When I discover who I am, I’ll be free. – Ralph Ellison
The Traveller That Talks A Lot
We’ve all met that traveller that loves the sound of their own voice and insists that you should hear their story.
15 minutes later, it’s annoying everybody but himself, and he’s not even aware of that.
I’m not condemning that guy, because I’ve been that guy too, but I’m a bit more introverted these days.
Thousands upon thousands of thoughts go through our heads every single day and it’s easy to get caught in our own mind.
We perceive the world through our own reality but that’s not necessarily the depiction everyone else has of us.
So let me pose a few questions to you:
- Do you really know yourself?
- Do you ever think about your thinking?
- Are you self-aware?
The Importance of Self-Awareness
Self-awareness is a key component of self-development and is an incredibly important life skill if you are working towards becoming your best possible self.
Self-awareness is the ability to think about your thinking. That is to say, have feelings about your feelings, and opinions about your opinions.
It’s being able to look at yourself objectively without using any preconceived feelings and knowledge about yourself.
Self-Awareness is like switching the light on in a dark room. The light gives you understanding and let’s you assimilate how everything is. Without the light, you’re stumbling about, bouncing into things, and causing havoc.
How to Become More Self-Aware
I was introduced to the concept of self-awareness a couple of years ago after reading a blog that inspired me to delve deeper into the subject.
Ever since, I’ve been experimenting with different ideas and have found a useful method that encourages me to find that state of self-awareness.
Method: Employ a 3rd Party Observer (hypothetically speaking) to watch over your thoughts.
1. Give your 3rd party observer a name – I named mine Malcolm, because Malcolm sounds like a nice, neutral guy.
2. Instruct Your 3rd Party Observer To Evaluate Your Thoughts – Malcolm is always perched on my shoulder keeping me in check. He’s there when ego arrives, and a negative thought pops in my head. Malcom’s job is to monitor and assess your thoughts from a neutral standpoint with no judgement.
Malcolm may ask questions such as:
- Is this thought serving you Daniel?
- Do you really know Daniel?
- Why are you judging this person Daniel?
- Can you be sure about that Daniel?
- Why are you exaggerating the truth Daniel?
- Are these people interested in what you are saying Daniel?
- Do you really want to do what you are doing now Daniel?
3. Take it one step further – Feedback Session With A Close Friend – We perceive the world with our own goggles so getting a real life perception of yourself from someone else can be incredibly useful. Sit down with someone who you trust deeply and lay your cards out on the table, asking your friend to give their honest opinion of you. I did this with a close friend recently, and it benefited us both considerably.
Here’s a few prompts for a brainstorming session:
- Your blind spots.
- Good traits/traits that could be improved.
- Habits, values, & morales.
- General observations.
Self-awareness, and properly understanding yourself can catalyse your growth considerably.
Be patient. It will take time to build up the habit of observing your own thoughts, but stick with it because good self-awareness will take you to new dimensions and enable you to understand yourself much more clearly in the pursuit of becoming your best possible self.
Thanks for reading and all the best,
Daniel Beaumont, Sunday 28th February 2016
About the Author
Hello everyone, I’m Dan – a 28-year-old social entrepreneur and writer from the north of England, living in Bucharest, Romania. I’m currently writing my first book about my 4-year journey around the world seeking wisdom and life-lessons from everyday people I met hitchhiking and Couchsurfing.
I discovered that travel, if approached with the right mindset, can be life-changing, and a trip combining travel, purpose and introspection is a great way to learn, challenge oneself and change for the better. Now my mission in life is to share what I’ve learned to inspire others to embark on their own journey of self-discovery and use travel, entrepreneurship and technology as a means to make the world a better place.
I’m also the founder of Podstel – a vision to help humanity belong and grow by creating a worldwide network of ‘homes’ that bring locals and travellers together to share their stories, passions and skills. The first two Podstels are open and thriving in Bucharest, so if you’re passing through, be sure to come and say hi, or stay the night with us.
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