In honour of Mental Health Week, we are continuing our series on tips to creating optimal emotional health. Yesterday’s post examined the foundational piece of needing to take care of ourselves, today’s focus is on self-awareness.
Will Mcavoy says it best with the quote, “The first step in solving a problem is recognizing there is one.”
When we aim to be more self-aware, we lean into our capacity to change. Many things can get in the way of our ability to be self-reflective, creating instead a fixed mindset or unhealthy patterns and cycles. In order to increase our self-awareness, we can:
- Be curious. There is perhaps no better way to temper fear than with curiosity. It allows us to examine the past (for the purpose of understanding, not blame); it allows us to question how solid something appears to be (does it have to be this way?); it gives ourselves permission to formulate other possibilities (perhaps I can look at this differently.)
- Be mindful of our defensive stance. When we are aimed at being more self-reflective, we are willing to recognize the defenses we have put in place to protect our vulnerabilities. When we move to examining feedback from others, or asking ourselves “Is this really about me?,” we are able to look at things through a more objective lens.
- Seek help. Sometimes the answer is right at the tip of our consciousness, but we just can’t access it. Our ability to ask for help in becoming more self-aware can be an important part of the process. That might mean asking a trusted friend, seeking therapy, taking a self-help course or increasing your knowledge base by reading about the suspected issue to recognize it and gather information as to its possible solution.
When we aim to become more self-aware, we increase our ability to design our own lives – focusing on the idea that:
“When we know better, we do better.” – Maya Angelou
Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@emilianovittoriosi