It’s not just for hippies and gurus anymore!
Self-awareness is our ability to recognize and understand our feelings and emotions. It might sound mushy and kumbayahish, but being aware of who we are and what is important to us is the first (and possibly the most important) skill for creating successful change in any environment.
- Self-awareness helps form our morals and values – Who are you and what do you value? Answering these questions gets at the core of who we are and guides every decision we make. Getting to know ourselves is what self-awareness is about and the more we know the better decisions we can make. It’s our internal GPS system and lets us know when we are making decisions aligned with our values, and when we aren’t. Self -awareness helps us to see the real problems so that we can see the real the possibilities… the right change.
- Understanding our strengths and limitations helps us to develop self-confidence- Will Smith’s philosophy for living life with possibilities is, “Fail early, fail often, fail big”. We can take smart risks when we understand our strengths and limitations. Self confidence stomps fear and helps us push beyond our comfort zones to learn, grow, and experience new things. Self confidence is a self-awareness skill and helps us take smart risks when making changes.
- Courage helps us to see possibilities others may not see yet – Without courage there would be no change. It takes courage to see possibilities others can’t see yet and even more courage to express them out loud. Feeling courageous feels good and scary at the same time! It’s moving on despite real and imagined obstacles and an important skill for getting any change project out of our heads and into our actions. You are courageous!
- We don’t know what we don’t know – Self-awareness skills help us to become aware of our thoughts and emotions so that we can manage them. Someone or something is controlling our thoughts if we aren’t managing them ourselves. Negative emotions like fear, anger, sadness, and jealousy can often linger in our thoughts and hold us back from being the best version of ourselves. Becoming aware of the thoughts that are holding us back is the first step to replacing them with better thoughts that will help us rather than hinder us. Think of the possibilities!
- Fight off highjacks – I’m not talking about your car, I’m talking about your emotions. Emotional highjacks occur when our irrational brain takes in information quickly and responds before talking it over with our thinking brain causing us to respond in ways we will most likely be apologizing for in the near future. Self-awareness helps us to keep our cool and respond to situations the way we really want to, even under the most stressful circumstances. No more fights in the Wal-Mart parking lot over a parking space, no more duking it out in the classroom, no more letting fear highjack your dreams.
You don’t have to start big, but you do have to start by changing the right thing and your self-awareness skills will help you do just that. To develop self-awareness skills, get still, get present, and relax. Try meditating, walking your dog, dancing to your favorite song, laughing with friends, painting, yoga, or any other mindful activity. It’s the hug your brain has been waiting for!
Originally published on December 23, 2018 by SpeakerMatch Speakers Bureau