to your true purpose.

Stay true to yourself and keep finding ways to improve. The more you practice self-awareness, the better leader you will become. Learn more about how you and your organization can improve and thrive at work with Mental Rockstar’s Virtual Events. Contact me if you want to create an unforgettable event for your team!

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