Categories
Device

What is self awareness (and how to increase yours)

A collection of reflective activities and questions for developing self-awareness .

This page covers:

  • Self-awareness: learning about yourself to improve
  • Some traits are stable, others change frequently
  • Challenging your answers to remain reflective
  • Links to example activities and approaches for self-awareness

Self-awareness: learning about yourself to improve

The purpose of reflection is to improve practice and become informed in our decisions. Generally, we want to become more able and effective in what we are doing. A lot of reflection is done to make more sense of particular experiences – critical experiences, disorienting dilemmas – however reflection can also start with the want to develop better understanding of ourselves.

This doesn’t necessarily have to start with an experience, but rather a reflective question. To answer this type of question, we will often use experiences as evidence or support.

By learning about ourselves, our motives, and our assumptions, we can develop a toolkit of knowledge and abilities that we can draw on to help ourselves preform to the best of our ability.

Some traits remain stable, others change frequently

Aspects of ourselves like strengths, weaknesses, and values often tend to be fairly consistent over time. That said, they do change naturally and, of course, with awareness we can start consciously targeting these elements, for example by building reflective habits and goals. However, sometimes we might also want to be aware of things that vary faster such as our mood, or how we feel about something particular.

The questions and activities you can access from this page will help with awareness of both more stable traits such as strengths and weaknesses, and traits that vary more rapidly. They include simple check-in questions we can ask ourselves in the moment, and get us to think slightly differently about a problem.

Challenge your answers to remain reflective

One very important aspect of these types of activities and questions is that they lend themselves well to reflection, but don’t necessarily require a reflective approach. Therefore, to remain reflective it is important that you challenge your initial instincts and look for evidence – ask yourself ‘How do I know?’ and ‘Why?’ regularly.

Example activities and approaches for self-awareness

There are many ways to build self-awareness. The activities and questions available below are not exhaustive, but give you a place to start when trying to increase your self-awareness.

Knowing ourselves is the key to increasing self-esteem, self-confidence, living our lives with intention and purpose.

What is self awareness (and how to increase yours)

What is self awareness (and how to increase yours)

Here’s an easy self-reflection exercise you can do to know yourself better and increase self-awareness.

When I was in grade 6, there was this thing called “Student of the Week”.

Each week, a kid would do a short presentation about themselves, like their favourite food, music, colour etc.

You know…as a way to teach a kid how to speak in front of the group and get to know each other.

Anyway, at the end of the presentation, the classmates could raise their hands and ask questions.

There was always some clown who would ask, “why do you like pizza?” and then the kid would answer…and then the clown would ask, “why?”

So when it was my turn, I was freaking ready with all the answers. I said I liked swimming.

I liked the water.

Because I like to float.

Because it’s fun

After 3 whys, the class clown gave up.

But that exercise makes you really think about a decision that you’ve made in the past and WHY we made it.

So many times, when we make decisions, we either make them impulsively without thought or we overanalyze and became paralyzed thinking we will make the wrong decision.

But if it’s a decision you’ve made already, what’s done is done and the exercise forces you to self-reflect, discover new things about yourself so you know yourself.

The more you know yourself, the more self-aware you are, the more you live with intention, finetune what you want in life, and live your life with purpose.

Because I want to help improve the next generation.

Because I think I have a lot to give.

Because I suffered from self-harm and depression as a teenager and thought there was no purpose to life.

Because I was trying to be perfect all the time.

Because maturity and following rules were valued.

Because my parents valued it.

By going through this process, it’s really validating and justifies the decision that I made.

PLUS, I learned some new things about myself.

The most overlooked element of a successful leader is self-awareness. Here’s why and what you can do about it.

What is self awareness (and how to increase yours)

A few months ago, I asked Ben Congleton, CEO of Olark, what he wished he’d learned earlier as a leader. No, he didn’t mention learning a new business development hack, nor did he talk about the importance of hiring well. Rather, what Ben wishes he’d learned earlier was how to improve his self-awareness as a leader.

