I’ve talked about my personality type quite a bit here on my blog. I like to think that I am pretty self-aware but sometimes I think that ‘self-awareness’ is a phrase that is often thrown around. Many people don’t even know what it is. So before we talk about why it’s important and how you can improve your self-awareness, I’ll try and actually explain what it is.
What Is Self-Awareness?
Quite simply put, self-awareness is having a clear perception and understanding of your personality. This includes your strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions. Self-awareness also helps you to understand other people and how they may perceive you, your attitude and your responses to them at any given the moment.
A couple of years ago I took part in the Myers Briggs Personality Test and discovered that I was an ISFJ. Without going into too much detail, ISFJ stands for Introvert, Sensing, Feeling, Judging. As soon as I read all about my personality type, it made complete sense. Prior to doing this test, I really feel that I didn’t understand myself very well at all. Now, however, I do and I’m at complete ease and peace with who I am as a person.
Why Is Self- Awareness Important?
It makes sense that for others to understand us, then we need to understand ourselves first. In turn, it then makes it easier for us to understand other people and then detect how they perceive us in return. Are you still with me?
Being self-aware can create opportunities for you to make changes in your behaviour and attitude and it can also assist you to discover your strengths. Internally, we can understand where our emotions and thoughts are leading us, and make the necessary changes that may be needed.
I know that when I became more aware of my personality type I relaxed a little. I used to think that I was strange because I was so quiet and shy and that I was weird for wanting to go out one minute and then when the time came, I’d find myself wanting to stay home. I didn’t get it at all. But now I understand that I’m not alone in this. I am an introvert. There are lots of other people out there with the same kind of personality and we are perfectly normal. And now that I understand myself better, I can help others understand me better too.
How Can We Become More Self-Aware?
We can start by asking trusted friends and family. Unless we ask people, we will never know what they truly think of us. Explain that you are asking because you want to understand more about yourself and that they will be helping you and not hurting you if they perhaps say something you don’t like. You can also ask your friends or family to point out to you when you are doing something that you know you want to stop or change. For example, if you use a particular tone of voice or you have an answer for everyone and everything. Ask them to discreetly tell you when you do it so that you can learn how to stop.
Taking a personality test was the first thing I did and I can honestly say that it was one of the best things I have done. I am grateful that it was arranged by the management at my place of work. It is important to them to understand their staff and for us to all understand each other as colleagues. Perhaps you could suggest that this is carried out at your place of work too? If not, have a search online and take some tests. You will soon see some consistent results and I can guarantee you’ll be thinking “So that’s why I do that!” in no time at all.
Keeping a journal is a great way to keep track of your thoughts and aspirations. By writing a little bit each evening about your thoughts and feelings, and your successes and failures of the day, you will clear and relieve your mind. Making room for new information and feelings. It’s a great way to look back at how far you have come in time as well, especially when you are trying to understand yourself that little bit more.
I hope this article has helped you understand self-awareness a little more and how we can all benefit from understanding ourselves and others around us. It doesn’t have to be huge. But doing a little something each day will assist in the journey for self-awareness and more importantly, self-acceptance.
Are you self-aware? Do you have a good understanding of yourself? Perhaps you feel this is something you need to work on? Let me know in the comments.
Written in collaboration