Getting to Know You

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. 

  1. 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?  
  2. 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.  
  3. 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!  
  4. 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.  
  5. 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.  
  6. 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.  
  7. 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.  
  8. Be careful what you say. Words mean a lot. What you say can be damaging to both yourself and others.  
  9. Read the book of Proverbs for wisdom about yourself and the world.