Self-awareness, really? After considering it for a moment, I caught myself nodding vigorously at his answer. How true!

In my head, I recalled all the moments I’ve personally lacked self-awareness as a leader: When I micromanaged someone yet had no idea when I argued against a new idea because of my own bias … The list goes on. Each time, I’d shot myself in the foot.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized: Self-awareness at work just might be the most underrated, overlooked element of a successful leader.

Why self-awareness is crucial for leaders

Fundamentally, self-awareness is about understanding your own mental state. It’s knowing about yourself: When are you energized? When are you in a bad mood? Where are you strong in, and where are you weak? What are your tendencies, your biases, and your leanings toward? What might your blindspots be?

This self-knowledge is irreplaceable. Without self-awareness, you can’t make informed decisions. You don’t know if you’re getting in your own way — if a strong irrational personal bias or misguided mental model is shaping your view on things.

Self-awareness is also critical as a leader because it means that you can build healthier relationships with your employees. Ben himself admits how his lack of self-awareness kept him from resolving an employee conflict as well as he’d like. He recalls:

“I remember there was one point where I was trying to resolve a conflict between two employees, and I just was like my head was somewhere else, my head was just like ‘This is the last thing on my to-do list, I just need to get this done, and then I can hop on a plane and go see my family.’”

Lastly, self-awareness is important for your growth and personal development as a leader. You can’t improve as a leader if you don’t know what to improve in. You have to see the current state of yourself clearly if you want to make any progress in getting better as a leader.

With self-awareness being so important, what are the ways you can actually improve your self-awareness in leadership?

How to improve your self-awareness as a leader

Assume positive intent.

One thing that Ben tries to keep in mind to improve his self-awareness as a leader is to assume good faith. When you feel yourself getting defensive and are not in a good mental state to receive feedback, stop and recognize it. Understand that the source of your resistance to what the other person is saying maybe your poor assumption of the other person’s intention. You think they’re out to get you or have ulterior motives. So assuming positive intent is a first step to bringing a sense of self-awareness to the situation: You may not be hearing things for what they are because you’re misreading the other person’s intention.

Hold up a mirror to yourself and your decisions.

Self-awareness naturally includes assessing yourself for your own mental models, biases, strengths and shortcomings, and the gaps in your perception of reality. Something that Peter Drucker, the well-known management expert, has recommended is: “Whenever you make a decision or take a key decision, write down what you expect will happen. Nine or 12 months later, compare the results with what you expected.” Warren Buffet, in fact, practices a version of this with his investment decisions. This active reflection process helps create a deeper understanding of yourself. And by reflecting on your decisions and the outcomes, you can reach a more objective understanding of what’s working for you as a leader, and what’s not.

It’s not all about you.

Self-awareness isn’t just about reflecting inward and delving into what you’re personally feeling. You have to understand what’s going on with the other person, as well. How might what’s happening at home or something that a family member is struggling with be affecting her performance? Does this person have preferences and reactions drastically different from your own? Don’t assume that this person wants to be treated the way you want to be treated. Embracing this nuance that everyone is not like you is a cornerstone of self-awareness as a leader. It’s not all about you — you must seek out to understand others’ perspectives.

Ask your team the tough questions.

If you really want to become self-aware, there are few better ways to accomplish this than asking your team. This means asking questions that you may be hesitant to know the answer to. For instance, during your next one-on-one meeting, try asking, “When’s the last time something I did or said frustrated you?” Or, ask, “When’s the last time you felt unsupported as a member of the team?” When you defer to them to shed light on your tendencies, not only will you get helpful information to give you greater self-awareness, but you show them a willingness to become better as a leader. That, in itself, helps strengthen your bond with the rest of your team. Not sure exactly what to ask your team? Try a few of these questions to uncover your leadership blind spots.

Find an accountability partner.

