Self-Awareness For Personal Success

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What is Self Awareness?

Self awareness is about knowing who you are. It is the ability to define yourself in terms of the way you think, the way you feel, your wants, your needs, your values, your personal beliefs, your strengths, your weaknesses, your expectations and your aspirations. In a sense, self awareness is about understanding just how unique you are, and how your uniqueness adds value to the world, as you continually grow and change.

How do I become more self aware?

In order to develop self awareness, you have to look deep inside yourself and ask some critical questions...

"What do I believe in?"
"What is important to me?"
"What do I love and/or enjoy?"
"What are my strengths/weaknesses?"
"What do I want to achieve in my life?"

The answers to these questions will not come easy. To develop self awareness, you must reflect on and digest the real meaning behind each question. Don't just look at the surface. When you are sincerely involved with each question, and tune into how the answers can truly shape the course of your life - as basic as they may seem - you will tap into what makes you who you really are and learn what you are capable of growing into. But these questions are just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more we can all learn and appreciate about ourselves.

Why is Self Awareness the 1st Step in Having a Meaningful Life?

Self awareness is critical in how you view the world and its opportunities. The quality of the life you lead is determined almost entirely by your perspective. We consciously and unconsciously judge every experience we have against our perception of what is right, what is wrong, what is good, what is bad, etc. Even though this isn't a bad thing, sometimes it can make us all too critical of ourselves and our lives.

Perspective is everything. It is how you analyze and judge every part of your life - past, present, and future. Your perspective helps you make sound decisions based on how you see and compare different things. For example: Some of us will never know the thrill of skydiving, because from one perspective, it is far too dangerous. For others, though, it is no more dangerous than, say, driving a vehicle. And so, the thrill makes the experience more than worth the risk for these individuals. Granted, this example is a mere difference in personal preference, but you can see my point - Perspective dictates our choices!

Your perspective can also cause you to judge conditions of your life and experiences too harshly. For example: Let's say you only define success in terms of money, houses, and cars. As such, if you don't currently make $100,000 a year, live in a mansion, and drive a Mercedes, you will consider yourself to be unsuccessful.

"I'm just not good enough!"
"Why can't I be like..."
"I can't do anything right!"
"I'm just worthless."
"You can't get anywhere in this world!"

Perspectives such as these cause us to be overly critical of ourselves. As a result we begin to live our lives in comparison to everyone and everything else. With this frame of mind, we often tell ourselves, "I should have done this...I could have done that...If only I had this...If only did that..." This is where life loses its meaning- we live each day of our lives trying to "catch up" to where we think we should be. And consequently, we are never happy with where we are.

So how do we correct this? The answer is to look at our lives from the perspective of progress and potential. Recognize the progres you have already made in your life, and recognize the potential you have to be and do even more. Are you a good mother? Congratulations! Now, excel at it and teach others. Are you a good writer? Wonderful! Excel at it and enlighten others. Are you a good mechanic? Awesome! Excel at it and help others. These are the things we need to recognize in ourselves and use to enhance our lives and the lives of others. This comes with self-awareness.

How do I change my perspective?

To change your perspective, you have to know and understand where your perspective comes from. How did you develop the opinions you have about yourself and about the world? What makes you feel the way you do about this and that? Who or what do you often compare yourself to? Is there another way you can look at your situation? What could you be missing? Are you keeping an open mind? Are you looking for the positive or just focusing on the negative? What are the pros and cons of the life you lead, right now?

Realize you can't be happy with life if you're not happy with yourself. How can you know where you truly need to be, when you don't even know who you really are? Know who YOU are, and know what YOU are capable of, and dedicate your life to doing THAT. Don't put yourself down because you're not like someone else. You were never meant to be someone else - ONLY YOU! An incredible, confident, unique and powerful YOU!

Just think about it...

What skills have you learned?
What talents/abilities do you have?
What do you enjoy?
What could you teach others?
What would you enjoy doing for others?

We can no longer live our lives by comparison. We must be willing to look at ourselves individually, to develop the best of who WE are. That is the secret. It's okay to look around you and be motivated to do and achieve greater things. That's part of how we learn what we, as humans, are capable of and subsequently gain the courage to expect more of ourselves.

At some point, however, you have to stop working to be like everyone else you admire and begin to admire YOURSELF. That is GROWTH. That is PROGRESS. That is the root of happiness. That is what we call Self- Actualization .

This "knowledge of self" gives you the POWER TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE! With it, you can choose to harness the traits you value most in yourself, and gain a greater sense of self-acceptance, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction in what you do. You can also choose to recognize those traits within yourself that are contrary to what you value, and make a conscious choice to improve on them.

The goal of self awareness is to help you recognize the person you are, so you can lead yourself in the direction of positive change. Help yourself become the best you can be, and find joy in each and every step you take in that direction. Your perception of yourself will begin to change, as will your perception of your life and life as a whole. This is the beginning of finding true meaning in life.


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