In this post, I’ll share ten simple, but not easy ways to work on self-awareness. I’m using this list all the time, and I’ll share examples. All of those steps are simple, but it is not easy mentally to do them.
1) Daily self-reflections. Write everyday strengths and weaknesses that you encourage during the day. You have to write it down if you want the impact to be more helpful. I’m capturing everyday one thing that I achieved (strength), one thing that I need to fix (weakness) and one thing that I learned. you can find 205 days there :-).
2) When judging others, look internally. There is an old saying: “The eye that sees all things sees not itself”. It’s old wisdom imply that you judge others from your own internal moral and point of view. If you say to yourself, this guy is lazy, or she is stubborn. Most likely that you will find those qualities within you. Not easy to hear, but that’s life. Be aware of this saying will help you with developing your self-awareness.
3) Practice mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness meditation is the best, but the hardest way to learn about yourself. When you become more experienced with meditation, you start to recognize your emotional triggers. They will appear as sensations, and once you are familiar with them, you can do magic with your emotions. Observing the thoughts that come and go through your mind in meditation will teach you a lot about yourself. Be prepared to discover beautiful and ugly things about you. Here’s a 25 guided meditation using Tibetian singing bowls.
4) Take assessments that include other people feedbacks. There are a lot of personality assessments available to use. I prefer evaluations that take into account what other people think about your personality. This approach brings a better picture and it is easy to see the difference between how you see yourself and how others see you. If you want to take self-assessment of your personality, I prefer the spiral dynamic assessment.
5) Ask for 360 feedback at work. Ask to create 360 feedback at work. You’ll get strength and weakness that reflect what many people are thinking about you. The more people you convince to fill data for you, the more accurate the picture you’ll get. Work on all the competencies and skill sets that you don’t want to see on the list.
6) Set up goals and have 5 metrics to measure them. Make sure you have personal goals. After you set up your goals, define five metrics that are based on easy to get numbers. Those metrics will give you an indication of how you progress. Choose tough to reach goals, not easy ones. Each metrics that don’t grow exponentially up is an opportunity for self-reflection and realization of what is not working.
7) Put yourself in new and uncomfortable situations. You don’t like public speaking, register yourself for public speaking. You don’t feel comfortable with new people? Go to a festival or event that enforce you to be and interact with people that you don’t know. You never spend a night sleeping along in a state or national park? Go and do it (you’ll learn a LOT about yourself). Any time that you’ll do something new or something that you don’t like to do, you’ll learn something new. My recommendation is to do something new about that you don’t like once a month.
8) Understand the point of view of people you disagree with. Every time that you disagree with someone, try to understand his point of view during the discussion. One way or another, spend time understanding his point of view after the discussion. Understanding other people point of view will teach you about yourself and will prepare you to deal with people with the same point of view in the future.
9) What is your purpose in life? Do you know your purpose in life? 95% of the people that I asked don’t have one. Finding out your purpose in life is a long process that forces you to learn a lot about yourself. “Be a good father” is not a purpose in life. Find a true purpose! You’ll learn more about yourself and you’ll have a clear goal that you are seeking to achieve.
10) Acknowledge your weakness, seek help and help others. Tell people your weaknesses and ask them for help. Asking for help is an opportunity to be invited by others to help them. Helping others is one of the proven ways to learn. Helping others with their self-awareness will teach you a lot about yourself. By the way, talking about your weaknesses and ask for help will give you one of the most significant strength people can have.