Originally posted in IndiaToday.in on May 21, 2021.  View as PDF.

Malini Saba Self-awareness is having the conscious knowledge of our actions, emotions and thoughts. It is the needle of our moral compass that enables us to be aware of our decisions, and hopefully, make the right choice. Having self-awareness can help someone grow, improve their relationships, improve their self-love and a lot more.

Here are 10 ways to improve self-awareness:

Monitor Self-Talk

It is easy to get blown away by the gust of negative self-talk. Monitoring one’s self talk allows that person to distinguish between right and wrong, and later make the right choice. If your self-talk is demeaning, be more assertive, if it is over-optimistic, mellow down.

Track Your No’s

By keeping a track of how many times you say yes, even when you wished you had said no, you get to understand why you feel the need to please others. By counting the number of no’s you get to understand whether you are just looking for validation or you really value your time and effort.

Be Introspective

Being young comes with its own fair share of ups and downs. It is difficult to peel away from what is wrong (but tempting) and make the right choice. However, by introspecting one’s ideas, thought process and mental conversation, it is easy to be self-aware and have a better rationale.

Know Your Strength and Weakness

While it is easy to blur the lines, knowing our strength and weakness allows us to understand our abilities and of course, push the boundaries of limitations. We can build our existing strengths and work on our weaknesses, turning them to assets. A sure shot pathway to self-development.

Get Honest Feedback

The mark of a self-assured person is the ability to receive feedback and work on them. In order to be more about yourself, ask your trusted relatives and friends to describe you, your strengths and weaknesses. Work on their description and improve the existing drawbacks to be a well-rounded human being. Key tip: do not counter these feedbacks to those who are giving it to you. The idea is self-development and not self-defence.

Pause Work

It is understandable that you might be swamped with assignments and other professional deadlines. However, it is important to pause work and give your mind and body some rest. This time will take you off the clockwork and allow you the breathing space to analyses your emotional and physical-well being.

Know What Ticks You Off

Everyone has an emotional kryptonite. It does not take a lot to touch that nerve. However, it is important to assess what ticks you off easily and instead of having an explosive reaction, workaround a more calm coping mechanism. Nothing pisses off your oppressor than you being calm and collected while he/she triggers your emotional kryptonite.

Just Breathe

Many self-development experts believe that by simply breathing, you can understand a great deal about yourself. Simple meditation techniques where you just have to track your breath can help you clear your mind and allow you to be more clear-headed while making decisions. It helps you understand your drawbacks and allow you the bandwidth of self-analysis.

Create a Mind-Map

This can be the map of where you want to be, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually (if you’d like). Having this mind-map will create a pathway for you to know what steps you should take to achieve your goal.

For instance, you want to be a healthier person:

Analyze your current state
Create a micro-step of walking every day for 15 minutes, then move on to 30 minutes
Remove obstacles like lack of time. Wake up 30 minutes earlier to accommodate that
Stay consistent
You are at your destination

Empower Yourself

It is important to be your own cheerleader. Empowering yourself will help you become more aware of how much you might be holding yourself back. Give yourself a cheer every day to stay motivated.