Here are some ideas to help you improve your self-awareness. Adopting even a few of them can help you begin to make positive changes in the way you see yourself as well as others.
- Reflect daily on your behavior. Ask questions: How do I handle difficulties? What do I think or do when I don’t get my own way? How adaptive am I? Can I control my emotions? Do I tend to say what I’m thinking when I’m thinking it? Do I judge other people and create conflict? How do others relate to me?
- Own your choices; stop blaming others for them. Only when you take responsibility for the situations you find yourself in can you progress toward personal growth.
- Seek feedback from as many significant people in your life as you can. This can be uncomfortable for both you and them, but it is the fastest method for gaining a better picture of yourself. It is important that you are sincere and make them feel safe. It’s a big risk for them too!
- Find a coach or mentor—someone who has seen you in action—to help you become a better you. There’s an old Polish proverb that says, “A guest sees more in an hour than the host in a year.” Take advantage of it.
- Understand that the faults you find so irritating in others often create a window to your own behavior. Frustration in dealing with your own shortcomings often leads to being sensitive to and even magnifying those same traits in others.
- Analyze your interactions. A lot of negative interactions signal a selfish approach to life. If a number of people say the same thing about you, accept it as true even if you don’t totally agree. Perception is reality; you can change negative perceptions by changing yourself.
- Organize your thoughts in a journal. Writing can help you clarify your thoughts. Make a note, too, of the casual remarks people make about you.
- Be careful what you say. Words mean a lot. What you say can be damaging to both yourself and others.
- Read the book of Proverbs for wisdom about yourself and the world.