No matter what it is that you want to accomplish in life, regardless of whether it is in your career, business, or relationship, the ability to understand yourself and know what you want is one of the most important factors to success.
And self-awareness is a crucial ability that can help you understand yourself better and at the same time, it allows you to understand why you feel and act in a certain way.
In my previous article, I shared why self-awareness is important for your success, you should check it out below:
Why Self-Awareness is Important to Achieve Greater Success in Life
In short, self-awareness is important because it allows you better monitor your emotions and reactions.
The more you understand yourself, the better you can tap into your deepest desire, inner strengths, and at the same time, helps you work around your weaknesses.
This guide is NOT about the importance of self-awareness or the benefits of it, as I already covered it in my previous post.
Rather, this guide is about how you can improve and develop your self-awareness to achieve greater success in life.
So, how do you do that? Here are 10 ways how anyone can raise their level of self-awareness and achieve better results in life…
1. Set a Goal
If you want to develop your self-awareness, the first thing you need to do is to set a goal. Always start with a goal. Having a goal and working on it allows you to better understand more about yourself.
You will discover what truly matters to you and what are your strengths and weaknesses as you take action and work toward your goals.
How do you set goals? I have a very detailed guide here:
Ultimate Goal Setting Guide: How to Set Goals and Achieve Them
Read the guide right now, and then proceed to set a goal.
Goal setting is the act of turning the invisible into the visible. It is a tool that helps you create and design the life of your dream.
When you have a goal, you will understand better about your inner desire. And you will also understand better about what motivates you in your life.
2. Self-Assessment Test
How do you find out what you want to be, do, and have in your life? How can you tell if your career or life is the one you are looking for?
You can take a self-assessment test to better understand yourself. When you assess yourself, you become more aware of your wants and you get to know yourself better.
You see, figuring out what you want to do with your life when you grow up can be a challenging task. This is why so many people are stuck in life. They work in a job they hate, and they work just because they want to make a living.
That is a wrong approach to work and life. If you want to live a better life, you must understand what you want, why you want it, and how you can connect your inner desire with what you do in your life.
Taking a self-assessment test can help you find out some of the answers, and it can improve your self-awareness.
If you want to take some self-assessment tests, I suggest you check out this page on Harvard.
3. Practice Mindfulness and Meditation
Another way you can develop self-awareness is to practice mindfulness and meditation.
When you are being mindful, you put your focus on the present moment and concentrate on your thoughts and feelings, which will help you increase your awareness of your feelings and thoughts.
Being mindful means being in a mental state where you are fully present at the moment, while calmly acknowledging your feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.
For example, if you want to practice mindfulness, when you are drinking coffee, don’t just drink the coffee, instead, be mindful of it.
Feel your hands grab the mug, feel the hotness of the mug, smell the smell of coffee, and when you put your lip to the cup, feel it. As you take a sip of the coffee, feel the coffee, the taste, and so on.
In short, you put yourself at the present moment and you can feel what is going on around you, even your thoughts.
One great method to practice mindfulness is meditation. I’m not a meditation expert, so I can’t give you much advice on this. But if you want to learn more about meditation, you should watch this video.
4. Keep a Journal
According to the University of Rochester, there are plenty of benefits to keeping a daily journal…
“It’s simply writing down your thoughts and feelings to understand them more clearly. And if you struggle with stress, depression, or anxiety, keeping a journal can be a great idea. It can help you gain control of your emotions and improve your mental health.”
And here are some of the benefits of keeping a journal…
- Helping you prioritize problems, fears, and concerns.
- Tracking any symptoms day-to-day so that you can recognize triggers and learn ways to better control them.
- Providing an opportunity for positive self-talk and identifying negative thoughts and behaviors.
You see, when you are stressed and you keep a journal of the incident, it can help you identify what’s causing the stress or anxiety.
Writing down your feelings and everything you have experienced allows you to step out of your life and look at it from a third-person view. It helps you look at a bigger picture of what is going on and how you can cope with it.
This will raise your self-awareness and also help you work on a plan to resolve the problems you are facing in life.