For Ben, the most effective way for him to develop greater self-awareness as a leader was to hire an executive coach. For Ben, this was helpful for two reasons: (1) It created an accountability partner for him, helping him put into the practice the things he wanted to improve, and (2) it forced him to have a time to reflect every week, causing him to set aside time to deliberately to become more self-aware. Without this third-party intervening to keep Ben actively focusing on his own self-awareness, he doubts he would have made the same progress he did as a leader. Now, I’m not saying you need to go out and hire an executive coach tomorrow. Rather, a third-party serving as an accountability partner could be a friend, mentor, spouse or anyone outside the company. You simply need a buddy to help make sure you’re walking the walk when it comes to becoming more self-aware.

I’m so grateful that Ben admitted that self-awareness was his greatest leadership lesson. It was the reminder I needed to double-down on my own personal self-awareness. Without self-awareness, we fly blind as leaders. Choosing to know ourselves is truly our first step to becoming a better leader.

🌊 Ready to become more self-aware as a leader? Then you’ll want to check out Know Your Team. Our software helps you nail the fundamentals of leadership, so you can become more self-aware: We help you run effective one-on-one meetings, get honest feedback, share team progress, and build team rapport. Try Know Your Team for free, yourself, today.

Social and emotional learning starts with self-awareness and then continues to teach and build this skill throughout a student’s journey.

The Positive Action program teaches self-awareness in unit 1, then continues to highlight it as an underlying philosophy throughout all of our material.

What is Self-Awareness?

Social-emotional self-awareness means having the ability to understand your thoughts, emotions, and values, as well as knowing how those factors influence your behavior. Added to this understanding is the capacity to open-mindedly and realistically assess your strengths and weaknesses while maintaining your confidence, drive, and desire to grow.

The World Health Organization recognizes self-awareness as one of ten life skills that promote well-being across all cultures. The other skills include:

  • Empathy
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Responsible decision-making
  • Problem-solving
  • Effective communication
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Coping with stress
  • Coping with emotions

To be self-aware is to follow the first Delphic maxim of ancient Greece: “know thyself.”

Teaching Self-Awareness

Learning to be self-aware isn’t easy, even for adults, which can make teaching self-awareness to students daunting.

Some teachers might also wonder when redirecting students, is this self-awareness or self-efficacy? Teaching self-efficacy is, in a way, part of teaching self-awareness in the classroom.

To be self-aware, you must be able to:

Identify your emotions. Your students need to be able to identify their feelings. Learning the difference between frustration and anger will help students navigate their emotions. By recognizing the link between their feelings, thoughts, and actions, they can then address these feelings and react to them appropriately.

See yourself honestly. Teaching your students to look at themselves honestly can help them respond to compliments, feedback, and criticism openly and earnestly. This sense of self will teach them to see and acknowledge both the positive and negative things in their nature.

Recognize your strengths and weaknesses. Your students’ ability to see themselves, acknowledge their shortcomings, and embrace their strengths is a great confidence booster. Knowing that it’s okay to admit they’re wrong or don’t understand something sets them up for growth. Acknowledging aptitude also builds confidence.

Work toward growth. All of these skills lead students to self-efficacy. They understand that self-work and growth are positive activities that result in healthy, happy people with a drive to achieve.

5 Activities and Strategies for Teaching Students to be Self Aware

Here are some ideas for how to develop self-awareness in students.

Positive Awareness. Have students write a list of the things they like about themselves. If they need a nudge, suggest something like “I am cheerful,” or “I am creative.” Encourage older students to dig a little deeper. Students should put this list in a place where they’ll often see it to reinforce the positives they see in themselves.

Discuss the Thoughts-Actions-Feelings Circle. Unique to Positive Action, the thoughts-actions-feelings circle is integral to our SEL curriculum. It depicts how thoughts lead to actions and actions to feelings, which lead once again to thoughts. Describe situations your students might find themselves in. Discuss how those situations might make them feel, how and what they might think, and how they might act based on those thoughts and feelings.

