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Developing Self-awareness: A Key to Real Success

Updated on September 27, 2021
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I am a teacher by profession. My education and work experiences have been focused on development through learning and teaching.

Before crossing the street, you look both directions to be assured that you won’t get hit or run over. Your eyes and other senses are often at work to check out your surroundings in order to live and learn. However, it is important to note that knowing what goes on around you is as essential as learning what goes on in you. Thus, the muscles of your inner eye need exercise for you to be able to achieve the things that you’re actually looking for- health, wisdom, and success.

Definition and Importance of Self-awareness

Self-awareness is a state of consciousness wherein you are in tune with your own feelings and perception of what is going on around and in you. It entails looking inside you, almost in the same way that you would look at the inner workings of a clock, in order to see how particular external circumstances and events are affecting you and causing you to act or react. This knowledge leads to a better understanding on how you can harness different parts of your consciousness to get you the results that you truly want.

How to Develop Self-awareness

Knowing that you are angry or happy or sad does not make you self-aware, though awareness of one’s feelings is a start for further exploration that can lead to self-awareness. Often, with more introspection, you’ll find that the feeling of anger that you had actually stems from something entirely different, like insecurity or helplessness. This knowledge and understanding can then lead you to resolve the real issue, which could not be possible had you allowed yourself to just acknowledge anger as your only concern. Thus in order to develop self-awareness, you must take note of the following points:

1st: Be attentive.

Whether it is a tummy ache or you notice yourself crossing your arms every time you talk with a particular person, the important thing is that you get to catch your actions and reactions to particular people or situations. Observe yourself and take note of the way you normally do things and when you find yourself deviating from your usual pattern of behavior.

2nd: Acknowledge your initial feeling or perception.

If you see yourself as having your authority undermined or if you feel left out, admit it and allow it to stay with you for a while. However, instead of dwelling on it or beating yourself up about it, just leave it as a statement, e.g. “I hate my job.” Then, continue doing what needs to be done at the current moment until you find enough time to work on it.

3rd: Clear your mind. Let things flow and allow inconsistencies.

It is important to find a place where you will have as little distractions as possible and a time that is only for you, no matter how little it is. You must separate yourself from external stuff, especially the ones that are troubling you, and breathe. Just permit your thoughts and feelings to go through you without judgment and rationalization.

4th: Explore further.

After letting your thoughts and feelings out in the open, touch each one in your mind, especially the ones that stand out. You will find that these are invariably connected by an invisible thread to your values, other emotions, and experiences. Follow the interconnections and settle on what your gut tells you to be important.

5th: Accept what you discover and work out an action plan.

In the course of your exploration, you are bound to realize something that used to be hidden from you. Sometimes, what you learn may be something that is difficult to admit or it may be something that would require you to totally revamp yourself. In any case, you need to get your heart into it and work on it in order for you to achieve what truly matters.

In working towards self-awareness, you are sure to discover more ways of achieving this goal. When you do, do not hesitate to share it with others. In the end, this is a journey we all share.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Mary Grace


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