Self Awareness is a tool we all possess.
When you learn how to use self awareness to your advantage, it can change your perspective completely. It’s downright magical, and with practice, self awareness can have a powerful effect on your life.
What is self awareness? If we break it down, it becomes easier to understand exactly what it means. Awareness is the ability to know and feel facts and events in the present moment, the state of being conscious of something. When you throw ‘self’ in front of it, it’s the knowing and being aware of your own thoughts, feelings and reactions to events.
It’s an ability we are all capable of, it’s just a matter of knowing it exists, and then taking the time to practice using it. Some of us are better at this than others. For some, it’s something that comes very naturally, but that doesn’t mean we all can’t learn this valuable skill.
How to use self awareness to your advantage
Think about this for a moment. If you start to become aware of what you’re thinking and feeling, and how you’re reacting to a situation, you’ll then be able to better understand yourself. It’s so funny, because we all think we know ourselves pretty well, right? Surprisingly, when you start to pay attention to your inner self, you may realize how much you really don’t know about yourself!
I know, it sounds ridiculous. I thought I knew myself pretty well, as I have always been fairly self aware. It wasn’t until I started practicing self awareness with intention that I started to really get to know myself. It was an eye-opening experience for me.
Over time, it started to become a life changing self-realization.
I’d like to share an example of an experience I had, one that I typically would not have handled well. I was driving home on the interstate, traffic started to back up due to an accident. It slowly came to a creeping halt. This normally triggers anxiety and panic for me, as it causes me to feel claustrophobic and trapped. I usually start to feel the anxiety rising to the point where I have to call someone and have them talk to me to help keep me grounded.
I was learning more about mindfulness and self-awareness at this time, so I decided it was the perfect opportunity to practice my skills. I felt the anxiety start to creep in, I was aware of what was starting to happen. Instead of allowing anxiety to take over, I took over my thoughts.
I gave myself a pep talk.
“You are fine, it’s just a little traffic. You are in no hurry to get anywhere. It’s a beautiful day, you’re in a good mood, and we’re slowly moving forward. You’ll be out of this in no time.”
I rolled my windows down for some fresh air, turned the radio up, and enjoyed the moment. Slowly but surely, traffic started to move again, and I was on my way. Without panicking, without calling anyone, without stressing out and tensing up. Needless to say, I was grinning the rest of the ride home, and I was feeling pretty damn proud of myself.
Do you know how empowering that was? I was able to gain control of my thoughts and my reaction to an otherwise anxious and scary situation. Instead of overreacting and allowing my thoughts and fears to take control, I used self awareness to realize what I was thinking and feeling in the moment. I chose to react in a different way.
Here’s what else self awareness can teach you.
Using self awareness in combination with being honest with yourself allows you to get a better sense of your own feelings and reactions towards others, as well as in everyday life situations. When you first start practicing, you’re going to be amazed at what you learn about yourself! It’s a pretty amazing experience.
I cannot even tell you the number of “a-ha” moments I’ve had, and continue to have. Now I understand myself a lot more, and why I do some of the things I do. Getting to this point does take practice, and I can’t stress enough how important it is to be honest with yourself while becoming more self aware. Honestly, I feel these two skills go hand in hand.
To learn more about self awareness and how it can change your life, I highly recommend reading the book, 7 Mindsets to Master Self Awareness. It’s an amazing read, I promise, you won’t be able to put it down! It will truly change the way you look at yourself, others, and life.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, and your own experience with how learning and practicing self awareness has impacted your life. Share your story below, I look forward to hearing from you!