Many introverted strengths — like the way we think deeply — make us inclined to be more self-aware.
Some misconceptions about introverts are that all of us are shy and we hate to socialize. For example, when someone doesn’t talk much in a group, people may say that person is “too quiet” or “you’re such an introvert!”
What they don’t understand is that person may be very self-aware, for we introverts know how and when to speak.
The What and Why of Self-Awareness
Self-awareness is the ability to know your spirit and soul. When you possess strong self-awareness, you dig deep into various facets of your life, such as your spirituality, your personality, and your depth of consciousness. You use this knowledge to search for your life’s purpose. Another reason self-awareness is important is it gives us stability in our lives and helps us identify right from wrong.
During counseling sessions with my clients, many of them report feeling stressed and unable to handle various situations because they don’t know what they want (at least, they don’t think they know what they want). One way to get rid of that stress and anxiety is to become more self-aware and identify what we truly want and need.
Since we introverts tend to be deep thinkers, we are able to consider issues from many angles, more so than others are able to do. We may look inward at both the positives and the negatives of a situation to truly analyze what is going on. Although introverts tend to be highly self-aware to begin with, here are some ways to develop this quality in yourself even more.
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4 Ways to Become More Self-Aware as an Introvert
1. Know who you are in order to get where you want to go.
Everyone has their own path, and it helps if you have an end goal in mind. That way, you can take the necessary steps to pursue it. Whether you want to journal about your hopes and dreams, or sit in silent meditation, there are many ways to think through what you want in life.
Journaling, in particular, is an excellent way to become more mindful. As you write in your journal, consider how your day is going and how you’re feeling (and why). Also note what triggers arose, and so on. This way, you can learn what actions lead to happy thoughts for you, and which lead to not-as-good thoughts — and you can begin to adjust your actions accordingly.
A self-aware introvert knows how to deal with their emotions. Hence, they write, because writing gives them the power to learn more about their feelings.
2. Know your weaknesses — they can help you know where you do not want to go.
Another key to self-awareness is knowing your weaknesses. For example, perhaps you plant yourself in front of the TV for hours each night instead of working on your side hustle. After a while, the more you ignore your side hustle, the less progress you make toward your goal.
Identify your weaknesses, and then make an action plan to overcome them. For instance, you can limit your TV-watching to one hour per night and then use the rest of the evening to educate yourself on real estate (or whatever area your side hustle may be in).
3. Spend time interacting with others — that way, you can get more perspective on yourself.
Yes, you read that correctly. Even though we’re introverts who love our alone time, it’s important for us to spend time with others, too. Socializing can give us another perspective about ourselves — from someone else. Talk to your close friends and loved ones to understand how they perceive you and what they find unique about you. And if you are not sure, ask! In essence, this can help us get to know ourselves better.
While there is a huge misconception that introverts don’t like to talk, this is not necessarily true. It all depends on who we are talking to. We tend to choose our friends/peers/colleagues very mindfully — we don’t welcome just anyone into our inner circle!
And keep this in mind: A self-aware person will never be a people-pleaser, but rather a self-pleaser (so to speak).
Do you ever struggle to know what to say?
As an introvert, you actually have the ability to be an amazing conversationalist — even if you’re quiet and hate small talk. To learn how, we recommend this online course from our partner Michaela Chung. Click here to check out the Introvert Conversation Genius course.
4. Regularly assess your emotions.
Similar to my first point, it’s important to regularly check in on your emotions — you can even schedule time in your calendar to do so. When you set aside time to dive deeper into your emotions, it gives you a greater understanding as to how (and why) you feel a certain way. Then, you can make any necessary adjustments.
To do this, simply ask yourself, “How am I feeling today?” Your body’s response will be a great tool for self-discovery and self-analysis, which is a sweet spot for us introverts. And, by immersing ourselves in our inner world, we will be better prepared for when we join the outer world.
For example, maybe you have a successful career as a lawyer — and the paycheck is nice. But at the end of the day, you feel burned out and are not happy. Perhaps you’re in your thirties and feel it’s too late to “start over.” But something deep within you — your intuition and self-awareness — knows you must. You can’t continue living like this for the rest of your life.
After some deep introspection, either on your own or along with a therapist, you decide to pursue your passion for writing. Maybe you don’t leave your law job completely (you still have to pay your rent), but you cut your work hours in half while you take some writing classes and give your passion a serious shot of success. As much as you try to be a perfectionist, you start small and know that making mistakes along the way will happen. You won’t become a bestselling author overnight — and that’s okay!
The point is, had you not taken pause and assessed your feelings, you may have stayed in a not-so-great career forever. So do not skip this step — it is essential to get you where you want to go.
Self-Awareness Requires Lifelong Effort
Self-awareness is not a one-time task, but requires lifelong effort. At every stage of our lives, it’s important to know our priorities and then figure out a response to the situations that arise. It requires us getting in touch with our emotions, which will deepen our self-analysis. In short, we just have to continually focus on our thoughts, feelings, and actions. This way, we can not only make our personal world better, but also the world around us.
You might like:
- 3 Powerful Self-Awareness Exercises for Introverted Perfectionists
- Why Introverts Are More Self-Aware Than Extroverts
- 4 Meditation Tips for Introverts Who Struggle to Focus
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