These days, people are becoming more acquainted with how their personalities work. However, true self-awareness goes beyond knowing your strengths, weaknesses, and even personality type. At one point in our lives, we have been profiled. But gaining a deeper perspective of yourself may take time and effort. Let me share with you three steps that will get you started on the path to healthy self-awareness:
1. Bravely ask for feedback
To know who you truly are, seek the help of people you trust. You could also seek help from those who have seen your different sides. When you ask for feedback, be ready to hear some things you’re not ready for. It’s important to know even the not-so-nice things about yourself that you don’t usually notice. When these people tell you the aspects you need to work on, be sure to listen and consider.
2. Examine your life
According to Plato, “an unexamined life is not worth living.” Evaluate your life. Flesh out your story and don’t leave out the bad parts. Understand what works, what doesn’t, and how you want to move forward in the next days. Think about your failures, achievements, passions, and frustrations. I understand this could be a little overwhelming and you can’t really do this in one day. Take some time to reflect to eventually accept where you are in life.
3. Give yourself room to grow
Once you’ve gotten to know yourself better, make a conscious effort to act on the aspects you want to improve. Need to learn new skills? Need to be less of a workaholic? Need to balance work and personal matters? Need to be more healthy? List the items you want to work on and allow yourself to make changes every single day. Of course, an improved version of yourself might need more time. In the process of self-awareness, little victories count.
Being self-aware requires constant reflection and work. You can’t just know all these things about yourself and expect everyone to adjust. In being self-aware, you must also be conscious of how you affect the people around you. My hope is that you become a positive person that helps make others better as well.
Thanks for reading. Dr. Wayne Imber here. I’m a retired professor specializing in social and developmental psychology. For the past 30 years, I’ve taught in Chicago and throughout Arizona and Massachusetts. Now retired, I spend much of my time playing golf and experimenting in the kitchen with my wife. For updates, visit this page.