Entrepreneur, author and social media icon Gary Vaynerchuk is one self-aware dude. He certainly talks about self-awareness enough. He even calls it your most important attribute. In seemingly everything he does, Vaynerchuk exudes a self-assured confidence.
“Self-awareness is being able to accept your weaknesses while focusing all of your attention on your strengths,” says Vaynerchuk, who has made millions off of successful businesses and investments.
Self-awareness is easier said than done. How do you become more self-aware? How do you discover your strengths to focus on? The path to self-realization is different for everyone (because everyone is different). But there are a few tips you can use to learn more about yourself.
The entire point of self-awareness is educating yourself about yourself. Most of us see this as an insurmountable challenge.
But odds are, you know yourself better than you think. You just need to unlock that hidden knowledge. Open up to you. Here’s how.
- Be honest with yourself. Lying to other people is bad. Lying to yourself is worse.
- Look at yourself in the mirror. What do you see? What’s your perception of yourself? Try singing some Michael Jackson to yourself.
- Talk to yourself alone. Start a conversation with you. It may appear crazy, but it’s a healthy way to talk through issues and verbalize your own thoughts. I do it all the time.
- Keep a journal. Or a diary, if you prefer. Write down your thoughts. Get it on paper. Create a record of your mind that you can review later.
- Write a page-long autobiography. We write short bios for each social media account. Expand that to a page. What do you say about yourself?
Ironically, it’s sometimes others who know us better than ourselves. They can see things about our personality and character that escapes our notice.
Take the time to ask these people how they would describe you. What are your strengths? Weaknesses? What could you do better? There are dozens of people you can ask.
- Family. Your spouse. Your parents. Your siblings. Uncle Bob.
- Friends. Childhood pals. College roommate. Neighbors.
- Coworkers. Your boss. Your employees. Your clients.
- Mentors. People who you trust and admire.
- Strangers. Just kidding.
The most important thing you need to do here is listen. Create a space where these people can be honest with you. Don’t get defensive. Don’t try to justify actions or behavior. Don’t take it personal.
Listen and observe. Find patterns in what people think about you. If there’s something you don’t like about this description of you, find a way to change it. Be a better you.
Ask the Experts
These days, personality tests are a dime a dozen. Buzzfeed will serve up endless quizzes so you can learn what kind of sandwich you are or which piece of IKEA furniture you most closely resemble.
There are a few more serious self-assessments you can take. Even these popular personality tests cannot fully capture your dynamic character. But they can give you a better sense of how you think and how you relate to others
- DiSC Profile
- Right Path
- Strengths Finder
I’ve even printed out some of my own test results and posted them in my office. This helps serve as a regular reminder who I am. At the very least, it’s a reminder to be more self-aware.
Regardless of what you or anyone else thinks about you, know that God loves you. God loves everyone—self-aware or not. And there are certain truths that God says about each of us.
- There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. —Romans 8:1
- In all things, God works for the good of those who love him. —Romans 8:28
- Nothing can ever separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus. —Romans 8:38-39
- God is for me! Who can be against me? —Romans 8:31
- But the one united with the Lord is one spirit with him. —1 Corinthians 6:17
- Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? —1 Corinthians 6:19
Self-awareness is not about determining self-worth. Our self-worth was set for us by God. Being more self-aware allows us to better succeed in this world. But never let self-awareness jade you.
Always love yourself. Because God does. And he knows you better than anyone.