“At a certain level of self-awareness, we perceive something supernatural in us.” Leo Tolstoy
For millennia, the importance of self-awareness has been recognized across cultures around the world, seen in art, literature, and a variety of ritual practices passed down from one generation to another. To be self-aware is to be knowledgeable of, and attuned to, one’s own being. Who are you? What are your core values? What are your core beliefs? Why do you do the things you do?
Without self-awareness, you’re walking around with compromised visibility. You might not be entirely satisfied with your life, but you can’t determine why things are unfolding the way they are. You can’t fully understand how your way of being in the world shapes and influences the circumstances in your life. You struggle to connect the dots regarding how your presence impacts everything and everyone you come into contact with.
A simple 3-step formula to help you nurture your own self-awareness is: stop – search – solitude.
For a few moments, stop whatever it is that’s keeping you busy and distracted. When you’re not actively occupied, you make room for your mind to reflect, and you can start to see things that have been hiding in plain sight.
Expend the energy to dig a little bit within yourself. Ask yourself questions, and then answer those questions honestly. Write things out in a journal for added clarity. You’ll get to know yourself better as a result.
Throughout the centuries, across cultures, there has always been a link between solitude and self-awareness. All the wise sages of the world had this in common. You don’t need to cut yourself off from people entirely, but there’s something very powerful about taking some time to simply be with yourself and experience your own company.
Increased self-awareness won’t eliminate all the challenges in your life. But it will provide you with valuable knowledge, so you’re better equipped to move through life in a focused and meaningful way. You’ll start making wiser decisions that yield better results in both the short and long term. And you’ll bring more success into your life, since you’ll be able to assess what’s best for you, rather than being swept along by external forces and pressures.