Understanding why you make the choices you do can only happen when you develop better self-awareness and spend time looking within yourself. Becoming more self-aware can help you figure out what is motivating your choices, how to alter your behavior, and how to break the cycle of bad decisions that keep landing you in the same place.
Self-awareness is your ability to be mindful of your own experiences, abilities, and thoughts. We are all self-aware to some extent, but you can harness your self-awareness to help first understand and then change your behaviors to improve your life.
How Can Being More Self-Aware Help Me?
When you become more self-aware, you create a more accurate picture of yourself. You examine your habits, routines, motivations, and thoughts carefully. This can allow you to adapt your behavior to your own abilities, to the situation, or to break cycles of negative behavior. When you are more self-aware, you are better able to avoid risky or harmful behaviors, you better know your limitations, and you make the best choices based on your capabilities. Becoming self-aware involves learning to be more reflective, insightful, and mindful. When you practice these regularly, you become a more accepting person, as well.
How Do I Become More Self-Aware?
Learning to be more self-aware involves honing the skills of reflection, insight, and mindfulness. When you practice these daily, you will notice that you are more aware of your emotions and thoughts and are better able to consider your choices and motivations. Here are some simple, daily activities that will help increase your self-awareness.
#1. Write in a Journal Every Day
Journaling is a time-tested activity that can help you build self-awareness. For 20 minutes each day, write about your goals, your thoughts, and your worries. Recording these things not only helps unburden your mind from carrying them around, but it also can give you the opportunity to reflect upon them later. Every few days, reread your entries to see what you notice. How are your emotions affecting your behaviors? What fears or hurts do you see coming up again and again? Learning to understand your behaviors starts with acknowledging them so that you can analyze them for yourself.
#2. Practice Mindfulness Meditation
Meditation, when practiced regularly, helps you improve your mindful awareness. There are many types of meditation, and the goal of all is to help you clear your mind so that you can focus on what is important to you. If you want to improve your ability to reflect and be aware of yourself and your choices, try practicing a guided mindfulness meditation exercise every day for one month. You will notice improvements in your self-awareness, your ability to check your emotions, and a better understanding of your habits and choices.
#3. Get Feedback from Loved Ones
If you are struggling to answer your “Why do I do this” question, it can be helpful to ask someone else what they think. Getting feedback about your behaviors from others gives you a new perspective and may give you new insight into why you make the choices you make. Others may be seeing things you are not, which can be helpful for not only changing your behavior but also helping you to improve your self-awareness.
Figuring out why you do what you do requires a careful look at yourself. Learning to be more self-aware needs reflection, introspection, and learning to be more mindful of how your thoughts and emotions are controlling your life. When combined, you can increase your self-awareness and learn to change your negative behaviors into ones that are healthier and more positive.