Knowing all of the aspects of what is making you sick is what self-awareness is all about. Self-awareness for teens is all the more important for it is in those formative years when they develop who or what they want to become and evaluate their own skill sets like where they can excel or where they cannot.
Self-awareness for teens is when they will be able to have an understanding of their own needs and desires, and also know what their strengths and weaknesses are. It is when you are able to accurately assess your emotions so that people who are self-aware know who they really are at their core.
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Researchers have even come up with determining whether babies and animals are also self-aware by way of putting a red dot on their forehead while they are either asleep or under anesthesia. The researchers will then place the animal or the baby next to a mirror and then they will wait to see what will happen when the baby or the animal that they are observing wakes up and looks in the mirror.
If the baby or the animal will touch the dot on their forehead instead of touching the red dot on the face in the mirror, this means that the baby or the animal is self-aware. The reasoning for this is that the act of touching the dot on their face implies that they are able to understand that they are merely looking at an image of themselves.
Obviously, you should be able to instantly recognize yourself if you were to look in a mirror. But, if you ponder upon it, how well do you really know the person who is being reflected back to you? If you are to be asked the following questions, will you be able to answer them point-blank?
- How does this person tend to think?
- What is deemed as meaningful for this person?
- What is this person passionate about?
- What are the things that interest this person or what does this person love to do?
- What are these people’s beliefs, both empowering and limiting?
- What are this person’s values?
- What is this person’s purpose on earth?
- What are the emotions that this person feels most of the time?
- What is this person feeling right now?
- Why does this person behave the way he or she does?
- Despite the socially constructed self that he or she has created in order to fit in, who is this person underneath it all?
- What is the common impression that this person creates on others?
Most likely, you will not be able to answer most of these questions. Now imagine asking these to teens, these questions may look easy, but the truth is, these questions are complex and it needs a deeper understanding of a person towards himself or herself.
This is why it is important that the school where your teenager goes should have at least a program on self-awareness for teens. One way of doing this is through completing self-awareness exercises, and below are some exercises of self-awareness for teens which can guide them in their journey of knowing themselves:
1. Try to apply feedback analysis
There is a religious order of men within the Catholic Church who are called the Jesuits. And whenever a Jesuit makes a crucial decision, he will then write down how he was able to reach such a decision, and what he expects is going to happen. After nine months, he will then compare the actual results to what he was expecting and this method allows the Jesuit to do the following:
- Evaluate what aspects worked and what did not
- Evaluate his decision-making process
- Observe any errors in his cause-and-effect analysis and how he is going to reach his conclusions
- Apply the feedback that he has gathered so that he can be able to make better decisions in the future.
- The feedback analysis will also enable him to highlight competencies that the Jesuit needs further developing.
The famous Warren Buffet also applies feedback analysis. Harvard Business Review reveals that when Warren Buffet is making an investment decision, he carefully articulates the reasons why he is making such an investment. His journal entry will serve as a historical record that is going to help him evaluate the accuracy of his investment decisions.
It must be emphasized that this method is not only limited to them. You can also start to apply feedback analysis in your own life so that you can become more aware of how you are going to make decisions and how you can improve your own decision-making process.
You can start by codifying your rationale and motivations whenever you are making an important decision, and then after nine months or so, you can also reflect and evaluate the outcomes. Applying feedback analysis can also contribute to increased self-awareness for teens.
2. Enhance self-awareness for teens by convincing them to take Psychometric Tests
This test can help in measuring a person’s skills, his or her numerical or verbal aptitude, or a person’s personality type. Even though the results of these tests should not be treated as gospel, they are still a good avenue for you to start learning more about yourself and eventually increase self-awareness for teens.
Below are some free psychometric tests that you can get started with:
- Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment: This is a science-based assessment wherein it provides an accurate depiction or pattern of your core drives, thereby serving as insights into your needs and behaviors
- Sixteen Personalities Test: This test is the same as the classic Myers Briggs Type Indicator or the MBTI wherein your answers will determine where you will fall on the four spectrums – extroverted or introverted, sensing or intuitive, thinking or feeling, and judging or perceiving.
- Entrepreneurial Aptitude Test: This test will help you in determining if you have what it takes to start a business.
3. Learn to Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Knowing what their strengths and weaknesses are is one of the most important things that they should know about themselves. You can give exercises by making assessments so that they can now start to focus on their strengths and then manage their weaknesses.
Instruct them to take a pause and then start to write down the answer to the question of what their strengths are. If they find themselves having trouble answering this question, then taking a strengths test can help them in determining what their strengths could be.
As to your witnesses, you can identify those areas that need shoring up by through the following tips:
- Try to ask yourself which type of tasks that you always keep on avoiding
- Try to think back on your failures and see if there is a common pattern to those failures and what weakness are those failures pointing to
- Try to think back on every evaluation that you have received, whether at school or at work. Try to remember if there are things that people are always telling you that you need to work on
4. Try Asking the People That You Trust for Feedback
There was a famous prank for kids where a note is being taped on the back of a student. The trick to pulling this off is by doing it with subtlety so that the other kid will not notice that something was being taped on their back. The note will then usually say something like “I’m stupid” or “Kick me”.
What the joke is about is that the kid has no idea that he or she has a note that is being taped on his or her back, but everyone else did. This is with the same analogy to our personalities. All of us have a blind spot wherein there are things about ourselves that we cannot see, but others can.
Also, you can never be sure of how you are perceived by other people until you try to ask them. Thus, to incorporate this in guiding self-awareness for teens, then you can make them go and ask a few people whom they know they trust for their feedback on their personality.
They should be able to ask for both positive and negative feedback along with their advice so that they will know how they can improve, and where to start with such improvements.
5. Try to Listen to Your Self-Talk
One way of helping with self-awareness for teens is when you make them try to think of their thoughts as a river that they are swimming in. Then let them think that they are trying to climb out of the river and then sit on the riverbank every once in a while. Then start observing the river and listen to it.
The next thing that they should do is to start writing down what the river is saying and try to copy what they have heard word for word. If they will be able to do this two or three times daily for a few days, they will now be creating records of how self-talk really sounds like. Then, make them try to read through their notes, and through this, it could make them more aware of what they say to themselves every day.
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