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12 Self-Awareness Exercises That Fuel Success

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/254669

entrepreneur.com

12 Self-Awareness Exercises That Fuel Success
6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. An African proverb says, "When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside can do you no harm." Self-awareness is one of the most important skills for success. How you behave and respond to external situations is governed by internal mental processes.

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The three why’s

The three why’s

Before acting on a decision, ask yourself “Why?” Follow up your response with another “Why?” And then a third. 

If you can find three good reasons to pursue something, you’ll have clarity and be more confident in your actions.

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Expand your emotional vocabulary

Expand your emotional vocabulary

Putting your feelings into words has a therapeutic effect on your brain; if you’re unable to articulate how you feel, that can create stress. 

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Practice saying 'no' to yourself

Practice saying 'no' to yourself

The ability to say “no” to yourself to put off short-term gratification ( from daily temptations like social media or junk food) for the long-term gain is an important life-skill. 

Like a muscle, it is strengthened with exercise

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Break visceral reactions

Break visceral reactions

Take a deep breath before you act, especially when a situation triggers anger or frustration.

Self-awareness allows you to assess situations objectively and rationally, without acting on biases and stereotypes.

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Be aware of your flaws

Be aware of your flaws

We’re often critical of others, while ignorant of our own flaws. Self-awareness helps turn the mirror on ourselves and prevents hypocritical behavior.

Create a habit of acknowledging your mistakes, rather than making excuses.

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Monitor your self-talk

Monitor your self-talk

Pay attention to the way you respond to your successes and failures.

Being tough on yourself needs to be balanced with self-compassion. Celebrate your wins, forgive your losses.

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Body language awareness

Body language awareness

Record a speech or presentation and evaluate your posture and hand gestures.

  • Slouching increases cortisol and feeds low self-esteem while standing tall stimulates testosterone and improves your performance. 
  • Using hand gestures helps with articulating your thoughts and affects how people respond to you.

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Take an opposing view

Take an opposing view

It will force you to question your assumptions.

Your "default" beliefs and worldview are not always reasonable; it’s healthy to “argue against yourself” and see how your views hold up.

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Know your personality type

Know your personality type

It will allow you to maximize your strengths and manage your weaknesses.

Start with understanding where you fall on the introvert/extrovert spectrum; know your Myers-Briggs type; and then conduct a personal SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats).

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Practice self-evaluation

Practice self-evaluation

Set regular goals, break big goals down into smaller milestones. 

Ask yourself at the end of each day, “What did I do well today?” and, “How can I improve on this tomorrow?”

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Ask for constructive feedback

It helps you cut through self-deceit and one-dimensional views you might hold. 

But only ask people who understand you, whom you respect and will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear.

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Meditation

Meditation

It is a foundational practice for improving self-awareness. To focus solely on your breathing is to focus on a key internal process. 

You’ll become aware of how your mind wanders, and get better at snapping out of distractions.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Happy people are responsible

  • They don't hold on to grudges. Forgiving and forgetting is absolutely necessary.
  • They don't make excuses. They use failure as an opportunity to change for the better.

Happy people are well rounded people

  • They savor the moment. They "stop to smell the roses".
  • They're busy, but not rushed. A healthy work-life balance is key.
  •  They don't sweat the small stuff. They focus only of what is important and within their control.

Happy people invest in their relationships

  • They spend money on others. One reason is that it creates social connections.
  • They celebrate other people's success through "active and constructive" responding.
  • They treat everyone with respect and kindness. Kindness, like happiness, is contagious.
  • They're proactive about relationships. They work on maintaining their relationships.
  • They express gratitude. It improves mood and energy and decreases anxiety.
  • They engage in deep, meaningful conversations.

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Self-sabotage

Self-sabotage occurs when your logical, conscious mind (the side of you that says you need to eat healthily and save money) is at odds with your subconscious mind (the side of you that stress-eats cho...

Understand self-sabotage

Self-destructive behaviors can become habits and can continually undermine your success and happiness.

Self-sabotage is when we want something, but somehow we never accomplish it, because somewhere deep in our subconscious we’re fighting against that goal:

  • Our disorganization distracts us.
  • We’re constantly overthinking all of our decisions.

Recognize self-sabotaging habits

  • Procrastination. Start setting deadlines and mini-deadlines to work toward your objective.
  • Negative self-talk/negative thinking. Be patient with yourself; be kind to yourself. Work to build yourself up.
  • Perfectionism. It is an impossible standard that keeps you from moving forward.

Don't waste valuable energy

Don't waste valuable energy

We can't waste valuable energy on mindless activities while putting off what matters most for later.

In business, wasting energy means working on low-value tasks, and thinking b...

Cut out the optional

Being overwhelmed may be the new normal, but taking on too many responsibilities may be watering down our overall impact.

Bring back your focus to what matters most. Work on the projects that are the real game-changers. Delegate the discretionary work and eliminate unnecessary meetings.

Design an action plan

Running a thriving business means understanding how to organize your work by importance and knowing when to delegate.

  • Find your sweet spot. When you consider taking on a project, see if it aligns with your purpose and the organization's broader goals. Ask yourself if you're the right person with the right skillset.
  • Automate. As your company grows, use automation tools for low-level work. It also allows your employees to make more meaningful contributions.
  • Set boundaries. Learn to say no to low-level tasks. Set your own limits about what you'll take on.