5 tips to improve self-awareness


Self-awareness is an important building block of emotional intelligence. If you constantly find yourself having angry outbursts and confrontations with others, you might need to improve your self-awareness. The Commander of the Faithful Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) has said:

It is indeed strange to see someone so desperately looking for lost personal things, while making absolutely no efforts to find his lost (human) self.

We all live in a stream of emotional messages and impulses. We need to understand the nature of the information which these impulses are sending, control them, and then direct then in a constructive manner.

Try the following steps to improve your self-awareness and learn how to respond correctly to others and to the events in our lives:

Consider the effect of your perceptions

We often make assumptions based on what we perceive about another person’s behavior. For instance, we often apply broad generalizations about groups, which are often untrue, without even realizing it. You should learn to distinguish between what you believe you are sensing, and how you actually appraise a person or situation.

Acknowledge what you still have yet to learn

We all like to think that we have everything figured out, but rarely do we actually do. It helps to take a few minutes every day to self-reflect and take an introspective look within. Being conscious of what you’re good at while acknowledging what you still have yet to learn is an important part of being self-aware.

Be aware of your implicit bias

We all have certain intentions at times to do something, without being aware that there is actually a hidden agenda behind them. Although we like to believe that we are impartial individuals who limit our judgment of others to actions and character traits, we all fall victim to implicit biases.  Make an effort to be more mindful of your unconscious biases, attitudes and influences that shape your behavior.

Consider the effect of your actions

Your actions may portray a very different image to others than you are aware of. It might be a good idea to get somebody close to you, or a good team mentor, to provide you with feedback in order to help you become more aware of your actions and how others may perceive them.

Remain level-headed when things get out of hand

There’s a major distinction between the opportunity to “have your say” and the opportunity to actually be heard. This distinction rears its ugly head most when you find yourself in a heated confrontation. Train your mind to remain level-headed in heated times so you can better balance your emotions. Make an effort to listen and deepen your understanding of the situation to better understand why things transpired the way they did.