Being self-aware is challenging. Being self-aware is challenging because it sometimes demands change. I’d rather keep doing the same thing instead of changing. It’s easier.
It takes courage to see your reality, how others see you, and your flaws and weaknesses. Who wants to do that? Many times, I’d rather carry on. Feedback from others and seeing your dark side can be uncomfortable and anxiety-producing.
IAs a self-proclaimed practical realist, when I become aware of a challenge, there are three choices: Examine them further, change, or accept them.
The stronger my gratitude gets, the more I learn about myself. The more I know about myself, the more grateful I am. For example, when I catch myself endlessly phone scrolling to avoid a chore, I remember distraction is my avoidance technique. I am now aware and become grateful when I became aware and did the chore.
Building gratitude builds self-awareness by constantly digging to determine your challenges, beliefs, and likes. Knowing what you believe in and like also informs you about what you don’t like and don’t find acceptable. It creates self-awareness and clarity.
Gratitude is comparison and opposites. The opposites can be big concepts like responsibility/unresponsible, honesty/lies, respect/disrespect, or very specific, like the type of pen I like and dislike; here are some examples:
- I believe in honest leaders, dislike dishonesty, and am grateful for real leaders.
- I love the laughter of a 2-year-old. I dislike laughter suppressors, and I’m grateful for toddler laughter.
- I love the purple razor point flair pen, .3 mm with a smooth exterior. I dislike .9 mm flair pens. I am grateful for my pilot razor pens and ordered them by the dozens.
The stronger my gratitude, the more self-aware I become, and vis versa. Gratitude and self-awareness build on each other. It’s nuanced and personal. The more you know about yourself, the more you can give good gratitude beyond a generic thank you because you get more specific in appreciating others and yourself.
Gratitude transforms and heals. When you strengthen your gratitude, you become more of an expert in yourself. It takes courage and hard work to be self-aware in a world constantly telling us how it should be. When we see ourselves, it includes all of us, bright and dark sides. It shows us and guides us in our actions. Gratitude is one path to being more self-aware.
Here’s an exercise to build gratitude and strengthen self-awareness:
Social Media Scroll: Notice the posts you are attracted to and repelled by. Make two columns, love it, and be appalled. For each post, write what attracts or repels you. Have fun!
- What do you believe about the relationship between gratitude and self-awareness?
- What examples of things you are grateful for that show who you are?