Building self-awareness resembles building a house. Here’s how to find the bricks, cement, tools, and architectural design to construct one that’s uniquely yours

Image of a self-awareness house
Image of a self-awareness house
All illustrations by the author (using Creative Commons graphics from Pixabay).

Self-awareness is such a complex idea. We all want to improve it, but many find it hard to unpack the concept. What does it mean to be self-aware?

Over the past few years, I’ve explored this question from many angles. At first, self-awareness seemed to be a primarily spiritual endeavor. I discovered that all my experiences, at any given moment, can be used as raw material for discovering my essence, i.e., that part of my consciousness that remains unchanging.

Even now when I write these words, I feel chills of excitement.

As I kept meditating and exploring other self-awareness techniques…

When people sit in a circle, they can see what used to be hidden.

Photo by VisionPic .net from Pexels

On the last Full Moon, I did it again.

I know I shouldn’t have. The current limits on social gatherings are still quite strict. Yet, the promise of what we would create together was much greater than the perceived risk.

(Note: Although the gathering was bigger than allowed, we did follow social distancing rules and met outdoors.)

Under the cover of the night but with the guidance of the Moon, ten women went into the forest to sit around the fire. Each made her way through the darkness and to the sacred space. There, we knew we could feel safe…

Overdoing self-reflection may not only lead to inaccurate answers—it may also encourage detrimental rumination

Illustration of a woman sitting on a swing, reading in moonlight.
Illustration of a woman sitting on a swing, reading in moonlight.
Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

As we’re slowly emerging from the pandemic, the way we feel may surprise us. As Melinda Wenner Moyer explained in her recent piece in Elemental, it’s perfectly natural that we’re not bursting with enthusiasm just yet.

In fact, now is the moment when many people’s mental health is taking the biggest dip.

For many of us, the amount of thinking we’ve done over the past year has hit us hard. We’ve been forced to evaluate our lives from all possible angles. We asked ourselves serious questions about why we’re here and what we’re doing. …

Embracing the idea that humans are “born to run”

Photo by Ham Kris on Unsplash

On 31st December 2020, I ran 30k doing the “7 hills of Edinburgh” route with my boyfriend and friend. It wasn’t an ordinary achievement. My longest runs to date were half that distance and on much flatter trails.

“You’ll run as slow as you want and walk whenever you need to,” my boyfriend, who runs ultra-marathons, said to me before we set off. Ultimately, he took the pressure off of that run — which I believe was precisely what allowed me to complete it.

It took around 5 hours, so sure, we weren’t fast. But, it allowed me to enter…


It might be time to outsource part of this to the people in your life who see you differently

Image of people’s faces in cogs. Interconnected
Image of people’s faces in cogs. Interconnected
Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Recently, I’ve been forced to accept a hard truth about myself.

I’m way more outgoing, knowledgeable, interesting, fun, confident, courageous, and eloquent than I used to think.

You may think that I’m joking right now. How is this a “hard truth”? All these adjectives are everything one would want to be, right?

But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to accept that I can be all those things.

Why? Because they aren’t coherent with the self-story I’ve been nursing in my mind for years. …

Here’s what may happen to your writing if you monetize it ASAP

Photo by Yan Krukov from Pexels

I haven’t been writing in my personal style for a while. I feel like I’m recovering from a “content writing hangover.” All I can think of as I type these first words is whether or not I’m “luring the reader (you) in” and if my headline is click-worthy enough to get some eyeballs on this text.

This “content mindset” has been with me for a while. And I feel limited by it. Initially, I became a content writer because I’ve always loved writing and it seemed like a good idea to turn my passion into my career.

That’s what we’re…

What kind of positivity should we pursue and in which situations — and at what point does it become forced, unnatural, or even toxic?

Illustration of negative and positive input on a seesaw.
Illustration of negative and positive input on a seesaw.
All illustrations by the author.

In our society, “being positive” is seen as a strength. We admire people who’re upbeat, energetic, proactive, and creative. We want to be more like them because we believe this would grant us a life of success and fulfillment.

A positive outlook on life is assumed to be the supreme virtue. But is it always?

I can’t tell you how many times when I expressed personal or professional frustrations, certain friends told me that it’s “all in my head.” With that, they implied that if I only tried to see things in a more positive light, everything would shift. …

Psychologist and co-founder of Big Self School, Dr. Shelley Prevost, shares her learnings from building an online business during a pandemic

Image courtesy of Shelley Prevost

As a freelance writer, I’ve been a part of more remote teams than in-person ones. Some of them were in the formal setting of a content agency or company I’d work for. Others were informal groups, with the main goal of online creators to support each other.

Whenever I’m a part of a remote team, it’s a peculiar experience. On the one hand, it seems like I just interact with a computer — type in messages, send emails, and get responses. All along, I’m alone in the room. It doesn’t feel like I’m interacting with another human.

But then it…

You know which one it is — but do you care as much as you could?

Photo by De'Andre Bush on Unsplash

Dear Big Selfer,

Here’s an obvious truth of life that everyone needs to be reminded of sometimes:

The only person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with is you.

Even the most intimate partnership doesn’t come close to that. People in your life will come and go. Some of them will stay. But there’s just one person you take with you anywhere you go.

Even for that reason alone, it’s worth spending some time getting to know yourself. …

Plus, three proven exercises to put it back in its place

Image by John Hain from Pixabay

We all have two voices inside of us — the critical and the compassionate one. In what proportion you listen to each determines how you feel and what you think about yourself.

You can imagine those voices as two personas, constantly commenting on your experience. Meet your Inner Critic and Inner Nurturer. Both have important roles to play, although they’re dramatically different.

The inner critic tries to keep you safe and points out what could be improved in the future. When you’re in a group of people whose opinions you value, it’ll watch out for you not to say anything…

Marta Brzosko

Self-awareness precedes self-improvement. Join me on

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