Updated: Mar 10
Kick-start living your best life already from the start by developing this one trait that many people otherwise gain with age.
Do you sometimes doubt your skills, knowledge, and abilities, only to later realize that you’re much better than you had thought?
Have you ever been surprised by how positive your colleagues or peers rate you, while, on the other hand, you had felt as though you weren’t enough the entire time?
So many of us think that we are less than what we actually are, which in turn holds us back from reaching our true potential and taking the opportunities that we are actually worth.
Having been to numerous job interviews, I kept receiving an interesting insight from the interviewers.
They all kept saying that they perceived me as very self-aware, especially for my age.
It got me thinking of how much more aware of myself I have become during the past few years. And how important it is to develop your self-awareness already from a young age, so that we can start living our best lives already from the start.
What is self-awareness?
Self-awareness is being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and emotions that your mind creates and not interacting with them. It is knowing that you are that awareness behind them.
It is knowing that you are more than just your past experiences and future worries and that at every moment, you can choose how to react to the situation that you’re in.
It is also knowing yourself so well that you are well aware of your strengths and weaknesses, without underestimating or overestimating yourself.
So you know who you are without having to brag about your abilities or be too humble about them.
Self-aware people are usually perceived as self-confident and assertive - two qualities that can get you very far in life!
A common problem when it comes to self-awareness:
As young adults, we feel as though people that are older than us often have more skills and experience, that we simply can’t compete with.
We often feel inadequate and get easily discouraged when someone who we perceive as bigger and stronger comes along.
Self-awareness tends to come with age for many people.
With time, we tend to care less about what other people think of us and get more in tune with our true selves.
Many of us, especially young adults, often lack self-awareness.
I was there too but decided to get out of the rut and start living my best life already now, instead of waiting until I get older.
Why You Should Also Start Working on Your Self-Awareness Now
By becoming self-aware you will truly become your authentic self and feel adequate and enough for the rest of the world.
You will know what you want in life, the outside factors won't affect you anymore and you will know who you really are.
And the greatest part is, that you will then be able to figure out what truly matters in life for YOU and live your own life in line with your true purpose.
Below, are some ways I've been improving my self-awareness over the past few years, that I really recommend trying for you as well!
Here are some ways to increase your self-awareness profoundly:
Become mindful of your thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
Start by becoming aware of the thoughts running through your head at least once a day for just a short moment.
Observe all that’s happening in your mind, without trying to interact with the thoughts.
Observe how you are feeling, without trying to judge the feeling in any way.
Just by doing this, you put your thoughts, feelings, and emotions into the surface and get to know your narrative a little better each time. You become aware of what can be improved in your thinking patterns and can start seeking ways to work on that.
You will also notice that other layer of yourself, the consciousness, that realizes that you are not your thoughts and notices your thoughts in the first place. With time, you can learn how to change them.
This is a more formal practice of becoming mindful of your thoughts, feelings, and emotions and it’s super effective.
For more information on the benefits of meditation please check out my earlier blog post: Discover a way to boost your brain connections
Set aside at least several minutes of your day only to sit or lie still observing your thoughts that come up. As soon as they do, just try to come back to the present moment without interacting with them, or observe your breathing.
I personally love doing guided meditation and you can find them in apps like Calm or Headspace as well as many free ones on Youtube.
Meditation teaches us to observe anything that comes up in a non-judgemental way.
It, therefore, trains your brain to not identify yourself with running thoughts and can even change your thought patterns. It really makes your head clearer, which makes it much easier for you to make decisions, big or small.
Find a hobby, if you don’t already have one. Find another one if you already have one.
Doing something that is not work-related and gives you joy is extremely important for building your self-awareness.
The smartest minds in the world, like Nobel Prize winners, often engage in arts and crafts, or other hobbies completely unrelated to their work (1).
Having random hobbies challenges your brain to develop in many different areas, rather than one and the same if you only focus on your career. What often happens is that you learn how to apply the principles you've learned in your hobby to your professional life or vice versa.
The more diverse and unrelated your hobby is to your work, the more creativity it can spark in you and help you in all aspects of life.
Anything like doing sports, pottery, blogging, knitting, playing an instrument, or whatever else you can come up with really helps to develop your self-awareness.
Trying something new gets you out of your comfort zone, which is a humbling experience, and it gives you great confidence once you notice that you can do new things. You really get to know yourself from a totally different perspective!
If you share your hobby with other people of a community, it’s even better as it gives you social interaction and a sense of belonging among people who share the same interest as you.
My Personal Experience with Self-Awareness
Becoming self-aware during the past years has helped me immensely in all aspects of my life.
It has positively impacted my personal relationships with people I hold dear as well as with myself, my wellness journey, finding my life purpose, and even recently helped me to find and get a great job which I am very excited to start.
Overall, I feel very brave to tackle all the challenges that life brings me and I love challenging myself in new situations. That wasn't the case just a few years ago.
I truly recommend developing your self-awareness already from a young age as well and embracing all the opportunities that start rolling into your life! ✨
I am very interested to hear your opinion and tips on what you'd like to read about in this blog, so you are more than welcome to leave a comment here or contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember to be mindful! ✨
Laura | MSc in Medical Science, Certified Mindfulness Life Coach
Root-Bernstein, Robert, et al. "Arts foster scientific success: Avocations of nobel, national academy, royal society, and sigma xi members."Journal of Psychology of Science and Technology1.2 (2008): 51-63