Self-awareness is a funny thing. It is like you can see yourself instead of being blind to yourself. Think of someone who has a mannerism but has no idea they have it. You notice it. They do not. They are blind to some aspect of their being.
I remember when I first started Gestalt therapy with a new therapist. I was sitting there talking and she said, “Where did you just go?” I was shocked. What was she talking about? I thought about it for a moment. I realized I had been feeling anxious about what I was saying, and I stopped talking and jumped into another thought. She simply saw me go blank. This was the beginning of me realizing that I often exited due to anxiety.
How do we develop awareness? Personally, I developed self-awareness through:
- Therapy (in this case Gestalt)
- Meditation (tons of different kinds at various points)
- Yoga over the course of 25 years or so
- Journaling which got me more connected to my feelings and thoughts
- Training. Tons of training to become a therapist
To be more consistently self-aware:
- Take on a practice like one I mentioned above.
- Make a commitment to notice what you are feeling/thinking in a moment-to-moment way.
- Stop yourself periodically and check in. What is happening in my body? What is my mind thinking? What am I feelings? What am I noticing?
Self-awareness can only improve your life. You don’t want to be the person chewing with your mouth open, but you are the only person in the room who doesn’t know it!