What Is Self-Awareness?
Self-awareness is your ability to look within and acknowledge your thoughts and individuality.
When you look in the mirror, you’d probably think, “that’s me.” And of course, it is you. But with self-awareness, you go deeper.
It’s not only the ability to acknowledge your physical self; also your unity with creation — your consciousness.
When you focus your attention on your inner-self, you see yourself in terms of your values and standards. And what’s more, you evaluate your beliefs, thoughts, behaviors, and words by those values and standards.
A lot of what people say and do is pretty much automatic. It’s so ingrained in them to think and act in a certain way, that they aren’t even aware they’re doing it. But since all thoughts, words, and actions have consequences, it makes sense to figure out if anything causes problems in your life.
The intent is to become self-aware enough to guide you to the thoughts and actions that are up to (or higher than) your personal standards.
Simply standing in front of the mirror isn’t quite going to do the trick for introspection. It is useful in that it shows you the consequences of your thoughts and actions with regard to your physical self but it can’t help you truly look within. Luckily, there are other effective ways to do that:
How to Enhance Self-Awareness
Some ways to enhance your self-awareness are:
- Learning how others perceive you
- Video recording yourself
You learn more about yourself by reflecting on the consequences of your thoughts and actions.
Learn how others perceive you
What about people who are punished for something and then, repeat the same negative patterns of behavior? Well, just like you, everybody still has the power of choice.
A person may be fully aware that what they’re doing is wrong or counterproductive but choose to do it anyway for whatever reason. When you want to raise your self-awareness, start by evaluating how others perceive and treat you.
If you’re in front of an audience (on stage, at a party, teaching, etc.), what are you saying? What is your body language saying? Are people drawn to you, or do they avoid you? The latter is one of the hardest lessons.
Everybody wants to be liked and accepted but if you’re not, you have to look within to see what’s putting people off.
Video record yourself
Self-awareness can also be gained by listening to yourself on a recording or watching yourself on video.
Candid videos are best but you can learn so much about yourself by listening to your tone when you speak.
- What kind of energy are you projecting?
- Are you interesting to listen to?
- Do you put yourself to sleep?
Would you want to listen to yourself if you were stuck in a room with yourself? Guess what — you are! You’re stuck in your own head, listening to your mind’s ramblings. And if you don’t like what you’re going on and on about, you have the power to change it.
When we’re out in public we all put on a bit of a show. Every social situation comes with its own costumes, scripts, and masks. This is why we act differently around children than we do around our parents; we speak and act differently when we’re around our boss than when we’re around our lover; and differently around friends, neighbors, clients, shopkeepers, etc. too.
But when you’re sitting in meditation, it’s just you. No costumes, no script, no mask. You can try but you really can’t hide from yourself. Or rather, your Self can’t hide from your awareness.
Tap or click PLAY on your meditation audio track, sit back and relax, and let the mind movies begin.
Every thought you have takes its turn on stage. Every thought comes into the spotlight. And if you don’t like it, you can change it! You can say, “Next,” and replace it with a thought you prefer.
The cool thing is if you do this often and consistently you’re going to see some major changes in the way you see the world, think about the world, and interact with the world.
And that is just one of the reasons why daily meditation practice is so great.
Explore Your True Nature
Give yourself 30-90 days of daily work to change any thought pattern and guaranteed, you will be successful. That’s how long it takes to imprint any new habit, depending on how much you want it.
Emotion and a sense of reward play a huge role in the creation of a habit (the bigger the reward the more inclined you are to repeat that thought or action). So whenever you think a thought you like to think, SMILE. You can’t help but feel good when you smile.
Love that new thought!
Self-awareness can also take you into the exploration of your true nature.
When you recognize that you are a spiritual (energetic, nonphysical) being having a physical experience — and not the other way around — you’ve become enlightened. You can then begin to reach a state of Nirvana.
Meditation can help you understand concepts like this because it lets you move beyond logic and into intuition.
The self, universal consciousness, infinity, and other ideas can’t be understood by the logical mind.
Sit in meditation for a time, though, and you will feel the truth… And that is that you are not separate from anything else. But yet you possess something so incredible, it’s unfathomable. Your Self is thinking, creating, conceptualizing, imagining.
We must be the change we wish to see in the world.– Gandhi
If anything is going to change on the outside, improvements need to be made on the inside first. It all begins with self-awareness.