Keep an Emotion Journal. As students learn to identify and label their feelings, ask them to keep an emotion journal. For younger students, this may mean pasting emoji faces, while for older students, it might be a digital journal. Taking the time for a daily “emotional assessment” allows your students to understand and explore their emotions.

Establish and Work Toward Goals. Meeting self-awareness goals and objectives gives students successes to celebrate, fortifying their belief in themselves. Ask students to set a realistic goal and write down steps they can take to meet those goals. You might even consider making a class goal for students to strive for as the year progresses.

Use Your Strengths. Help students to identify their strengths. The act of identifying things that your students are good at reinforces a positive self-image. Working to improve their strengths builds confidence, setting them up for success.

The Importance of a Healthy Self-Awareness

Having a healthy self-awareness promotes emotional wellness and self-esteem. It provides students insight into who they are, why they react as they do, and gives them a direction for self-improvement. Self-awareness for students is crucial for success. Self-aware people have a fundamental belief in their ability to achieve a goal, and this trait helps students thrive in everything they do.

When Does a Child Become Self-Aware?

Children can become aware younger than you might think. Typically after the age of five, they’ll begin identifying their emotions. Until then, they don’t understand what they’re feeling, or that other people have feelings separate from their own.

Recognizing their emotions and the emotions of others is the first step of becoming self-aware.

What is self awareness (and how to increase yours)

Great leaders are often seen as outward-facing — communicating and influencing others as they drive an organization to success.

While communication and influence are 2 of the “Fundamental 4” core leadership skills identified in our research, the other 2 — learning agility and self-awareness — are more inward-focused.

Self-awareness can be the most challenging of the 4 to develop, but it can also serve as a foundation for strengthening all your other leadership skills.

Leader effectiveness is constrained or amplified based on how well leaders understand themselves, their awareness of how others view them, and how they navigate the resulting interactions.

Increase Your Self-Awareness in 4 Key Ways

Self-awareness has 4 facets that are most critical for leaders:

  • Leadership Wisdom: These are insights from your experience that you can apply to the challenges you face.
  • Leadership Identity: This is who you are in your current professional and personal context.
  • Leadership Reputation: This is how others perceive you as a leader based on your current and previous behavior.
  • Leadership Brand: This is what you aspire to and the actions you take to support that mission.

Let’s explore each component in more detail so you can increase your self-awareness for greater success.

What is self awareness (and how to increase yours)

Leadership Wisdom

The best leaders have a bank of lessons and anecdotes they can bring to bear on new challenges. These insights don’t arise spontaneously but are the result of ongoing practice.

The key to cultivating leadership wisdom is taking time to reflect on your experiences. This includes revisiting your experiences from multiple perspectives, engaging in “surface reflection” to identify past actions and behaviors, and practicing “deep reflection” to examine underlying beliefs and assumptions.

This reflection must be done time and again, and good leaders often return to the same experiences repeatedly to gain new insights as they grow.

Leadership Identity

Your leadership identity, or social identity, influences how you lead, whether you’re aware of it or not. In our diverse, global marketplace, it’s even more critical to understand our own identity and how it shapes interactions with others.

Think of your leadership identity as 3 concentric rings (which may overlap). In the outer ring is your given identity — characteristics you have no choice about. These natural traits include age, nationality, race, some physical characteristics, and the like.

The second ring is your chosen identity. These traits describe your status, characteristics you control, and skills. Common attributes in the chosen identity are your occupation, political affiliation, and hobbies, among others.

The innermost ring is your core identity. These are the qualities that make you unique; some may change over your life, while others remain constant. Included here are behaviors, values, and beliefs.

Knowing your leadership identity may help you find common ground with others, leading to stronger relationships or reducing the likelihood of misunderstandings during critical communications.

