How to Become a Self-Expert (and Why Your Health and Happiness Depends on It)
Do you know if you’re holding yourself back? Or helping yourself forward?
Most of us live out our life completely unaware of whether we’re on a harmful or beneficial path, and bottle up mistakes and bad choices just so that we don’t have to feel the pain of facing them. But this has an unmistakable effect on the quality of our life.
This is why becoming a self-expert is critical. A self-expert is someone who devotes their time to learning about themselves intimately. They’re absolutely dedicated to self-improvement and are willing to look at themselves openly and honestly so that they can make changes that will improve the quality of their life.
But how do we become a self-expert? What does it take? What are the important principles for cultivating self-expertise? There is one principle above all else that works as the very foundation for becoming a self-expert. If you can master this principle, you can become a self-expert and reap the rewards of improved health and happiness in the process.
How to Become a Self-Expert
There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.
– Benjamin Franklin
The reality is, most of us lack the self-awareness necessary to know when we’re hurting ourselves vs. helping ourselves progress, and this has a very detrimental effect on both our health and happiness (scratch that: our entire life).
When we experience something, our awareness of how it truly made us feel is muffled, less perceptible, and if we make a mistake we often ignore it and try to cover it up unconsciously without even knowing we’re doing it, never having the opportunity to make any real tangible improvement.
This is why self-awareness is so important. With self-awareness, you can break this harmful pattern by gaining clarity and learning more about yourself and then use this knowledge to improve and grow in countless ways. When working towards our goals, we notice when we fall off or aren’t giving our best and can quickly course-correct. When in a relationship, we’re more likely to reach a resolution because our self-awareness makes our own mistakes or faults more perceptible to us. As a result, our relationships improve. The applications span throughout our entire life.
3 Ways to develop self-awareness and become a self-expert
Below are 3 practices to help you work towards becoming a real self-expert. Each practice is intended to help you cultivate self-awareness and learn more about yourself so that you can work your way to becoming a self-expert as we’ve discussed:
1. Keep a journal
The first and most accessible practice you can try is keeping a journal. Journaling (when done in a specific way) is an excellent way to develop more self-awareness, learn about yourself, and document your progress.
To help yourself become a self-expert through journaling, take a few minutes each day to write down what you did that day. Write down how successful you believe you were in working towards your goals for that day, whether you believe you’ve made progress or not in relevant areas pertaining to your actions for that day, and note down anything you’re feeling whether good or bad.
As time goes on and you begin to collect more entries, you can look back on them and begin to match them up with where you are now in your life and notice important things such as areas needing improvement and special strengths.
2. Practice mindfulness meditation
Another highly effective practice you can adopt is mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness meditation isn’t anything over the top, it’s not about learning to levitate or transcend, it’s simply about learning to be with yourself in the present moment fully, whether what you’re experiencing is “good” or “bad”.
Mindfulness meditation is a highly effective practice for helping you become a self-expert because it is about enhancing and improving the very mechanism that allows us to learn about ourselves clearly without bias: self-awareness.
For the unfamiliar, there are many ways to practice mindfulness. You don’t have to sit in meditation at first if you’re not yet comfortable with the idea. Try this simple practice to begin developing more mental clarity and self-awareness:
- Focus: Turn your attention to your breathing. Follow each in-breath and out-breath from beginning to end.
- Count: Count to 10 with each in-breath and out-breath counting as 1 separately (in, 1; out, 2).
- Acknowledge: Thoughts, feelings, and sensations will arise while being mindful and make you lose your concentration on the breath. When something distracts your count (it will happen constantly in the beginning), start the 10 count over from 1.
- Return: Return to your breath after having lost your concentration due to any thoughts, feelings, or sensations.
3. Join open group discussions
Lastly, if either of the above practices doesn’t sound interesting to you, you can try engaging in open group discussions. An open group discussion is a meeting where each person participates by sharing information about themselves, usually information specific to something connected to the purpose of the group.
This takes various shapes and forms, and can be much easier to find in larger cities where populations are higher, but if you can find one (or make your own), participating in open group discussions is one of the most effective ways to learn about yourself and develop more self-awareness. This is because you’re not just talking openly; you’re receiving constructive criticism from others in a safe and supportive environment.
Expertise comes through devotion
Each of the above practices stands on its own, however, when combined, they form a powerful collection of self-expert practices that can help you develop a greater sense of self-awareness, learn about yourself intimately, and enjoy the rewards inherent in doing so.
Whatever practices you use to develop self-awareness, it’s important to devote yourself to becoming a self-expert. The quality of your life is proportional to how willing you are to open up to yourself and make improvements. Become a self-expert and see how your life unfolds more positively before you in virtually every way.