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Self-awareness is defined by Adrian Furnham as the accurate appraisal and understanding of your abilities and preferences, their implications for your behaviour and their impact on others. It is an important facet in the development process, and is one of the core dimensions of learning agility.
Those with higher self-awareness are more likely to improve their performance and learn more about themselves and the environment they find themselves in. An important first step to developing self-awareness is the development of emotional self-awareness. This is an awareness of what you are feeling and why you are feeling this way. However, this itself may be a challenge for those of us with lower self-awareness scores.
It may therefore be necessary to start at a more practical level by first ensuring that one engages in self-care by setting aside time for activities that one enjoys and finds relaxing. The possible effects are two-fold, namely the very act of considering what one finds enjoyable is exercising emotional self-awareness, and secondly physically removing oneself from the usual daily environment creates the opportunity that may be needed to focus on one’s own needs, reactions and impact. For example, setting aside time for a 20-minute walk every other day can be the perfect time during which you can ponder the events of the day.
Once you are more comfortable with the process of introspection, you could consider the following strategies to further enhance your emotional awareness:
The next step is to challenge your own beliefs and assumptions about yourself and your performance. The best way in which to do this is to seek external verification via tools such as assessments (which you have already participated in) or from others’ observations of you. Seeking others feedback on your strengths and weaknesses demonstrates a willingness to learn and gives you objective data to confirm whether your self-beliefs are in line with what others see. However, be sure to ask for feedback only from those you are reasonably sure are able to provide constructive feedback in the development context intended.