Leadership Reputation

Your leadership reputation is what others think of you as a leader. Understanding your leadership reputation helps you comprehend how you may be perceived and judged by others. Knowing how you’re perceived will strengthen your ability to communicate with and influence others.

To understand your leadership reputation, ask questions about the reputation you’ve established, try to view your behavior as others may, and check to see if your reputation aligns with your values and your desired leadership brand.

Leadership Brand

How do people know the leadership you’re capable of, and how do you communicate it? That’s what your leadership brand is — an aspirational set of leadership traits and behaviors.

Understanding your leadership brand — how you’d like to be perceived — allows you to act to change those perceptions in a positive, authentic way. Your leadership brand should identify your unique strengths, communicate them to others, provide a consistent experience that meets others’ expectations of you, and make explicit that which is implicit.

The key here is to bring to the surface, enhance, and polish your greatest strengths and make sure you’re communicating them to people you encounter inside and outside of your organization. A strong leadership brand can only be developed if you’re self-aware — you need to know what your leadership reputation is and have a deliberate plan for strengthening it to fuel your leadership aspirations.

For those leaders who work at it, greater self-awareness in these 4 areas will pay significant dividends.

Ready to Take the Next Step?

Increase your self-awareness and strengthen the other “Fundamental 4” leadership skills that are key for all leaders with our fundamental leadership skills program, Lead 4 Success®.

Or, partner with us to increase self-awareness on your whole team with a customized learning journey for your leaders using our research-backed modules. Available leadership topics include Authentic Leadership, Emotional Intelligence, Psychological Safety, Self-Awareness, and more.

What is self awareness (and how to increase yours)

Welcome to Part 1 of How to Use Awareness to Improve Communication.

In this post we are going to focus on self-awareness. In the subsequent post, we will learn how to communicate our self-awareness to others in a clear and simple way.

Self-Awareness: Thinking, Feeling and Sensing

Self-awareness means looking at your internal experience and making sense out of it. Right now, just allow your attention to move internally and notice what’s there.

You might notice that there are three parts of your internal experience that you can focus your attention on: your thoughts, your emotions and your bodily sensations. I am going to help you understand and separate out the three parts of an internal experience: thinking, feeling and sensing.

Thinking

Thinking is associated with the mind. In your internal experience this is the easy one to identify because it’s what we pay attention to most of our lives. Take a second to notice what you are thinking right now.

You may be thinking, “What does this blog post mean?” Or “I need to pick up milk from the store tonight.”

Or, perhaps, you’re thinking, “I want my relationship to be more peaceful.” The list goes on and on and on. Thoughts happen so consistently that most of the time you don’t even notice that you are thinking them.

Just let your mind run for a few seconds and notice all the thoughts that occur in a very short amount of time. Every time you have a thought, notice that you are thinking that thought.

Feeling

Feeling is associated with emotions. Feeling is a little more complicated to understand than thinking. Emotions can be affected by your thinking, but they are not always logical.

I define emotions as the intersection between thought and sensations. For example, when you feel sad, you may have the thought “My cat just died.” You may have the physical sensation of heaviness in your body and then cry.

You would then name this whole experience as sadness, a thought plus the sensation of heaviness and tears.

Sensing

Sensing is associated with the body. This category of experience includes observable physical sensations in the body such as “cold,” “tingly,” “numb” and “tense.”

The clearest example of how this connects to feelings is when you get really angry at someone and a flush of heat runs through you body.

Awareness at this level allows you to break down emotions into simpler body sensations and thoughts associated with those sensations, causing the feelings to become less overwhelming and confusing.

Separating Internal Experiences

Why is it important to separate internal experiences out from each other?

First, it helps you know what it going on inside of you so that you can tell the important people in your life.

Second, internal awareness can help to regulate your emotions. When you are in an argument, your internal experience can turn into a big tangled ball of negative thoughts, feelings and sensations. When you separate your experience into three parts, it helps you understand what is happening and slow down before you speak.

