Self-Awareness – Tools for Achieving Your Full Potential

A lack of self-awareness can be a major obstacle standing in the way of your ability to achieve the happiness and the success you deserve. It’s probably safe to say that we know our friends’ flaws better than they do, but we may not be the best person to recognize our own flaws that may be holding us back from achieving our full potential. While it is certainly human nature to pick and choose what traits, if any, you acknowledge in yourself, failing to see the big picture when it comes to your personality and behavior will not do you any favors. If you want to achieve meaningful personal growth and evolve into the best version of yourself, here are some strategies that can help:

Make a list your core values and beliefs. Taking some time to really reflect on and identify what is important to you will help you learn a lot about yourself. When you are living a life that is in tune with your core values and beliefs, you will feel motivated and you will be happier and more fulfilled.

Make a list of your goals.  It is very easy to get distracted by the tasks of day to day life so having a list of your goals on hand to refer to each day will help you stay on track and prioritize. This is also a great exercise for thinking outside the box when it comes to identifying what is you are truly desire to achieve for yourself.

Write daily in a journal. There are no rules to what you should be writing in your journal so feel free to explore and develop your own process. You can write down random thoughts, observations about your day or the world around you, or your feelings on a subject or occurrence in your life. The possibilities are endless! The important thing to remember is that journaling is not making a grocery list or a to-do list but rather is a place to develop inner focus and self-awareness. There are many books and free online resources related to the process and benefits of journaling so check some of those out if you are new to the process.

Talk with a close friend or loved one. Your close friends and family members are most likely see your strengths and your weaknesses clearly so why not ask them for their opinions? You can start by telling them about a goal you want to achieve and ask if they think you are on the right track and why or why not. Or you can ask them in general about what they see as your strengths and your weaknesses. It may feel awkward to approach the subject matter at first but if you are speaking with someone who you trust, know that the honest feedback you will receive will be so worth your bravery!

Practice meditation.  Meditation is a great way develop self-awareness and a deeper understanding of your mind, and it is also very beneficial for your physical and emotional health. If you are new to the practice of meditation, start with ten minutes a day. You will be amazed at the stress relief and mental clarity you will gain just by incorporating a meditation practice into your daily routine.

Imagine and dream.  Our imagination and our dreams help us to grow and evolve. Without them, we would never be able to dream of new possibilities or imagine ourselves doing anything different. One exercise related to imagination and self-awareness would be to think of something that is holding you back or an obstacle that you haven’t figured out how to approach yet. Imagine some scenarios wherein you overcome that obstacle or overcome something that has been holding you back. How did you do it? What are some actions or strategies you can take away from that dream and apply to your real life?

Take personality and aptitude tests.  There are lots of online personality and aptitude tests that are very insightful and many of them are free. Take some of these tests and keep an open mind about what the results show and what they have to say about you. You may be surprised to find a hidden talent or a characteristic you never noticed before! And before you dismiss any results that may seem that may seem inaccurate, take some time to think it over or ask a friend their opinion on the results.

It is not easy to acknowledge your flaws but keep in mind that once you do, they can no longer hold you back, and through the process of recognizing your weaknesses, you may find that there are other strengths you did not even know you had! Cultivating an in-depth sense of self-awareness takes some consistent work and dedication but it will put you on a path to success and to living the rewarding life of your dreams.

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