Hello, and welcome back to Upgrade!
In the last newsletter, we talked about the importance of self-care and how to make it a priority in your daily routine. This week, we will discuss the importance of self-awareness and how it can help you achieve your goals.
"When I discover who I am, I'll be free." by Ralph Ellison
To me, self-awareness is the basis of spirituality. The ability to understand my thoughts, emotions and behaviours is very important when it comes to lead happier and fuller lives. This internal assessment helps me identify core values, strengths and weaknesses, which become the raw materials for achieving my goals.
I grew up in a middle-class family with no history of entrepreneurship or hereditary fortune. Jumping into startup and business was an important decision; hence, clear focus and clarity were essential. To take this risky step with a dependent family, before I understand the startup world, I need to understand 'Who am I."
There are a few things that helped me in my journey of self-awareness
Keep a journal: Writing down your thoughts and feelings can help you gain a deeper understanding of yourself. I started writing my personal blog, 'Beingbenje.com', as my way of capturing and sharing my thoughts and experiences in life.
Avoid creating multiple identities: To build and maintain relationships with others, we often create a new identity (slightly different from the real one). This is not always intentional and is often driven by social/peer influence and seek for group acceptance.
"Use authenticity and vulnerability to your advantage in building your personal identity."
Know how your mind works: If you skipped this lesson at school, it is time to revisit and learn how our brain works. I would highly recommend reading the book - 'Thinking, Fast and Slow' by Daniel Kahneman.
He talks about two systems (Fast and Slow) of how your mind thinks and makes choices. This book will change the way you are at self-awareness - I can't recommend it enough.
Reflect on your experiences: Take time to reflect on your experiences, both positive and negative. Consider what you learned from them and how you can apply that learning to your future.
"Life is not happening to you. Instead, it is happening for you."
Use feedback to your advantage: Ask for feedback from others and be open to constructive criticism. This can help you gain a different perspective on yourself and your actions. However, be mindful of what you take from others; not all feedback is great and helpful. I have a close tribe of family and friends that I go to share and get their views and thoughts.
Try new experiences: Stepping outside of your comfort zone and trying new things can help you learn more about yourself and what you are capable of. My startup journey to date allowed me to learn more about myself and find better ways for self-care.
More reading links for you
- How to Increase Self-Awareness: 16 Activities & Tools (+PDF)
- Art of Hansei - a Japanese culture of self-reflection
- What Self-Awareness Really Is (and How to Cultivate It) - Harvard Business School
Self-awareness is a journey, not a destination. You can gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your place in the world by taking small steps to increase your self-awareness.
In the newsletter's next edition, we will discuss the power of positive thinking and how it can improve your life.
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