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Practical tips for building self-awareness.

How self-aware do you feel about yourself?

Do you know your strengths and vulnerabilities?

Do you know the type of things that trigger your emotional and physical responses in everyday life?

Are you aware of the opportunities and challenges you face everyday, and what are your options to overcome them?

Self-awareness is a skill often underestimated that any one can learn to improve with the right activities.

The more you understand yourself, the more likely you will be able to achieve your long-term goals, define happiness, and even build up your overall confidence and self-esteem.

Today, let's explore some of the ways you can quickly and effectively improve your self-awareness and overcome moments of confusion.

Defining Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is the art of paying attention to your way of thinking, acting and feeling. It means looking closely at the patterns in how you perceive the world, yourself, and the people around you.

Self-awareness also includes understanding your moods and feelings and how they affect your actions.

Someone who is aware of themselves can pay attention to their actions in any situation and determine if they really are.

taking the best measures to protect their interests, or whether they might be heading in the wrong direction.

If you have negative reactions to things by default, self-aware can help you overcome them. For example, those who have alcohol or cigarette addiction issues often benefit from greater self-awareness.

So how do you get more self-awareness? Try these techniques.

1. Notice the things that bother you about other people.

This may seem counter-productive because paying attention to others distracts your attention. However, sometimes, when we’re struggling with our own self-awareness, we find it easier to project the things we don’t like in ourselves onto other people.

For example, you might find that you absolutely loathe when others lie to you. However, if you look a little closer at your own actions, you might discover that you have a tendency to bend the truth too – even if only in certain aspects of your life.

Make a list of traits that you don't like in other people and try to focus on pinpointing the moments when you show those characteristics yourself.

At the same time, it may also be helpful to make a list of the things you like to

see in other, so you can actively attempt to show more of these traits in yourself.

2. Watch your reflection processes.

Most of us have well-entrenched responses to things we've developed over time. For example, smokers tend to smoke automatically when they are stressful or overwhelmed. Sometimes these things are so automatic that we don't even realize what's going on until we've already done something.

If you want to have a better sense of yourself, take a moment to take a break the next time you get an automatic answer to something. Be aware of the way you responded at that time and try to rephrase your thought processes. What led you to feel so stressed about opening your first bottle of beer, for instance?

Sometimes, it will not be a specific thought or series of thoughts that led to the action, but a simple feeling, or instinctive desire for something. The more you become aware of those automated reactions, the more you can begin to question them when you notice them starting.

You can also be more aware of the triggers behind these reactions.

3. Ask for Feedback

Finally, asking for feedback can help you increase your awareness of what others see in you.

Sometimes, we’re so used to the image that we create of ourselves in our own mind, that we actually replace reality with our own perception. We all have blind spots that make it harder to address the real problems we have in our lives.

For example, you might think that your greatest problem is that you can't control your emotions when something happens in your relationship. However, your partner could think that the problem is that you don't talk enough about how you feel.

Asking for insights from others in your life allows you to view your actions and feelings from a different perspective.

Simply make sure you are comfortable with the person you are asking for feedback from. If you don't like the person very much, or if you don't trust the person's opinion, then it will skew your perception of yourself even more.

Once feedback is received, make sure you take it well. Avoid treating negative comments like a direct attack on yourself. Rather, see them as an opportunity to develop and grow.

You can strengthen your awareness of yourself with these simple strategies. Once you do, you will find that not only do you know yourself better, but your life becomes more pleasant too.

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