Finally, it will help you and others to more fully resolve the issue all the way, through instead of just arriving at a cease-fire.

I wholeheartedly agree with my friend and pastor Eddie Park that the single greatest skill a twenty-something can develop is self-awareness.

It doesn’t take much to convince leaders how self-awareness plays an instrumental role in the development of one’s leadership and success. But, those who actually apply themselves and cultivate daily habits to expand self-awareness are truly rare. I am far more impressed by those who deliberately practice self-awareness on a regular basis. Doing always trumps saying!

What is self awareness (and how to increase yours)

Courtesy from Mindtools.com

Here’s one of my favorite tools that I often use in my coaching sessions: The Johari Window. And, it works every single work. It is so simple, powerful and relevant that every leader should have this under his/her belt.

The Johari Window was designed by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham in 1955 to help people to understand and know themselves better, desire self-improvement, as well as to understand their relationships with other people. Imagine a window with four panes, each pane having its own area. If you use Microsoft Windows, you might want to think of having four windows open on the monitor at the same time. These panes of the windows can either expand or contract. Here’s what the four windows look like.

1. Open Area – what is known by the person about himself and is also known by others.

  • The aim should always be to develop the ‘open area’ for every person, because when we work in this area with others we are at our most effective and productive, and the group is at its most productive too. The open area can be seen as the space where good communications and cooperation occur, free from distractions, mistrust, confusion, conflict and misunderstanding.
  • Established team members logically tend to have larger open areas than new team members. New team members start with relatively small open areas because relatively little knowledge about the new team member is shared. The size of the open area can be expanded horizontally into the blind space, by seeking and actively listening to feedback from other group members.

2. Blind Area – what is unknown by the person about himself but which others know

  • This blind area is not an effective or productive space to be in. This blind area could also be referred to as ignorance about oneself, or issues in which one is deluded. It’s the broccoli in your teeth. A blind area could also include issues that others are deliberately withholding from a person.
  • Group members and managers can take some responsibility for helping an individual to reduce their blind area – in turn increasing the open area – by giving sensitive feedback and encouraging disclosure. Leaders should promote a climate of non-judgmental feedback.

3. Hidden Area – what the person knows about himself that others do not know

  • The hidden area could also include sensitivities, fears, hidden agendas, manipulative intentions, secrets – anything that a person knows but does not reveal, for whatever reason. This might come from walls of self-preservation. People are asking themselves: Is there anything to hide? to prove? afraid of losing?
  • When you actively engage in disclosure, you tell others how you feel and other information about yourself which will reduce the hidden area. This will increase the open area which enables better cooperation, trust, and team-working effectiveness.
  • Organizational culture and working climates have a major influence on group members’ preparedness to disclose their hidden selves. Most people fear judgement or vulnerability and therefore hold back hidden information and feelings. Again, leaders define culture.

4. Unknown Area – what is unknown by the person about himself and is also unknown by others

  • Large unknown areas would typically be expected in younger people, and people who lack experience or self-belief.
  • Here are examples of unknown factors:
    • an ability that is under-estimated or un-tried through lack of opportunity, encouragement, confidence or training
    • a natural ability or aptitude that a person doesn’t realize they possess
    • a fear or aversion that a person does not know they have
    • conditioned behavior or attitudes from childhood

How important is self-reflection in your life?

THE BASICS

  • What Does “Self Help” Mean?
  • Find a therapist near me

How well do you know yourself? How deeply do you understand your motivations?

If you’re on this website, you probably know the basics of psychology. You understand biases, the power of the halo-effect, or even how we make decisions.

But, do you understand what drives you? Your own self-image? Or how others experience you?

The charge, “Know thyself,” is centuries old, but it has never been more important. Research from psychologist Daniel Goleman shows that self-awareness is crucial for all levels of success. As he outlines in Emotional Intelligence, above an IQ of 120, EQ (Emotional Intelligence) becomes the more important predictor of successful leaders. Developing self-awareness is the first step to develop your EQ.

