10 Ways To Develop Self-Awareness As A Teenager in 2022
Welcome to this blog on 10 ways to develop self-awareness as a teenager in 2022!
I recently wrote a blog on the importance of self-reflection as a teenager. Check it out here! Self-reflection and self-awareness are closely tied together as in order to reflect on yourself, you must be aware of yourself, and in order to be aware of yourself, you must reflect on yourself.
That might have sounded confusing, but the main point is that after writing about self-reflection, it inspired me to write about self-awareness, which is why you’re reading this right now.
Self-awareness is the ability to focus on yourself and be aware of your actions, thoughts, and emotions. It’s the ability to take a honest look at your life without attachment to it being right or wrong. (Debbie Ford)
To dive deeper into that concept, self-awareness means:
- Recognizing patterns in the way your mind perceives and makes sense of the world
- Observing & understanding your feelings and emotions
- Paying attention to how we act and react in different situations
I used to think that self-awareness is unnecessary and useless, but little did I know how much of an effect it can have on your happiness, success, and overall quality of life.
Some of the few, common benefits of self-reflection are:
- Better Relationships: Understanding yourself better will help you understand how others think of you
- Improved Moods: Being aware of how you’re feeling will help you manage your emotions
- Better Decision-Making: When you’re aware of what you’re thinking, it’ll be easier to distinguish short term impulses from long-term goals
- Clearer Thinking: Knowing how your mind works will help you organize it and keep it from being distracted
- Effective Communication: The better you know yourself, the easier it is to communicate effectively
- . Increased Productivity. Our mind is the #1 reason stopping us from being productive. Knowing how to manage it will eliminate the biggest obstacle.
As you can see, self-awareness is a major life skill to help us succeed personally & professionally. However, it’s one of the most difficult skills to achieve, especially as teenagers. All the benefits listed above are things we all struggle with, and this one essential skill will provide a path to be better in every benefit listed. All it takes is paying attention to ourselves and becoming our focus of attention.
Below are 10 practical and effective tips to help you cultivate self-awareness so you can become the strongest person you know:
1. Meditate on your mind
The first tip to become more self-aware is to meditate. Mindfulness meditation is when you keep your attention focused on your breath and if you notice your mind wandering to other thoughts, you return your attention to your point of focus.
Doing this is a great way to learn about how your thoughts work. When you practice watching and observing our thoughts without attaching to them or thinking about them, you begin to realize a powerful idea: You are not your thoughts.
The reason why we may lack self-awareness is because we think too much and therefore get lost in our thoughts.
However, this mindfulness practice will help us organize our mind and open our eyes to how it works.
2. Keep a journal
Keeping a journal and writing in it is a very effective way to increase self-awareness.
When you write down anything, from how you’re feeling to your goals, you are understanding what’s on your mind right now and what you are focusing on.
There is no right or wrong way to journal – all you have to do is get started. Maybe you try to take 15-20 minutes each night to to write about your thoughts, feelings, successes, and failures of the day.
As you continue to journal and have multiple logs, you’ll be able to look back and see how far you’ve grown.
3. Write down your goals, plans, & priorities
Just like how journaling helps you cultivate self-awareness, writing down your goals, plans, and priorities have similar effects!
Self-awareness is being conscious of not only your thoughts and emotions, but your motives and desires.
Plan out your goals so they turn from ideas into a step-by-step process. Break down your overall goal into smaller, more actionable steps.
Set priorities so you know what you want to dedicate your focus to.
All of this will help you become more self-aware as you know what you want to do with your time and what you want your future to be like!
4. Take personality tests
Personality tests is another excellent way to learn more about yourself and how your mind works.
While these types of tests may not be 100% accurate, they do give you a good idea of your attitude, behavior, and characteristics.
My favorite test to take is 16personalities.com. It’s free, so don’t think twice about taking it!
It gives you a honest description of who you are and what type of personality you are. While it does have a long list of questions, the questions make you think about yourself and it just as much of a self-reflection eye-opener as much as the results are.
Once you have finished the test, you are able to see the strengths/weaknesses of your personality types, career paths, workplace habits, and so much more!
5. Ask for feedback
Often times, it’s hard to look at yourself objectively and see how you’re doing. This is why it’s necessary to ask for feedback.
Ask your friends, teachers, colleagues, parents, siblings, or anyone else to honestly describe you. Tell them to be open, critical, and objective.
This will help you get a greater understand of how you present yourself to the world.
It is not only important to ask for feedback, but also to take it well. Don’t ignore suggestions because you think you’re already perfect. Don’t ignore criticism because it made you feel bad. No one is perfect, and taking action from the feedback you get will help you improve yourself and your life!
