Self Awareness

Self awareness is vital for growing self esteem and getting control of your life back. How can you change anything if you are not aware what needs to change or what effect that behaviour has on you and others?

This process of reflecting about how you think, feel and behave, alongside the feedback you get from others allows you to reflect on your progress and you are able to build new strategies to keep your change plans on track.

To get started you could decide what you would like to become. This could be confident, calmer, less angry, more honest about your true feelings, more relaxed, happier etc. Then, as you interact with others you could ask for feedback and ask people how they feel you are doing. Listen to the feedback objectively, ask how they suggest you could adapt, reflect on whether that suggestion could help you and try it.

Implementing change is difficult, so if you get feedback or notice that you revert to an old way of doing things. Stop yourself, mid-sentence or after you have done the thing you are learning to change. Apologise, explain that you are doing things differently then replace that behaviour with the target behaviour.

For example: You may want to become calmer. You may get feedback that you raise your voice. This upsets everyone including you. You notice you have raised your voice to someone. As soon as you notice, you apologise, explain that you are not happy but despite this you did not intend to raise your voice; and then, go on to explain your thoughts or feelings in a calm manner. If communication is an issue for you use the assertiveness techniques to take back control. This will very quickly help raise your self esteem as you will learn to take control and responsibility for your behaviour instead of having regrets about what you do, without ever managing those feelings.

Get Feedback to Develop Self Awareness

Feedback is essential to self awareness. People will give you feedback about your behaviour and your performance all the time, even if you do not realise it. Feedback is the response people give to you about any interaction that takes place. To make best use of feedback you must first decide what feedback you have been given. It is easy to assume that feedback which is positive is correct whilst any negative feedback is something which is built on the prejudice or negativity of the person giving it. The best way to have acurate feedback is to ask for it and encourage as open a dialogue as possible and use the information to make personal changes.

To build as honest and specific feedback as possible you should ask directly "Is there anything that you did which you would change and anything which you would like to maintain?"

Also you could ask people "How did my behaviour make you feel?"

This will given people a chance to have a clear picture of what needs to be changed and also how your behaviour impacts on others

Sometimes getting feedback is painful and difficult to hear to use reframing techniques to see feedback as always useful and productive. If you receive feedback that you have done something wrong view it as being aware of what you still have to work on to reach your target. As long as you are actively working to make changes you will find that you will reach your goals.

Use part of your day to reflect on your goals and how much progress you have made on them. This will allow you to identify any displacement activites going on which are undermining your change plans.

To further enhance this use the One Thing I Have Learned and keep a success diary too.

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