“People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light but by making the darkness conscious.” - Carl Jung
Do we know ourselves? This is one of the most important questions that we should ask ourselves. If we don’t know ourselves fully then how can we know the things that hold us back, the fears that keep us afraid and the things that can lead us to true fulfillment in life? If we don’t know ourselves fully, how can we take the responsibility of creating a life for ourselves that we’ll actually love living?
To know yourself truly means to discern who you actually are and who you are not. So many times we don’t hear the true calling of our hearts but get influenced by society without even knowing that. We make a lot of decisions without knowing ourselves fully and this often leads us to regret, guilt and unhappiness in life. To live our lives fully and to the best of our abilities, it is crucial for us to know ourselves and self-awareness is the key to it.
What is self-awareness?
Self-awareness is the ability to be aware of your thoughts, impulses and inclinations in any given moment. By knowing your thoughts, impulses and inclinations you get to know who you are truly apart from who you imagine yourself to be. For example, you may think that you are afraid of being alone but when left alone you may enjoy your own company without ever knowing that you do. It is through self-awareness that you actually get to know yourself fully. You know what your heart longs for, you know what your true calling is and you know what you want to do with your life. Along with this, self-awareness is the key to understanding your trauma, knowing it fully and healing from it. You can also learn about different things that make you feel anxious, explore their depths and then swim out of them to find deep inner peace and healing.
Now, the question is not whether you practice self-awareness or not? The question is whether you want to practice it and help yourself be true to yourself, your values and your calling.
How to practice self-awareness?
Self-awareness is simply being aware of yourself at any given moment. To become aware of yourself you have to first create some stillness within. You can create it through meditation, mindfulness or engaging in activities that may make you forget yourself completely. For some people singing is something that makes them forget everything, for some it is dancing, for some it is spending time in nature and so on.
To begin your journey of self-awareness you’ll have to find something that brings stillness in you. You can identify inner stillness easily as it is the end of all seeking, restlessness, daily and effort in a particular direction. It is being completely at ease with yourself.
Once you start creating moments of stillness in your life, the intensity and speed of your thoughts will begin to reduce significantly. Once this happens, you can be aware of your thoughts at any given moment. So, to start practicing self-awareness, you should first incorporate something in your life that connects you to stillness. You should try spending some time on that activity on a daily basis.
After that, you will be able to become aware of your thoughts. Even when you begin to feel anxious suddenly, you’ll be able to discern your anxious thoughts and know what makes you feel that way. Then, you can dig deeper and explore your thoughts further to know what beliefs are behind your anxious thoughts. By questioning your beliefs, you’ll finally be able to know if your beliefs are true or not. As a result, you’ll be able to free your mind from things that make you feel anxious, slowly and gradually.
For example, if you feel anxious before meeting your boss, you should try to see what thoughts are going on in your mind. You may be thinking that he’ll fire you or scold you for something. These thoughts may be responsible for anxiety. But, then you have to dig deeper and ask yourself what if he fires me? Can’t I get a new job? If the answer is yes, there is no need to feel anxious. This way, you can slowly heal your anxious mind.
The same is true for unhealed emotions, trauma, and hurt that you carry within. As you begin your inner journey through self-awareness, you’ll be able to unveil the depths of your hurt and develop insights that will free you from its impact slowly.
Now that you know how to practice self-awareness, let us discuss the additional physical and mental health benefits that you’ll get through self-awareness:
The benefits of self-awareness:
Increased inner peace:
One of the biggest benefits of practicing self-awareness is that you become more peaceful inwardly. This happens because you no longer run away from your thoughts. Rather, you embrace them fully and make your way through the negative, anxiety, or other thoughts that hold you back. As you keep going like this, you become more powerful than your thoughts and inner peace prevails.
You become more mindful:
Mindfulness is the ability to be present in the moment. Most of us are hardly present in the now. Our thoughts are either revolving around the past or the future. As a result, we do not experience the state of inner joy which is naturally present within us. Instead, we feel restless and anxious. But, when you start practicing self-awareness, in being aware of your thoughts, you naturally start staying in the present moment. So, you become more mindful. Mindfulness helps you with stress management, improves your mental and physical health.
You begin to experience the psychological state of flow frequently:
Flow is the state of absolute involvement in the task that you are doing. When you are involved in the task at hand, you experience immense enjoyment, peace, and bliss. Time ceases to exist and you can keep going on for hours without a break. As you start practicing self-awareness, you start becoming empty inwardly. You experience fewer thoughts and become more likely to experience the psychological state of flow. This makes your life more beautiful, enjoyable, and blissful.
You experience less anxiety and stress:
Self-awareness or thought awareness makes you aware of your conditioned patterns. You begin to know your fears and explore them in detail. You no longer run away from them. You try to understand them and this understanding reduces your anxiety and stress levels.
Your self-esteem improves:
Through self-awareness, you become more aware of your emotions. This helps you develop the ability to navigate through them without being controlled by them. As a result, you develop confidence in your abilities to handle yourself. You develop high self-esteem that motivates you to achieve everything that you want and leads you to a life of fulfillment.
You become more empathetic:
Empathy is the ability to step into the shoes of others and understand their emotions. When you know yourself well, you can also know and understand others well. This makes you more empathetic. You can thus, support people in exactly the way they need.
Your decision-making skills improve significantly:
Thought awareness helps you make better decisions. Whenever you are faced with a situation where you have to take a stand, you can know whether your thoughts are influenced by fear, anxiety, or by your true will. With this awareness, you can prevent making decisions out of fear, listen to your heart, and create a fulfilling life for yourself.
We can not be closer to anyone than we are to ourselves. But still, we do not know ourselves fully. We don’t know the depths of our inner world, our calling, and our deepest wishes. As a result, everything stays hidden in darkness and we cannot live our best lives. However, if we start practicing self-awareness, we can start bringing the hidden aspects of ourselves to light. We can know the beliefs behind our anxiety, the root causes of the fears that hold us back, our trauma, and become aware of our deepest core. With this awareness, we start becoming free from all these things. This gives a new direction to our lives. We start feeling comfortable in our own skin. Our thoughts are no longer a cause of trouble for us and we start living at our best. So, are you ready to practice self-awareness? Wish you All the Best for your journey inwards.