Check out this guide below to learn how to keep a daily journal:
A Total Beginner’s Guide to Keeping a Journal
5. Work with a Coach or a Mentor
One of the best ways to improve your self-awareness is to get help from someone else. Working together with a coach or a mentor will raise your self-awareness and help you achieve greater success in life.
If you look at most of the successful people out there, the majority of them have a mentor or a coach.
And you know what that means? Their success is NOT an accident. But a carefully crafted plan to get there.
Professional basketball players are great because they hire coaches to help them improve their skills. They know that having a great coach can help them understand their strengths and work on their weaknesses.
Steve Jobs mentored Mark Zuckerberg, Freddie Laker mentored Richard Branson, and Yves Saint Laurent spent 2 years working alongside Christian Dior and received the mentorship to become a master himself.
Working with a coach or a mentor will greatly boost your awareness for success and help you create outstanding results in life.
6. Schedule Time for Reflection
If you want to increase your self-awareness, you must spend time on reflection. You cannot understand yourself without knowing yourself.
Unfortunately, most people spend more time thinking about their dinner and weekend than they spend time reflecting on their life and find out what they want.
Self-reflection is easy to do, but in today’s demanding world, most people don’t do it because they are simply ‘too busy’. They’d rather spend time on Facebook than on reflecting on their life.
What you want to do is simple – just schedule 10 to 15 minutes every day, reflecting your life. You don’t have to do anything much, just think about your life.
And if you want to, keep a journal of it. Check out this article about Self-Reflection 101 to learn more.
7. Make Planning a Priority
When was the last time you spend time planning? For most people, it’s none, they don’t spend time planning at all.
To develop self-awareness, you must make planning a priority.
Of course, not everything will go according to your plan, but that is not the point. The key is in the planning, not so much about the plan.
Why? Because when you plan, you are creating intention and directing your attention. You are telling your mind what you need to focus on. And that improves your awareness of it.
Without planning, you will be like a lost sheep, following wherever the crowd goes.
As Alan Lakein famously said:
“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.”
8. Read and Keep Exploring
Yes, you want to commit to reading and learning. Keep on exploring new things to spark your creativity.
The more you explore and discover, the more you will understand yourself. As the saying goes…
“The more you read the more you know. The more you know the more places you’ll go.”
– Dr. Suess
Therefore, commit to reading and learning. Make it a habit to read every day.
I have been reading personal development and success-related books since many years ago. I discovered that the more I read, the more inspired I become. I get to understand myself better through the lens of others.
More importantly, I get to improve myself and become more aware of the success I wanted to create in my life.
Here are some resources to help:
9. Review Your Life
Here’s another way to develop self-awareness – review your life.
How do you know if things are working in your life? Well, you ask these 3 simple questions…
- What went wrong?
- What went right?
- How can I improve and do this better?
I suggest you ask these 3 questions at least once a year. It is better if you can review your life every quarter, but if you can’t, then do it at least once a year.
By asking yourself these 3 questions, you get to know what is working and what is not, and so you can improve and do better in the coming days.
James Clear, the best-selling author of Atomic Habits said that asked himself these 3 questions at the end of every year to review his results and his life.
You can do the same. Ask yourself these questions and be aware of what is going on in your life right now.
When you know what went wrong and what went right, you can do more of what is right and do less of what is wrong. And this is how you get to improve your life.
One more thing, Atomic Habits is a must-read book for anyone who wants to build better habits for a better life. I suggest you get a copy and read it ASAP.
10. Understand Your Deepest Desire
If you want to develop self-awareness, you must learn to understand yourself, and that includes your deepest desire.
Find out what you want out of your life. The more clarity you gain, the better you can live a life according to your own terms.
The problem with most people is that they have no idea what exactly they want out of their life. They work because they want to get paid. They get married because everybody does. They are living a life without meaning and purpose.
Don’t let that happens to you.
If you want to find out your deepest desire and gain better clarity for what you want to achieve out of your life, you need to begin from within – your brain.
And I suggest you take this training from John Assaraf. You will discover how to unlock your brain’s hidden potential, and at the same time, learn how to eliminate the 4 mental obstacles that keeping you stuck.
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