This 1-hour exercise will increase your self-awareness by 100x

Ready to integrate a 15-minute turbocharge into your morning and evening routines? We’re talking 30 minutes total per day, tops. I promise.

It’s literally changed my productivity, focus, ability to think more creatively and my overall happiness and well-being. I’ve now written two books, including one on emotional intelligence that is helping people around the globe increase their self-awareness. I’ve studied emotional intelligence for years and lectured on it at several organizations.

At the core of emotional intelligence is an ability to “know thyself.” This is called self-awareness. So, why is this so important? Why does it matter if we do this inner identity work that helps us understand and manage our emotions? Because to get what we want in business and life, we need to operate with confidence.

Self-awareness and a desire for continuous improvement get you there.

Self-Awareness is comprised of a 360° understanding of our emotions that enables us to find greater peace, inner-strength, confidence and fulfillment. When we know ourselves, we worry and fear less about external factors that are out of our control. What we do is “turn inward” and focus on the things that make us who we are, and also that which we can define.

In my research and leadership development work, I call this a “Game Plan” that transforms your life:

  • Passion
  • Values
  • Strengths & Skills
  • Purpose
  • Mission (How you define success)
  • Goals

Jeff Kauflin writes in Forbes that organizational psychologist Tasha Eurich writes in her New York Times bestselling book, Insight, that self-awareness is often something we seriously misjudge in ourselves. “In a series of surveys, Eurich found that 95% of people think they’re self-aware, but only 10–15% truly are.”

So how do we increase our self-awareness? We begin the deep work of the Game Plan to understand and recognize our emotions and actions and how they affect others. We focus intently on how others perceive us. Self-awareness is about recognizing what stimuli you’re facing and determining how to manage yourself in a proactive and reactive manner.

Eurich further explains that both internal and external self-awareness are important.

“Internal self-awareness is “an inward understanding of your values, passions, aspirations … External self-awareness is about understanding yourself from the outside in — that is, knowing how other people see you.”

The Exercise

Now that we know what self-awareness is, we’re best positioned to begin this exercise that helps each day to navigate the good and challenging times of life. There are so many things to fear and worry about these days. Remember — we must turn inward to find that place that allows us to be truly free and human.

I call this exercise The Terrific Trio. Here it is:

1. Meditation, 5 minutes

In silence, close your eyes, get in a comfortable posture, and clear your mind of negative, anxious, or worrisome thoughts. Think positive things. Breathe slowly and easily and focus on your breathing. This is self-nurturing and should allow you the ability to free yourself of anything in your life that is holding you back.

The goal here is pure thoughts, free of any pressure, and filled with positive imagery and peace.

2. Affirmations and Gratitude, 5 minutes

Aloud or in your mind, speak positive affirmations over your life. Give yourself some grace. Be thankful for the blessings and great things in your life. Don’t be afraid to say things about yourself and others that will open your mind and allow you to come to peace with any regret, negativity, and hurt.

Say that you’re going to do the things you love — the things that bring your joy, fulfillment, and peace of mind. I know of no more worthwhile activity than speaking and writing the dreams over your life. When you fuse these with motivation, hard work, and goals, you are bound to achieve them over time.

3. Play-by-play, 5 minutes

Visualize yourself achieving the goals you set for yourself. See yourself celebrating bringing on a new customer. Picture yourself applauding a team member at the news of their promotion. See the “win.” This isn’t just about you. It’s about the other people in your life. Send positive thought energy into the environment.

To have a creative imagination that visualizes success, happiness, goal fulfillment, as well as altruistic wishes for others, you need to have clarity and positivity on your mind. Relying on your values, you have a foundation that allows you to exist in this state of mind.

There it is — if you choose, you can invest 15 minutes of time each day and reap maximum benefits. A commitment to personal development doesn’t have to be time-consuming nor mentally exhausting. Quite the opposite. The benefits of growing your self-awareness will have a gigantic impact on both your life and career happiness, fulfillment, and success.

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