Self-awareness is an effective way to find out more about who you are, what you can do and how you relate to other people. Having a good sense of your thoughts, emotions, strengths, weaknesses, beliefs and motivation is not only useful for your career but also across all other areas of your life.
There are lots of ways to become more self-aware. Here are just a few to get you started:
We all have an inner voice that chats away in the background most of the time – just try to empty your mind and think of nothing, and you’ll soon realise how active that inner voice is. Try to take more notice of what your inner voice is saying, because it could tell you something about yourself that you may not have realised previously.
Take a couple of minutes every day to sit quietly and observe your thoughts. Try writing them down and then assess them once a week.
As well as writing down your inner thoughts, it’s a good idea to keep a daily journal in which you record your experiences and feelings. These things can help you understand more about yourself, especially if you review what you’ve written at a later date.
Many psychologists believe that knowing and understanding your personality can boost your self-awareness significantly. So, even if you think you know your personality pretty well, try taking a personality test - it may well surprise you. There are lots of tests you can take online, including tests based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), arguably the best-known personality test, which uses the theory of psychological types as described by psychotherapist Carl Jung.
You can try a personality test for free at 16personalities.com
How friends, colleagues and family members see you may not be the way you see yourself. So ask them to tell you about their perceptions of you. Ask lots of basic questions about your personality and attitude, do they think you’re a happy person, for example, or how well do they think you interact with other people? Ask them to be honest. But take care: asking for feedback could mean you may hear something you won’t like.
If, like many people, you tend to do the same things in your daily life, trying new experiences may help you to discover new things about yourself. That’s because your reaction to new people and environments can reveal hidden strengths or weaknesses that you may not otherwise have come across. So, instead of going on the same type of holiday this year, go somewhere completely different. Try a restaurant you’ve never been to before. Or learn something new and take-up a new hobby. It can all help you to become more self-aware.