Before knowing anything else, you need to know yourself first. You need to know your weaknesses, strengths, beliefs and desires in life. Keeping in touch with your emotions means, you have to be self-aware.
The most important characteristic of a leader is self-awareness, the ability to monitor one’s own emotions and reactions. Learning how to be aware of yourself might not be easy , but if you can master this skill, it will help you become a much more effective leader. Many of us are not fond of spending much time on self-reflection. And even though personal feedback is presented, people are not always open to it because honest feedback isn’t always flattering. Thus, many people indeed have low level of self-awareness.
However, self-awareness can help you identify opportunities for professional development and personal growth. If you want to improve your self-awareness and develop your potential, I listed down 12 tips that might help you.
1. Know your strengths and weaknesses
Knowing your strengths and coping with your weaknesses, will help you improve self-awareness. Each of us has strengths and weaknesses that compose of who we are and this will help you shape how to reach your goals. Your weaknesses hold you back from achieving many great things while your strengths are something that comes very easily for you to take. You should take ownership in assessing yourself because it is for your own personal development.
2. Ask for feedback and listen
This might not be easy, most especially if you are close minded and defensive to people who give critiques to you. Remember that without correction, your weaknesses would limit how far you could take yourself. Asking feedback can be as hurtful as it can be empowering. Although no one enjoys it, but we should try to view criticism as a useful feedback to improve ourselves. It will help you learn more about the traits that you need to develop, personally and professionally.
3. Develop intuitive decision making skills
Intuition plays a significant role in developing your self-awareness. This can be the source of significant errors in the course of decision making. Your intuition will help you navigate faster yet, this can also be misled if too many of your facts are wrong. Moreover, this will help you even more, this is an effective way to feed your subconscious mind.
4. Know your emotional triggers
Identifying what exactly emotionally triggers you can be challenging but getting to know and understanding it, can help you improve yourself. The key to cope with it, is to catch yourself reacting when your emotions are triggered. As long as you noticed that you are emotionally reacting, you just have to shift your emotional state in order to think through it.
5. Set boundaries
Keeping your boundaries firmly will help you maintain the integrity of your goals and the work you put in it. Setting your boundaries and sustaining it, is a skill. However, it is a skill that many people don’t learn. Recognizing it means knowing and understanding your limits. Also, it takes courage and support but is a skill you can master that will help you develop yourself.
6. Practice self-discipline
In every area of your life, you need to practice self-discipline. It is a trait that provides you with the enduring focus necessary for you. If you want to control your desires and impulses to stay focused on what you think needs to get done to successfully achieve that goal, you need to practice self-discipline. This will also help you develop your potential and improve yourself awareness, since self-discipline help you form habits to attain your goals in life.
7. Keep an open-mind
One of the most difficult things to practice is to keep an open mind. Understanding someone’s point of view even if you disagree can change and free your mind. Change the way you think and don’t get stuck in a mindset that makes you frustrated or helpless. This is one of the best tools in order to simplify life. Try to comprehend every situation on your path and it will help you improve your self-awareness and develop own potential.
8. Take psychometric tests
While there are plenty of online tests , grab it as long as you can, because this might help you find out if you are an Idealist, rational, artisan or guardian. There are also, other best known tests like Myers-Briggs and Predictive Index but all of these are aimed at serving as a data point towards greater self-awareness. Reflecting on trade-off questions helps test-takers better understand their own true characters.
9. Try new experiences
Exploring new things will teach you a thing about yourself. This is all about stepping out of your comfort zone and trying to do something you’ve never done before. Unfamiliar things will help you respond in different ways that you never thought is possible. Travelling alone is also another way to discover things about yourself.
10. Discover your physical limits
What has physical exercise got to do with self-awareness and in developing yourself? Well, it will teach you, that your limits are not fixed but temporary. Most importantly, it will show you that everything you’re holding back is just in your head.
11. Motivate yourself
Whatever has to be done, is always your choice. Sometimes you might feel heavy as you rise and it is hard to get going. However, feeling less motivated too often has been unhealthy. Motivating yourself and viewing life in a positive side will help you develop your potential and self awareness. In addition, awareness of your psychological needs can increase your motivation by helping you understand and seek out the reward that you desire.
Meditation is a practice of improving your moment-by-moment awareness. Meditation usually begins with appreciating of, focusing on, inhaling and exhaling. However, this doesn’t need to be formal or ritualistic. Just simply find a few seconds to focus on your breathing , often before sleep. Also, meditation can be helpful if you ask yourself set of questions like “what can I do to change?”, “what am I trying to achieve?”, or “How am I going to cope with my fears?”
Being self-aware and understanding how you are perceived by others are important components of personal growth and developing your potential. Some might ask, what is the importance of self-awareness? Well, self-awareness will help you improve yourself, establish your own identity and will help you have a harmonious relationship.
Thus, developing self-awareness takes time, a lot of effort and practice. It requires a person to pay attention on his own personality and behavior.