You can’t gain self-awareness through knowing psychology. Rather, it requires a deep understanding of your past and current self. Experiences shape how we see the world. So, we have to reflect on how the world has shaped us.

How can you gain self-awareness? Here are three steps to start.

1. Understand Your Life Story

Over the past 10 years, psychologists have focused on a new field of research called narrative identity. As Dan McAdams, Northwestern University psychology professor, explains, “The stories we tell ourselves about our lives don’t just shape our personalities—they are our personalities.”

Your narrative identity is the story of your life; but it’s more than just a story. How you understand your narrative frames both your current actions and your future goals. As research from Southern Methodist University shows, writing about difficult life experiences improves our physical and mental health. How much you confront your life’s challenges—what I call “crucibles”—defines your level of self-awareness.

So, how can you begin? In Discover Your True North, I give a few questions to start.

  • Looking at your early life story, what people, events, and experiences have had the greatest impact in shaping the person you have become?
  • In which experiences did you find the greatest passion for leading?
  • How do you frame your crucibles and setbacks in your life?

2. Create a Daily Habit of Self-reflection

Next, you should develop a daily practice of setting aside at least twenty minutes to reflect on your life. This practice enables you to focus on the important things in your life, not just the immediate. Research from Wisconsin’s Richard Davidson demonstrated direct correlation between mindfulness and changes in the brain—away from anger and anxiety and toward a sense of calm and well-being.

Reflection takes many forms. Some keep a journal, some pray, and others take a long walk or jog. Personally, I use daily meditation as my mindful habit. By centering into myself, I am able to focus my attention on what’s really important, and develop an inner sense of well-being.

3. Seek Honest Feedback

THE BASICS

  • What Does “Self Help” Mean?
  • Find a therapist near me

We all have traits that others see, but we are unable to see in ourselves. We call these “blind spots.” Do you see yourself as others see you? If not, you can address these blind spots by receiving honest feedback from people you trust.

Receiving feedback is hard. So, focus on psychological triggers that might block your learning. As Harvard’s Sheila Heen argued in “Thanks for The Feedback,” three main triggers prevent our learning: relationship triggers, identity triggers, and truth triggers. If you feel defensive, think back to why you do. Often, we can explain it using these triggers.

Becoming self-aware won’t happen in a day. Rather, it will take years of reflection, introspection, and difficult conversations. As you follow these three practices, you will find you are more comfortable being open, transparent, and even vulnerable. As you do, you will become a more authentic leader and a more self-aware person.

Self-assurance means being confident in your personality traits and abilities. It is one of the most powerful qualities to have, and yet, too many people lack a belief in their own abilities. Fortunately, it is possible to build it.

Some people are just born with natural skills and abilities that others do not possess. What’s even more troubling is, people without specific skills can try their entire lives and never reach the potential of others who don’t even try. It can simply be maddening, to say the least.

All that aside, the same thing goes for confidence. Some people are born with it, some people can acquire it, and others will never have it. Boosting your self-assurance can obviously have a variety of positive effects on you as a person, but it will also get you closer to success and career growth.

Whatever the situation is, it goes without saying that you will immensely benefit from believing in your abilities and personal qualities.

Don’t be one of those people that thinks he or she can never improve their own confidence because this isn’t the case at all. While you might never make it to the level of others, you can raise your self-assurance to the point where you start to see its powerful effects on your life. Want to know how?

How to Increase Your Self-Assurance with 7 Tips

1. Get Things Done

Do you know what confidence is built on for a big part? It would be accomplishments. They give you moral satisfaction and make you feel better about yourself. Therefore, a sure way to build your self-assurance is by overcoming procrastination and getting stuff done.

This might mean starting out small and working your way up, but as long as you are getting things done, you are enhancing your self-belief. It starts with your day to day goals, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem. They are going to take you to bigger accomplishments.

