3 Simple Questions to Immediately Become More Self-Aware
There is a clear rise of consciousness in 2019, and everyone seems to want to know, “what exactly does it mean to be self-aware?”
Self-awareness at it’s core is going to mean something different to everyone, but everyone who “gets it” knows that it can be a simple but powerful tool for navigating life.
The problem is that “self-awareness” has become a buzzword with a lot of bad advice surrounding it. I’ve had friends tell me that a YouTuber advised them to walk around town and hit on girls way out of their league. And while this might give you a sudden rush of adrenaline, maybe make you feel more “alive,” that feeling is only temporary. And because it’s hard to identify, they pass this feeling off as self-awareness.
The truth is that self-awareness is your ability to observe your internal dialogue, and your actions.
People who are more self-aware practice asking themself questions, taking time to think about them, answer honestly, and act based on those answers.
For someone who’s never done that, or who tends to cut the conversation short, finding a starting ground for a healthy internal conversation can be difficult.
Here are 3 simple questions to open up that dialogue and immediately become more self aware.
1. Who are you? …pause… ok, what have you done today?
The purpose of this question is to realize that our gut reaction to the question “who are you?” is usually a well crafted image of who we think we are.
For example, if someone were to ask me, “who are you?” I’d respond, “I’m a developer.”
But when the second question comes, “what have you done today?” I’m suddenly not a developer, I’m the person who woke up this morning, spent 15 minutes journaling, listened to the final speech from the movie “Miracle” to artificially motivate myself, wrote some code I had a lot of trouble understanding, and chose to write this article.
We tend to want to define ourselves as some “Thing.” The purpose of this question is to see the difference between who we think we are, and who we truly are day to day.
Once we see that who we are is not “a developer,” but just, “the person that lived this day,” we have just become more aware of our “self.”
2. Let’s pretend you don’t have to worry about paying for food or an apartment. You don’t have nice things, but enough to live on. You never “need” to work again. What would you do with your free time?
The purpose of this question is to eliminate fear.
Money tends to be a source of fear. And because of that fear, we tend to choose different paths. This question says, “take out practicality, your life is comfortable, how do you spend your free time?”
For example, let’s say you really enjoy graphic design, but your parents tell you that “business school pays better” and so you’ve been trucking along the path of formal education. During that journey, it’s very hard to stop everything and decide, “I’m just going to risk everything I have going for me to start making cool designs.”
But let’s say that you’re already comfortable. Nothing to worry about. Everything is taken care of, all day every day is your own. What do you do with your time?
By opening up this conversation without fear you’ll see what things you start to naturally gravitate towards. Maybe you start getting bored and pick up your computer to make designs like you used to. Maybe you make one you’re really proud of and show it to your friends on social media. Then you get some good feedback and that inspires you to make more.
And by observing that natural gravitation towards something, you’ve just become more aware of who you truly are.
3. If you ask something of yourself, how confident are you that you’d return that “ask”?
The purpose of this question is actually to identify the strength of your relationship with your internal self.
Just like any relationship, your relationship with your self is based on trust.
For example, if your friend asks you to pick them up at the air port and you tell them you’ll be there, what happens if you don’t show up? A small portion of the trust between you and that person is going to be broken.
This is the same mechanism between what your brain “asks” of you, and what you return to it.
If every day you look in the mirror and see that you’re overweight, something inside is begging you to change that. However, every time we do not return those things to ourselves, a piece of our relationship with ourselves is broken.
This is how we form “bad relationships with ourselves.”
However, if every time you feel the need for something to be done, it gets done immediately, with focus and intent to build a solid relationship with yourself you will start to notice feelings of confidence in yourself.
The same way you’d be confident in your friend picking you up at the air port.
Notice the relationship with your “self.” Does it need something? Is it asking things of you? Maybe you two haven’t spoken in a while? Maybe every time he asks you to pick him up at the air port, you tell him “next time.”
The purpose of self-awareness is not to be perfect. The purpose is to observe, learn, and use what you learn to grow yourself.
Thanks for reading <3
By Alec Mather