The one person above all else, whose opinion counts more than anything, and who should know you better than anyone else, is yourself. Most people might scoff at this, as though it’s a given that one should know themselves, but it is actually a unique character trait few people really posses.
Knowing yourself is more than being able to name your favorite foods or movie scenes, it’s being able to anticipate how your mind and body will react before they do. Being able to see yourself as other see you.
In my life I’ve found several ways to improve personal awareness, these are my favorite.
Listen to Yourself
Pay attention to what you think and feel. If you are feeling down in the dumps and you can’t quite figure out why, continue listening to yourself until you figure it out. If you still don’t know what’s wrong, you may find it beneficial to seek help from a physician or therapist.
Linking the Body to the Mind
You cannot have a fulfilling life while stuck in front of a TV all day. Taking up yoga or meditation to straighten out your muscles as well as your thoughts can help you attune your body with your mind. Developing personal body awareness is one of the most significant ways I’ve found to improve your confidence, mood, and focus.
Pay Attention to the People in Your Life
Take a good long look at the way people interact with you. Are they congenial? Or do they seem afraid to approach you? Do they respect you? Are they happy to be around you?
It’s easy to see where you stand in the world if you pay attention to those with whom you interact. If you are not sensing a good relationship with the people in your life, you should first look within yourself to see if there’s anything you can do to help the situation. Remember, it’s not always automatically the other person’s fault. There’s usually a reason for behavioral cues.
Ask Yourself Questions
Are you happy with your life? What would you change? What are your biggest desires in life? If you could have one ultimate goal, what would it be?
If you don’t know the answers to any of those questions, get on it. If you don’t know what your purpose is, it doesn’t mean you don’t have one. You have to know what it is that you want to get out of life.
Recognize Your Shortcomings
There are some people out there are the most ignorant, mean, spiteful folks you’ve met and yet, they seem to have NO clue that they are that way. They can’t recognize in themselves what others can easily see.
Ignoring the fact that you have a temper will not make it go away. If you can recognize where you need improvement and make an effort to better yourself, you will be demonstrating your ability to adapt to your surroundings.
Knowing is half the battle. Life can get hectic but you can stay true to yourself. It is not selfish at all to take time to yourself. The better you get acquainted with who you are, the better you will be as a person.
There is a saying, “You can’t love anyone until you love yourself,” and it rings very true. Put time aside for yourself, and really use that time to figure out what your wants and needs are, what you can do to change, and if there’s a need to do anything different. Self-improvement is the most unselfish thing you can do, because if you’re not happy, neither are the people around you.