To practice self-awareness, you need to be courageous.
It takes courage to see all the aspects of yourself, without judging and with a curious and neutral view.
Observing yourself, your thoughts, your feelings and your emotions, without judgement and with an open mind is the key here.
I can describe the experience as having an inner supervisor, your higher self.
Practising mindfulness, journaling and meditation, really helped me to be more self-aware.
One activity that helped me to connect with my body and feelings, grounding me to the present moment, was the body scan meditation.
Are you connected with your body, feelings and emotions? Can you observe and be present without engaging with your thoughts?
A few years ago, my higher self, caught me while engaging with negative, judgemental thoughts on a colleague of the time. My higher self, the observer, flagged it and I immediately said to myself: "Why am I unfairly judging this person? Who am I for doing that?" I felt sadness and compassion for that person, who was doing his/her best.
I meditated for a while on this, and finally noticed I had no patience with people whenever I felt some sort of "weakness" in them.
I also noticed that while growing up, I built a mask for myself that was the complete opposite: strong, independent and positive all the time.
This is exactly the point, I hated the weak aspects in people because they represented my shadow aspect.
I started to look at my "weak" aspects and working to recover from perfectionism. I looked at those aspects with love and compassion, something I've never done before.
I allowed myself to be sick, to be lazy, tired, and not productive. I stayed with the uncomfortable feelings that were raising, observing and sending love.
Through this experience, I learnt to be compassionate and loving towards myself. As a ripple effect, I noticed I was also authentic and compassionate with others.
Is there something, a specific characteristic you hate in other people?
What actions, words, aspects in other people trigger strong emotions, like anger, resentment, sadness?
I invite you to observe your thoughts and ponder on your feelings. Be compassionate and kind to yourself and let yourself see what comes to the surface.