The self is our sense of personal identity, it is a mental picture that we have of ourselves based on a number of things. The self is comprised of our moods, cognitions, behaviors, and relationships. Furthermore, the self is made up of our unique personal traits, physical characteristics, abilities, values, roles, and goals. Our sense of self begins to develop as young children and continues to develop throughout our lifetime. The experiences that we encounter throughout our lives have an impact on who we are and how we perceive ourselves. At times, it can be easy to lose our sense of self due to the interactions that we have with others, particularly loved ones. It is because of this that it is important to have a clear understanding of who we are.
Developing greater self-awareness is a necessary skill to learn if one is interested in growing as a more balanced and confident adult. Self-awareness is the extent to which we are focusing on and aware of our own self- concept. Our self-concept can be accessible for short periods of times like when we are in front of a mirror and we suddenly become aware of ourselves, or for longer periods of time like when we are clear and aware of our sexual preference. Because self-awareness comes and goes it is easy to lose sight of who are, and therefore more likely to violate our own values and norms. This is especially true when we are in a group setting where there is more pressure to conform to the group mentality.
Increasing self-awareness can be achieved through a number of mindful and intentional practices. As mentioned earlier, it is a skill to develop, and therefore requires time and intentionality. One of the best ways to gain greater self-awareness is to process your life story with a mental health professional who can help you gain greater insight into yourself. Seeking the help of a counselor can not only help you become more self-aware, but also can help you understand yourself better. Another way to practice self-awareness is by committing to dedicating 15-20 minutes of your day to exploring yourself and what you are about. You might even consider writing down ideas about who you are and what your values and beliefs are in order to gain greater clarity. Lastly, one way to learn more about yourself is through personality tests like the famous Myers-Briggs or the Enneagram personality assessment.
Being clear about who you are is essential for going through life, and learning to develop further self-awareness is a skill that can be developed through mindful and intentional practice. Because our sense of self is influenced and molded by the world around us, it is important to be clear about where we stand in that world. Our sense of self develops as we go through life, and because of this practicing self-awareness can aid in growing as balanced and confident adults.
For more information on the self and how to achieve greater awareness of the self, please visit: https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/type-descriptions/