Self-awareness, or the recognition of self, is not something that is widely discussed in most training and professional development. It is a component of emotional intelligence, and self-awareness is also a critical element in the development of resiliency.
One of the challenges in developing self-awareness and our ability to be resilient is that we tend to look outside of ourselves to judge where we stand. We look for those we are better than in our relationships, work, education, or skill levels. We judge these others for their strengths and weakness and then consider how we measure up.
Learning to look inward and to build our sense of the ability to understand ourselves at a deeper level is part of self-awareness. When we recognize and acknowledge our skills, talents, and abilities, we are more confident and composed in everyday life. We are also stronger and more resilient, able to have confidence we have the ability to recover after negative events occur in life.
There are several steps to becoming aware of ourselves and building our ability to be resilient when obstacles and challenges happen in life. Two ways to become self-aware are to reflect on what triggers our emotions and thoughts and to find what truly brings us joy. Once we understand those issues, we can dig deeper into how to plan to recover when adversity enters our lives.
Consider Your Thoughts
Recognizing you are having an emotional reaction is an important first step. Many business leaders try to avoid emotion, which limits their ability to respond in the correct way. By recognizing your emotions, you become self-aware of reactions to positive and negative things in life.
Experiencing the emotion allows you to consider how your body and your thoughts respond to the emotion. Once you understand this, you can make changes. For example, if you become angry without knowing why, you cannot make changes to avoid becoming upset. This reduces your ability to recover after an issue as you are trapped in that angry emotion and response.
Being aware of what makes you happy helps you to tap into those activities and thoughts when you are challenged. Sometimes what makes you happy is simply going for a walk outdoors or taking a few minutes to make a call to a loved one or friend.
Becoming self-aware of what lifts you up helps you to recover after something negative occurs. This doesn’t mean you won’t feel disappointment, sorrow, anger, or frustration. It does mean you have the ability to offset those negative emotions by including things in your life that bring you happiness and joy.