6. Draw a timeline of your life
One of the most eye-opening “tricks” I perform as a psychologist often happens in the second session with my clients.
At the end of our first meeting, I sometimes ask them to spend 20 minutes drawing a timeline of their life at some point before our next meeting. I instruct them to sit down with a blank sheet of paper and a pencil and, starting with their birth, mark the major events in their life along the timeline. Specifically, events that had a big impact on them—big or small, positive or negative.
Inevitably, people come back and say some version of the same thing:
That sounded like the dumbest exercise ever but I was shocked at how much I realized about myself.
In particular, many people are able to make sense of or get a new perspective on an especially distressing or difficult time by seeing that specific period “in context.”
Being able to think developmentally and in context is key to self-awareness.https://nickwignall.com/self-awareness/
7. Clarify your values
Values are a great part of who you are and what makes you who you are. They are the “why” behind what you do and say, and they guide you throughout life.
So, if you want to be more self-aware, understand your values.
When you’re clear on your values, you know what you want out of life and what you’re working towards.
If you’re unsure what your values are, simply start brainstorming. Take out a sheet of paper and reflect upon times in your life when you were empowered and happy, and ask yourself questions related to the core of what you believe in.
8. Tune into your feelings
To be more self-aware, you must tune in and pay attention to your thoughts and feelings.
If you’re feeling sad, identify what made you sad in the first place. If you’re feeling stressed, understand what’s causing that stress.
When you live in the present moment and focus on your emotions, you can then come up with a solution to make you feel better and happier!
9. Seek out new experiences
You may think that seeking new experiences has no relation with self-awareness, but you’ll be surprised (like I was) to hear that immersing yourself in new experiences is a great way to boost your self-awareness.
Going after new experiences lets you go outside your comfort zone, and give you a chance to learn how you act, think, and feel in unfamiliar situations. In essence, it gives you opportunities to learn more about yourself, including your positive qualities.
Seeking out new experiences doesn’t have to be as adventurous as it sounds. (However, it can be!) It could be as simple as trying a new hobby, chatting with new people, or exploring a nearby town. Do whatever you feel like doing!
10. Live in the moment
One of the best ways to boost self-awareness is to immerse yourself in new experiences. This lets you step outside of your comfort zone, giving you a chance to learn how you act, think, and feel in unfamiliar situations. What’s more, it creates opportunities to discover more positive qualities about yourself, notes Craig.
After all, your comfort zone is a familiar space. It’s the psychological state where you exist on autopilot, complete with predictable thoughts and emotions. This limits your perspective to just part of who you are, rather than you as a whole person.
Fortunately, a new experience doesn’t need to be complex or expensive. It can be as simple as trying a new hobby, chatting with new people, or exploring a neighboring town. Heck, even cooking a new-to-you recipe counts as a new experience. Whatever you choose to do, these experiences will help you gain new outlooks on yourself.https://www.realsimple.com/health/mind-mood/emotional-health/how-to-be-self-aware
You may think that self-awareness is a process that takes much effort and time into doing, but that’s totally not it.
Self-awareness is not a process, rather; it is a lifelong journey. Yes, it takes effort and time to be aware of your inner self, but the effort and time you put in will reveal itself as happiness and fulfillment sooner or later.
The moment you are dedicated towards understanding yourself better is the moment you begin to step on this wonderful journey.
Regardless of whether you have plenty of self-awareness or are just beginning your journey of self-awareness, these 10 tips listed below are steps you can take advantage of improving it:
- Meditate on your mind
- Keep a journal
- Write down your goals, plans, & priorities
- Take personality tests
- Ask for feedback
- . Draw a timeline of your life
- Clarify your values
- Tune into your feelings
- Seek out new experiences
- Live in the moment
These 10 tips are definitely going to help you develop & increase your self-awareness, but ultimately, it’s your willingness to do so and mindset that is going to aid you in this journey.
For additional resources, I highly recommend checking out:
This TED video: Increase your self-awareness with one simple fix | Tasha Eurich
This Book: Know Thyself: The Science of Self-Awareness (written by Stephen M Fleming.)
As teenagers, self-awareness is super important so we can grow into mature and understanding young adults now in the future. When we understand who we are and what we want, only then can we live a meaningful life and experience pure fulfillment and joy.
Self-awareness is a skill that we will use all throughout life, from right now till the end. So, it’s amazing that you’re already stepping into this journey. If you stay dedicated, you will definitely see progress!
That’s the end of this blog. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to type them below. Otherwise, thanks for reading and good luck!
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