019: Want Less Friction in Your Life? Develop Self-Awareness!

019: Want Less Friction in Your Life? Develop Self-Awareness!
Photo by Rishabh Dharmani / Unsplash

It's amazing what a glance in the mirror can do.

Self-reflection reveals a lot. And unless you're peering into one of those department store mirrors designed to make you look good in whatever you're trying on - the reflection is mostly accurate.

There's another self-themed essential that you may or may not give a passing glance.

It's self-awareness.

Practically speaking, there's no actual mirror for it.

It's more of a trait you develop.

Being self-aware dials you into your surroundings.

Lack of self-awareness makes you clumsy - you know, like the person who can't read-the-room when appropriate.

Developing and improving self-awareness eliminates the friction in your life

Imagine how enriching your growth and longevity journey could be from this point forward if you tapped into being more self-aware.

  • Become more conscious of your personal strengths, weaknesses, values, and beliefs.
  • Create less friction in your relationships, conversations, and personal interactions.
  • Make better decisions about what contributes to effective growth, aging, and longevity.

Self-awareness is the wake-up call you need

There's a give-and-take between self-awareness and emotional intelligence. The discussion around EQ (like your IQ but applied to your emotions) is much broader.

Your emotions can often function like a sort of alter-ego. That part of your personality that reveals itself when it's inappropriate or hides itself when needed.

Being self-aware enables you to know when a comment, input, restraint, or avoidance is best.

Your capacity for self-awareness leads to better relationships, deeper and more meaningful communication, and less friction in your daily routines.

Mindfulness practices will awaken you to the present moment and get you in touch with your emotions.
  • Commit a portion time each day for meditation. Choose a practice that works for you - prayer, conscious thinking, etc.
  • Engage in deep breathing. Sit in a relaxed position, calm your breathing pace, and focus on your breath for a few minutes at a time.
  • Pause and take-inventory of your thoughts. Be aware of what's on your mind and process it.

Mindfulness training will naturally develop your self-awareness "muscles."

Self-awareness keeps you from being that-person (you know the one I'm talking about)

You've been around people, who, as I mentioned earlier, can't read the room. Their lack of self-awareness creates an awkward moment that shifts the mood.

Self-awareness creates a filter. It's an essential pause that enables you to think before speaking your mind, offering an opinion, or making a decision.

When you're self-aware you know the value of a well-timed or postponed comment or action.

Parties, gathering, family reunions, dates, and basically any social setting have gone-south because one or more people lacked self-awareness.

Don't be that person!

Seek feedback and reflect on what others see and observe in you.
  • Ask trusted friends, family members, or colleagues for honest feedback on your strengths, weaknesses, and behaviors.
  • Protect your reputation (and legacy) by applying other's trusted observations alongside your own personal assessments.

Social support and connections contributes to your overall emotional well-being.

Seek it out and leverage it!

Self-awareness could be your aging and longevity tipping-point

Being equipped for what life throws at you while aging is another benefit of self-awareness.

Those strengths and weaknesses that you and others identify enable you to adapt and develop the resilience that can sustain you during setbacks.

Adaptability that's anchored in self-awareness enhances your quality of life and helps you sustain longevity.

Strange as it may sound, vulnerability is a form of resilience that is crucial for deepening your self-awareness.
  • Acknowledge and accept your imperfections, fears, and insecurities (without judgement) as you age.
  • Engage in activities that stoke your self-exploration and creativity such as journalling prompts, mind-stretching puzzles or activities, and social or mastermind groups.

The courage to confront your inner, emotional space has the potential to deepen your self-awareness.

The aging and longevity journey isn't always smooth but self-awareness can help reduce the occasional friction

  • Awaken mindfulness about your strengths, weaknesses, values, and beliefs.
  • Experience less relational friction by inviting trusted feedback into your life.
  • Embrace aging with resilient vulnerability so you can adapt to the challenges you experience.

Press on...