A Practical Guide To Building Self Awareness
Posted on February 13, 2023
In this video, I will be discussing the topic of self-awareness and its importance in our lives. Self-awareness is the understanding of what is happening in our lives and how we are showing up in the world. It helps us to identify if we are showing up in a healthy and productive way or in a destructive way.
Self-awareness can be developed through two different methods – self-reflection and self-observation. Self-reflection is looking back on past experiences with compassion, wisdom, and understanding to gain insight into our story.
Self-observation, on the other hand, is being present in the moment and observing what is happening for us in the moment. By developing self-awareness, we have the ability to change our story and move forward in a positive direction.
Full Video Transcript Below
There’s a lot of people talking about that you know you need to be self-aware. You need to be self-aware. You need to be self-aware, but everyone has the same question: was like well, how do I actually do that? So I want to break that down simply for you and give you some things that you can use. But first, let’s kind of dig into what self-awareness is on the basic foundational level.
Self-awareness is understanding what is happening for me right in my life. How am I showing up in the world? What way of being am I showing up in the world, and what’s going on in my experience? Fundamentally speaking, what is happening for me in my experience?
The benefit of self-awareness is we really get to be able to look at our lives and go, “Am I showing up in a way that’s really healthy, that’s really productive? Or maybe am I showing up in a way that’s incredibly destructive?” Right. And when you give yourself the capacity to really look, look at what’s happening for you and your experience, then you give yourself the capacity to change it. Right? “Oh, I don’t like the way that this story is going. I can change it.” But if you don’t have self-awareness, you can’t change nothing.
There’s two different types of ways to really dig into self-awareness. The first one is the easier one, and I’m going to talk about self-reflection. Right, self-reflection when it really gets down to it is, we look back on an experience. It could have happened 10 seconds ago. It could have happened you know 10 years ago. We looked back on that experience and we begin to look at it through the eyes of compassion, through wisdom, and through understanding.
What really happened here? How did I show up in this situation? What was I feeling in this situation? What was I thinking? And when you just begin to look at yourself in that moment, or you look at something, right, other person’s events, whatever it might be, you start to gain a lot of wisdom. Right? And when you gain that wisdom, there’s a deeper level of understanding of, “Okay, I understand how I arrived here,” or, “I understand why this, you know, kind of transpired the way that it did.”
And you do this by looking at it, right? It’s something that’s generally that happened in the past. This is the easier version of developing self-awareness. Right, looking back at something. And some things that really help, right, is talking to other people about it. Other things that might help is journaling, right? Because you’re being able to look at that experience and really put your finger on it of, “Okay, this is how I showed up. This is how I viewed it, and that’s why I got these results.” Okay, so that’s the first part, really simple, right? Self-reflection.
Now next piece, self-observation. This one’s a little bit tricky because it calls for a really, really, really fine-tuned level of self-awareness.
Self-observation is what is happening for me in this moment right now. Okay, how am I showing up right now? Do I have the ability to kind of look at myself in the moment and go, ‘I’m not really showing up in the best way right now,’ and to be able to pause and just shift it?
I say this is tricky because there’s so many thoughts and emotions flying around all the time and there’s so many events that are transpiring and so much information that’s coming in that can be a little bit trickier to kind of go like, ‘Okay, all this being said, can I put a pause button on that and really understand what’s happening for me in this moment?’
How am I feeling right now? How am I viewing this right now? And so, when you get to this level of self-awareness, self-observation that we move into, you can shift that experience in the moment right, we can change it in the moment, and it’s pretty incredible when you get to that spot because you’re not looking back at, ‘Okay, well, I showed up the past two years in this way and I had this story, and they got me these results,’ you can go, ‘Wow, I’m really not showing up in the best way right this instant, and I’m going to change that now, so it doesn’t last for a longer period of time.’
So the way that we really begin to develop this like self-awareness muscle is that we start really looking at ourselves and our experience first through self-reflection, the easier version of it, and then we go through self-observation, and then we can really begin to gain a deeper insight into our story, how we’re showing up in the world, is this something that’s, like I said, productive or is this destructive? And when you come to that insight site, you give yourself the opportunity to change it, and that’s the coolest part of all of this.
Self-awareness gives you the capacity, the ability to be able to change your story going forward, so it’s not just the same thing repeating itself over and over and over and over again, it’s actually you going, you’re like more in the driver’s seat rather than the back seat right to our habitual energies and the way that we tend to do things over and over again.
So I just wanted to kind of talk about this as kind of like a structural topic, like self-awareness, what is that? How do we build it, and how do you go about that? All right, thanks so much for watching.
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The Better Man Project