Self-awareness can take a lot of time and effort to cultivate.
For others, it can come naturally.
Either way, I believe self-awareness is the foundation for the behaviors that are growthful in oneself and beneficial to others around you.
You see when I was a less self-aware person, my actions and decisions would often hurt others unknowingly.
I didn’t like how that made me feel, so I worked hard to grow my self-awareness. Eventually, I was able to genuinely transform those tendencies.
I’ve become a completely different person. A much happier, kinder, more considerate person who genuinely wants the best for myself and equally for everyone else.
But it was all rooted in creating more awareness around my actions, thought patterns, behaviors, and words.
If you want to transform your habits, it all starts with self-awareness.
So do you have the traits of a self-aware person?
Let’s find out with the 10 things self-aware people do differently:
1) Reflecting on their thoughts and behaviors
Introspection is a critical part of creating more self-awareness.
People who are self-aware will spend time reflecting on the things they like about how their life is going, and what they want to improve.
They recognize their own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors as impactful in their external life, and are able to make a change accordingly.
2) Knowing when to accept responsibility
Reflection and introspection naturally come with the ability to admit one’s mistakes and where they went wrong.
This is why self-aware people are able to accept responsibility for their actions, rather than deflect blame towards other people or events.
They see themselves as a part of the equation that creates a specific reality or situation in their life, rather than separating themselves from it.
3) Practicing self-compassion
When a self-aware person accepts responsibility, it doesn’t mean they beat themselves up about it, engage in self-criticism, or internalize their mistake as shame.
The ability to offer compassion to oneself is essential in self-awareness.
Being able to forgive yourself is the only way to truly move forward – and self-aware people know this.
Also, knowing self-compassion is also the only way to truly know compassion for others!
4) Embracing feedback
When a self-aware person receives constructive feedback, they don’t reject it or react negatively.
In fact, they may welcome or seek feedback from others because it can help them become better people.
This comes from an ability to see things from an objective perspective that extends beyond themselves.
Self-aware people are not self-centered people. They don’t think that their way is always the right way because they’ve reflected on past mistakes enough to know that it’s possible to still make them sometimes.
And they recognize that other people can sometimes see things we don’t!
5) Emotional self-regulation
Knowing how to hold space for your own emotions and not be controlled by them is a mark of someone who is highly self-aware.
Because it takes a lot of self-awareness to learn that emotions are not something to fear, nor are they something from which you hold important and make big decisions.
Emotions are simply waves of energy that pass through us sometimes – and there’s no reason to either hide from them or identify with them.
That’s why self-aware people can still hold a strong sense of self even when they are emotional.
6) Living authentically
Speaking of having a strong sense of self… it takes a strong sense of knowing yourself to stay authentic in this world.
Especially in the face of other people’s pressures and expectations.
Self-aware people are able to always reflect on what parts of others’ ideas, influence, and expectations are useful to them and which aren’t.
Through self-awareness, they have the natural ability to separate their own feelings and desires from others.
7) Maintaining a growth mindset
We all possess an incredible ability to learn and grow throughout our lives.
Self-aware people embrace this wholeheartedly and view failures and setbacks as opportunities for personal development.
They tend to have an attitude of humility and recognize that there is always more to learn about themselves and the world around them.
Because of their growth mindset, they can be highly open to change.
They recognize that growth often comes from discomfort, and value this growth over staying the same – or remaining in the same situation.
8) Being able to set boundaries
It can be really hard to learn to speak your boundaries.
But this is one outcome of becoming more self-aware: developing a sense of respect for your own needs and being willing to protect that, even if it means displeasing someone else.
Overall, this actually promotes healthier, more honest, and respectful relationships with others.
9) Valuing others’ experiences
When you develop self-awareness, you gain a lot of empathy.
You genuinely want to hear other people’s experiences and feelings because you can learn from them, learn how to support someone else and relate to them.
That’s why self-aware people engage in active listening, as well as practicing empathy when hearing someone else speak.
They are not just waiting for their turn to chime in!
10) Prioritizing a supportive circle of people
If you’re self-aware and you value other people and their experiences, you also value their support in your life and enjoy offering it in return.
You know that having a support network of people who encourage your self-awareness and personal growth is important.
You want everyone else to win as equally as you want to win. You invest in others’ growth and allow them the opportunity to invest in yours.
That’s what a community really is.
Self-aware people understand the importance of giving and receiving reciprocal support in life to help pull each other through when someone is struggling.
So do you feel like you’re self-aware?
Ultimately, someone who is self-aware is really just aware enough of themselves that they’ve extended that awareness beyond themselves, and towards their friends, family, and network.
I believe that’s what differentiates someone who is self-aware, from someone who is self-centered.
They are always in a state of evolution because they are open to the feedback they receive from the outside world, rather than rejecting that feedback and remaining stagnant in their beliefs and opinions.
If you relate – that’s wonderful!
If you don’t, don’t worry.
Remember that self-awareness can always be cultivated through constant self-reflection, self-compassion, and openness to hearing perspectives from people who want the best for you.