And once you start achieving those small goals, you’ll have the confidence, experience, and know-how to start accomplishing much larger goals in life.

2. Monitor Those Goals

Speaking of goals, you can’t get anywhere is you don’t know where you are going. This is why you have to monitor your progress along the way.

Whether you are trying to get a new job, get promoted, or find your path in life on a greater scale, you need to know where exactly you stand. Getting a clear idea of your current circumstances and progress will shed light on the things that need to be changed or improved so that you can fulfill your potential.

3. Nurture Your Mental Well-Being

You’d be surprised to learn how powerful the impact of your mental health can be on your body. And self-assurance is pretty much nothing more than a component of your mental health.

That being said, meditation is without a doubt one of the best possible ways to start maintaining and improving your mental well-being. Start each day by allowing yourself 20 minutes alone where you can collect and reflect on your thoughts from the previous day and what lies ahead of you today.

Allow yourself to feel grounded and connected while also experiencing the peace and harmony of living in the moment. This will not only likely improve your overall mental health, but it will also help you be more productive.

4. Look After Your Body

Unfortunately, caring for your mental health alone is not enough. You also have to physically care for your body. This can be extremely hard when you feel self-conscious about your looks. As hard as it might be and sound, you want to boost your body image so that it matches your newfound mindset.

With most gyms shut down and social distancing in full force, this can be much harder than one might imagine. Starting with a simple walk can be one of the most effective ways to get started. It will get the endorphins flowing and result in relieving stress, tension, and pressure.

Couple this with healthy eating, and you’ll be well on your way to a whole new transformation.

5. Try New Things

There is always a fear of the unknown. This is just natural. It might cause feelings of uncertainty and anxiety in some people, but the only way around them is to face them head-on.

All you need is a little can-do attitude, and you can just about conquer anything. You don’t need to try crazy things to step out of your comfort zone. Sometimes, a small push to escape your everyday routine, such as enrolling in a class or a special interest club, is powerful enough.

After all, if you don’t try new things, how do you know what you will be able to achieve? You will never know what you are capable of, and you won’t know how to be more confident unless you try to see yourself in a new way as well.

6. Don’t Get Brought Down

There are always going to be people in your life who will try to bring you down. Some might not mean to while others could do it intentionally. Certain personalities simply thrive on negativity and criticisms. You can’t change their mindset, but you can surely change yours.

You might be bringing yourself down with negative thoughts too. In fact, most people stay unaware of their own thoughts most of the time. They listen to their inner critic, taking its words at face value and letting it ruin their self-belief.

If you want to cope with your self-deprecating thoughts, a good start is to practice self-awareness and mindfulness. When you learn to recognize them, it’s the first step to confronting them and ending their toxic influence on your life.

In all, you want to learn to deal with negative thoughts and people and prevent them from having a toll on your mindset. Whether it is a negative person or a negative situation, you’ll want to learn to shift your focus to the positive aspects.

7. Practice Self-Love

This one is probably the hardest of all. Even people with intrinsic self-assurance most probably have things about themselves that they do not like. This is okay, and being discontent with some of your traits is perfectly natural.

You just don’t want to become obsessed with these things. And you can avoid that by focusing on the positive aspects of yourself. Point out the things that you do well and the personality traits you are proud of. It would be great if you write down a list of your positive qualities and talents.

Give yourself credit for your good qualities and bear them in mind whenever you are feeling particularly disappointed with yourself. Know that they far outshine your negatives. Moreover, never forget that no one is perfect, and our flaws make us unique.

You might also want to use self-affirmations as a way to give your self-esteem a powerful boost. These are positive statements about yourself and your life that you need to repeat every day. In the beginning, you may struggle to believe in what you say, but with time, affirmations will do wonders for your self-image.

Self-assurance is not an unreachable mindset. Believing in yourself, your talents, and your abilities takes practice and consistency.