What’s your why? What motivation drives you through each day? The answers to these questions can help you increase your self-awareness and live a more purposeful life. Understanding your “why” can improve your confidence, help you manage stress and serve as a source of empowerment. As we find ourselves home more frequently due to COVID-19, it can be an excellent opportunity to get reacquainted with yourself by practicing self-awareness. Try these exercises!
Select a time of day to perform this exercise and stick with it—it is most effective when practiced daily! At your scheduled time, spend a few minutes thinking of three aspects of your life for which you are thankful. Make sure at least one of them is something about you. For example, I am grateful for my ability to handle stressful situations.
Meditation has numerous benefits, and one of them is improved self-awareness! There are many types of meditation. Learn more about each type here.
Plan about 5 to 10 minutes at the beginning or end of your day to self-reflect. Consider all the things that are going on in your life, how you plan to respond to them, or how you did respond to them. If you choose to self-reflect in the morning, start by asking yourself if you’re prepared for the day ahead. If you plan to reflect at night, think about the events of the day and how you handled them.
Ask yourself questions and answer them as you would in an interview. Try questions like:
- What are your strengths?
- What are some things that you would like to improve about yourself?
- Describe a time that you handled a situation really well.
Create a motivation board
If you’re a visual learner, this could be a great activity for you! Find pictures, write or use letters to post words of things that you find motivating. These can be things that are part of your life (pets, your partner, kids, your favorite vacation spot), pictures of goals you’re working toward (new home, car, savings goal), or anything else that drives you. You can make a digital board on your computer or tablet, or cut images out of magazines, newspapers or printed from the internet to create a physical board.
This is a great tool for introspection as it not only helps you self-reflect, but also provide a record that you can consult and look back on to gain even more self-awareness. You can learn more about journaling here.
Take time to tune out
While it is helpful to go through your day with heightened self-awareness, it is equally important to take a break and give your mind a rest. Self-absorption and overthinking can be counterproductive to self-awareness.
By gaining a deeper understanding of yourself and what makes you tick, you’ll be able to better understand why you do the things you do. Not only does self-awareness affect the way you respond to situations, it also influences your sense of purpose and control over your life.