Steps to Becoming Self-Aware

“He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlighten.” – Lao Tzu

Although there are plenty of things we can work on to better ourselves and live happier lives, self-awareness is the most important. From your career, building healthy relationships to feeling more positive emotions everyday — pretty much everything relies on a strong sense of self. But being truly aware of your feelings, your thoughts, and how others perceive you is not an easy undertaken. It takes effort and practice to really strengthen your ability to see and understand yourself clearly. Here’s how we all can work on our own self-awareness:

1. Check yourself

Take a moment throughout each day to ask yourself what you are feeling, what thoughts are running through your mind, what behaviors you’ve been evoking in response to your feelings in that specific moment. Personally, I try to do this anytime I notice I’m not in a good mood (i.e. getting easily annoyed by others), I’ll pause and take a second to review what’s going on in my head. Try doing this a couple of times throughout each day and you’ll soon make it a habit of checking yourself before you wreck yourself.

2. No self-judgement

As you check in with yourself, recognize and be aware of your state of mind without self-judging. For example, if you’re feeling frustrated or stressed, you don’t tell yourself that you “shouldn’t” feel that way or that these are “bad” feelings. They’re just feelings — they don’t have to be good or bad. They are what they are. It’s impossible to feel positive all the time so why shame yourself when you’re feeling otherwise? So as you take the time to recognize your emotions do your best to push any judgements or opinions to the side. Instead list out what you’re feeling and take note.

3. Put yourself in others shoes

Another way to gain better self-awareness is to look at yourself from the outside. Just as you check in with your emotions throughout the day, try to also put yourself in other people’s shoes. If you were in their position, how would you view you? What would you see? How would you interact with yourself? The more you can truly see from the perspective of those around you, the more self-aware you’ll become.

4. Accept what you find

The thing about being self-aware is that is not about immediately changing your emotions as soon as you recognize them. It’s about being able to clearly see and understand yourself. Instead of trying to change your thoughts and emotions in the moment, let yourself feel what you’re feeling. By accepting that this is how you are feeling you can relieve any pressure you may have on trying to change your current state of mind. The more you can accept yourself, the more you’ll be able to grow in a healthy, non-self judgmental way.

5. Change takes practice

Just like changing a behavior, changing a thought process takes practice. Your brain needs to learn how to process your emotions in the moment, how to push away those judgements, how to view yourself from the outside, and how to accept who you are. It takes time and effort, so don’t get frustrated if you forget to check in with yourself or if you feel self-judgement starting to creep in. Start with one step at a time and make the effort to incorporate them as often as you can. It’s a process and any effort should be seen as progress. Soon enough, being self-aware will become second nature.








  1. I agree with all of these and particularly find number 3 important – putting yourself in other people’s shoes and seeing a ‘different perspective’ can be very illuminating and stop us becoming ‘fixed’ in our position. Thanks for this great reminder! x

  2. This is fantastic. Great way to self help. Thank you much for sharing. 🙂

    • You’re welcome! Glad you enjoyed this. 🙂

  3. I like #3. Years ago I use to work as a hostess. I would meet a wide variety of hungry customers, who simply were ‘hangry’. Since I didn’t know any of these people on a personal level, if someone was rude, I started a sort of game. I would simple make up a story in my head of why they weren’t being unkind. For example, they just left the hospital where they got a sad and stressing diagnosis… they were just in a fender bender and are already tight on cash… and so forth. We don’t know others’ stories, and it can obviously be really hard when others are hard on us and we let their voices in. If you don’t know their story, get to, or just make one up to help you have the patience.

    • Hi Rebecca, that is a great idea! I shall try that as well. Thanks, for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: