In today’s episode of the Inspiration2Grow podcast I am going to talk about creating more self-awareness, an important skill that we can cultivate to help us progress on our personal development journey, and we could all use a little more of it sometimes.

This will be a slightly shorter episode but actionable and insightful as always, I hope.

Adam Grant, a leading authority on self-awareness, TED X speaker, NYT best-selling author or well-regarded psychologist wrote, “It’s a sign of wisdom to avoid believing every thought that enters your mind.  It’s a mark of emotional intelligence to avoid internalizing every feeling that enters your heart.”

Self-awareness is a rather abstract concept but yet everyone who hears the term would likely think is means to be aware … of yourself.

But what does it actually mean?

Self-awareness is a skill that all of us should work on and learn – not just children, but adults too.  It is the ability to tune in to your own feelings, thoughts and actions.  When people are self-aware, they understand their strengths as well as challenges, and they know what helps them thrive.

For many though, there is quite a bit of fear around becoming self-aware because they are afraid of being vulnerable.  They worry that others will judge or even reject them, which keeps them from exploring their feelings, thoughts and behaviours.

People can learn to practice more self-awareness by objectively observing their feelings, senses, desires and actions.  When negative emotions arise from the depths, notice them and learn from them, but don’t dwell on them.

Grant tweeted:  “To become more self-aware, don’t ask why you are the way you are because that often leads to rumination.  Instead, ask yourself what situations bring out the best and worst in you, and what you can do to improve.”

I love this way of looking at self-awareness because it has a strong element of growth mentality embedded in it.

So, ask yourself, what brings out the best and worst in you, and then think of ways to improve on those.

But going back to his quote, there are multiple lessons we can take from it.

1.        Wisdom = not believing every thought that enters your mind.
Every day, you are going to have a lot of thoughts (some studies suggest 6,000 plus)
BUT DID YOU KNOW…just because you think it, it doesn’t mean it has to be true?  Or that you have to act on it?
You might have heard me say this before in other episodes:  thoughts can just be thoughts.
A great way to start working on your self-awareness is to acknowledge your thoughts and understand where they come from (and why), but don’t let them run your life.
For example, you might think to yourself, “Ugh, why am I so bad at staying consistent with the gym and my workouts?”
A self-awareness PRO would recognize that this thought comes from a place of frustration and recent life stressors, validate the feelings, but also realize that thought doesn’t need to be true.  Then, work towards developing a more accurate depiction of that thought.
2.       Emotional Intelligence = avoiding the internalization of every feeling

Similar to your thoughts, just because you feel something, doesn’t mean it’s something to hold onto for the rest of your day (or life).

It’s okay to experience a feeling or emotional reaction without letting it bleed into everything else.

Self-awareness is the ability to monitor our inner and external world.  Our thoughts and feelings arise as signals.  Developing self-awareness allows us to keep from being swept away by those signals, and instead objectively and thoughtfully respond to them.

With some self-awareness superpower, you can feel it.  Sit with it. Unpack it. Then move on.

In my effort to keep each and every episode actionable, I’d like to end today’s talk with 3 ways to ramp up your self-awareness.

3 Pathways to becoming more self-aware:

a.       Start a ‘thought journal’ – increase your self-awareness by keeping track of thoughts that pop up in the form of an automatic reaction.  Make note of when it occurred, why or the underlying reasons and how it made you feel.  A common thread might be noticeable after a certain period of tracking.

b.       Start a mindfulness practice –  there are a variety of activities you can begin with, but be sure to choose ones you feel inspired by such as:  meditation or yoga.  When you practice mindfulness, you will see that your behaviour becomes more intentional and there will be an increase in self-awareness.

c.       Ask a good friend to clarify your strengths and weaknesses – having an outside perspective is helpful in gaining a clearer understanding of external self-awareness.
I hope consider putting some of these methods of gaining more self-awareness into practice. And, I truly hope to have inspired you to grow.

Til next time,




We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *