Self-awareness: The First Step Towards Higher Self-esteem
Self-awareness is the first step towards self-esteem because without knowing who you are you cannot love yourself. It is impossible to love something that you don’t know about. The better you know something, the more true love you can give. Self-esteem is essentially built up in three steps: Self-awareness, Self-acceptance and Self-love. You cannot love yourself if you don’t accept yourself and you cannot accept yourself if you are not aware of who you are. Being the first step towards self-esteem, self-awareness is thus extremely important.
Different people get stuck at different stages on this process towards self-esteem. Some people find it extremely difficult to accept themselves and therefore get stuck at the self-acceptance stage. They may not be able to accept their physical appearance, their intelligence level, their emotions or something else about themselves. Because they don’t accept all parts of themselves, they can never love themselves to 100%. Other people manage to accept themselves but fail to love themselves. This is usually simply due to lack of knowledge about how to do it. Once you can accept yourself and know how to turn that acceptance into love, self-esteem comes easily. Many people however, get stuck because they don’t have enough self-awareness. Self-awareness is more than knowing your name, address, shoe size, favourite food etc. Self-awareness is understanding how you feel and think in different situations and understanding why you feel and think in that way. It’s understanding your strengths and weaknesses, and an ability to listen to yourself and the signs of your body and to use these signs to take care of yourself.
So how do you raise your self-awareness? The only master who can teach you about yourself is you. Therefore, you need to listen to yourself. Listen to your thoughts, listen to your emotions, read your body’s signs and observe your actions. There are many techniques that can help you to do this. Meditation is one of them. This is an ancient technique and modern research has proved that it works. You don’t necessarily have to sit in a meditation posture when you meditate. Some people meditate when they are out walking in the forest or when they are lying on the beach. You can also try physical exercises such as yoga or qi gong or other martial arts with a self-focus. If you like writing, there are plenty of writing exercises that raise your self-awareness. Simply keeping a diary helps you to become more self-aware, especially if you go back and re-read what you have written earlier and try to find patterns or developments. Of course, I also recommend getting a personal coach because a coach can ask you the right questions that will guide you towards understanding yourself better.
More resources for how to raise your self-esteem
Liv Miyagawa – The Self-Esteem Coach