Self-awareness: Are you running on autopilot?
I know what I can do and I know what I can achieve. Try to learn from everything in your life. If you have done a mistake take the responsibility for it and try to do everything to avoid it for the next time. Never let other people to take decisions for you. Be humble. – Klemen from DOBA
To be self-aware in life means that you really know who you are and what you want out of life. As easy as it sounds, each one of us may go through phases (such as the twenties something) when we do feel a little bit lost and not knowing what we want from life. Even worse, you might find yourself going about your daily business, not really being there present in the moment and running on autopilot.
So, how do you avoid a life on autopilot?
Self-awareness takes serious self-reflection where you carefully tune in to listen to your inner voice, which will:
- Remind you of who you were in the past, and what were the values that mattered to you the most as you grew up;
- Help you become more conscious about which of your traits and life circumstances are your advantages at the present, and which ones are your disadvantages;
- Give you an answer on how to use your advantages and how to deal with your disadvantages so that you walk the right path to the future.
Know where your life is headed.
There is no mastery of life without self-awareness. This is your compass telling whether your mind and your emotions are leading you exactly where you want to be in life. Two things to do:
- Extract from those instances where you get to experience intense moments of self-awareness, where you were/are able to absorb the world around you in details (happy memories: your graduation day or the day you became a parent; and unhappy ones: the day you found out you have to battle cancer or that a fire engulfed your house).
- Cultivate awareness through practice. Yoga is one practice that you can use for this. When you find your ideal asana (body posture), you get closer to finding your ideal standing in life. Maybe you are a tree, maybe you are a mountain, and maybe you are a warrior.
Cultivating self-awareness for me means being present with my inner world and myself. I listen deeply to the surroundings – be it other people, group or environment and I take time to respond from my present moment, not react from my ego self. I cultivate self-awareness by taking time for myself in stillness (nature helps a lot), taking care of my body and soul, which empowers a relaxing state in my being, which is in fact my natural state where the answers appear and I am very, very, very conscious in every decision or move I make. If I don’t know the answer – I wait until the answer appears. This doesn’t mean I passively wait for the answer – on the contrary, I actively open my senses to every detail in myself as well as in the situation present. By listening and observing and sometimes even with sharing it loud with my closest friends, the bigger picture comes into being and I can make my step accordingly to the true knowing. This amplifies trust into my inner voice and sensing and with self-trust–my trust in life amplifies. Therefore, when standing in my own truth, coming from self-trust it doesn’t matter what situation in life is present. I trust myself enough to know that I will make it through and will be able to see the bigger picture of it. – Andreja, founder of Envir, Institute for Connecting
More Good Reads? Our team recommends the following 5:
What Self-Awareness Really Is (and How to Cultivate It)? (via Harvard Business Review)
Examples of Why Self-Awareness Is Important (via Tracking Happiness)
Self-Awareness and How Do You Get It (via Psychology Today)
Why Self-Awareness is Essential for Work and Life? (via Inc.)
How to Use Your Yoga to Become Self-Aware? (via Gretchen Suarez)