Although it’s not typically a subject you learn in school, self-awareness is one of the most beneficial skills you can possess.
Not only does it allow us to embrace change and be more flexible, but it helps us to know ourselves better.
As it goes, most people believe they know themselves better than anyone else. And, some do. Yet, we all have blind spots or areas where our point of view doesn’t match other people’s view of who we are.
Here are ways to explore self-awareness and to understand the ideas surrounding this important concept.
What It Means to Be Self-Aware
Although the term “self-awareness” is tossed around a lot, it does tend to have a very personal meaning for most people. In general, being self-aware is knowing why you feel the way you do, as well as accurately gauging your responses to life’s circumstances.
Most of us have a picture in our minds of the kind of person we truly want to be. Unsurprisingly, that picture doesn’t always align with the kind of person we actually are. The more self-aware we are the smaller the gap between the picture and reality.
Self-awareness supports the idea of exploring our own desires and motives. Additionally, we also get to know our own character and personality better the more we pursue self-awareness.
Understand That Others May Have a Different View
The tricky thing with self-awareness is that although we may believe we have an accurate view of ourselves, others still might view us differently than we view ourselves. In fact, they may have a completely different perspective altogether.
It helps to accept and gauge this imbalance by understanding that no one has the perfect perspective. We get to know ourselves from the inside out while others do just the opposite—get to know us from the outside in.
What this means is that we’re both right and we’re both wrong. It doesn’t typically help to convince others that we are a certain way. After all, we accomplish that through our actions. Yet, we don’t have to settle for living a double life, per se.
To help align your view of yourself with how others view you, it’s important to look at the big picture.
How to Get a More Accurate Picture
Have you considered why others have a certain opinion of you? Are they simply misinformed? Perhaps, they simply don’t know how to interpret the information you’re giving them. Or, the thought might cross your mind that maybe they really don’t know you at all even though they believe that they do.
For example, when you say that you’re going to be at an event at a certain time, but no one is shocked when you’re an hour late, how do you react? How do others respond when you’re caught off guard by their lack of shock?
Situations like this can serve as a window into your true self. Furthermore, outside feedback helps to hone in your self-awareness skills.
By soliciting the honest feedback of your closest friends, family, and even co-workers, you can compare your view against theirs to pinpoint the discrepancies. This is not to say that other people are going to be completely accurate in their opinions of you. More than anything, feedback can serve as a benchmark.
Another great idea to get a more accurate picture and increase your self-awareness is to keep a journal. Record your feelings and thoughts then review them often. Because reading provides an “outsider’s view,” journaling will likely help you to perceive a more accurate version of yourself.
If you’re ready to be more self-aware in your own life, please reach out to a Crossroad’s therapist today. We would like to help you get to know yourself better so that you can live the life that you really want.
Contact us by calling 623-680-3486, texting 623-688-5115, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.We offer a 20 minute complementary phone call with one of our therapists so you can ask all the questions you have and see if therapy at Crossroads is the right fit for you.