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Tools for building self-awareness

What is self-awareness and why it is important?

Self-awareness is the ability to recognise and understand your own emotions, thoughts, and behaviours. It is a vital skill that allows individuals to manage your emotions, make better decisions, and improve your relationships with others.

  • Manage your emotions
  • Make better choices
  • Improve relationships

Suggestions to cultivate self-awareness

Take tests

Taking personality assessments can help you to understand your strengths, weaknesses, values, interests and skills. This can help you to become more self-aware and understand how you interact with others. The tests listed below are free, unless otherwise stated. You can also look at this video for a brief introduction to self-assessment tools:

Personality tests

Skills and career interests tests

Values and strengths tests

Seek feedback from others

Asking for feedback from others can be a powerful tool for building self-awareness. Be open to constructive criticism and use it to identify areas for improvement.

Try new experiences

Stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new experiences can help you gain a better understanding of your strengths, weaknesses, and preferences. It can also provide opportunities for personal growth and development.

Practice self-reflection

An alternative to or complementary with quantitative self-assessment, is self-reflection. Set aside time each day to reflect on your thoughts, emotions, and actions. Consider how they align with your values and goals. Identify areas where you can make improvements. Here are some reflective writing prompts you can use:

(With special thanks to Natalie Lundsteen for sharing some of these resources).

Develop a journaling practice

Writing down your thoughts and emotions in a journal can help you become more aware of your patterns of thinking and feeling. It can also help you track your progress in building self-awareness.

See our resources on:

Journaling to increase self-awareness.

Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of being present and fully engaged in the current moment. Mindfulness can help you become more aware of your thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations, allowing you to gain a better understanding of yourself.

Other pages you should visit

On our site

Define your values 
Advice on how having an interview with a friend, peer or mentor is useful for career exploration. 

On external sites

Mine your Mind for Data to Drive Your Career 
Strategies for identifying what your key skills and strengths are. 


From the Squiggly Career Podcast

Episode #42 How Knowing Your Values Unlocks Career Happiness. 

Episode #61 The Art of Reflection. 

Episode 69 DIY Career Development. 

Episode #122 How to make your strengths show up and stand out. 

Suggested tasks

Login or register to add these tasks to your personal development plan.

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