Michel de Montaigne made this statement that perfectly conveys what self-awareness is about. He said, “The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.” The world today is filled with suggestions about how to be and what is acceptable, but what matters in the end is not so much those things as it is our most authentic selves. I often read about regrets that dying people have as I do not want to be the person who on her death bed is filled with “I wish I had...” One of the top things that is surprisingly recurrent is how dying people wished they had lived true to themselves. What is your truth and how deeply do you belong to your own self?

Today I thought to share with you some of the exercises that I do to increase my self-awareness and while the list isn’t at all limited to this, I believe it’s a good start.

1. Regular self-reflection

This is one exercise that helps to really connect with myself, so I’ll often ask myself how I am doing, why I am feeling the way I do, etc. What this does among other things is it helps to acknowledge what is going on within. I find it interesting when people feel certain emotions very strongly but refuse to acknowledge them. Look, acknowledging what you feel does not mean you will give in to it, if anything, it’s the first step to liberation.

It’s like someone who has this urge to kill a really mean boss; the fact that you acknowledge that desire does not mean that when you get the chance you will murder said boss, what it does instead is show you how deeply rooted your dislike of that boss is, which informs your future interactions with the person, whether it is to quit or continue with a lot of wisdom on your part about how you will manage the relationship.

Ignoring that emotion on the other hand is how you continue to feed that though until you eventually act on it. Self-reflection frees you to feel what you feel and helps you guide your attitude in your daily life.

2. Decide what is a priority to you and

design your goals accordingly

You have to know the things that are important to you and why they are. Career stability could be more important to you than starting a family, having lots of money could be important to you, travelling, anything, as long as you know it and design your goals around them.

When you recognise your priorities, you not only understand yourself and your motivations better, but you also give yourself the chance to be a better human being because you are living in line with your truest self.

3. Asking people for objective feedback

Now this is objective because you want to be sure that their assessment of you is not clouded by a need to butter you up. This people have to really know you, emphasis on ‘really’ as their feedback wouldn’t help anything if it merely scratches the surface.

You want to ask questions like what they believe your strengths and weaknesses are, what character you exhibit that is most admirable about you, better for you if you’ve been having a challenge articulating your strengths. Note that this isn’t limited to the positives, you want to see yourself the way they see you as wholesomely as is possible.


There is a level of confidence that comes with expertise, and if by any chance you are reading this having determined that your self confidence is at its lowest, just find one thing that you are moderately good at and enjoy doing, devote yourself to perfecting it and you will see a huge improvement in the way you see and are able to communicate your value.

Stay aware!


osayomon gaius-obaseki