Increasing Your Self-Awareness in Coaching

“What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself”

– A. Maslow

A self-aware person is a someone that consciously knows and understands their own individual character, feelings, needs and motives.

Not only is self-awareness an important part of living a full meaningful everyday life, but people in powerful positions have emphasized the importance of self-awareness in leadership, too.

The complete process of coaching is really all about helping to develop greater self-awareness in the client, so they are able to awaken their true potential and move forward in their lives.  Through sessions with the coach, by reflecting and taking action, the client discovers more about who they are and brings about more purpose into their lives.

In each session, a light is shone within the coachee, and they are given ample space and opportunity to discover within themselves their true values, beliefs and strengths.  Externally, they will have a chance to discover more about the role they play in the world, developing healthy relationships with others, and doing work they’d love to do.

There are a number of ways to increase self-awareness, and each technique has its own benefits which come with the practice.  Any practise which helps you to self-reflect and look within has the potential to boost your self-awareness.  Here I’ve listed a few ways to increase your self-awareness that you can consider:

Contemplative Practices

Imagine a pool of water, beautifully still, tranquil and calm.  What other qualities does it have?  It’s reflective.  Water reflects perfectly when it’s still.  When it’s still we can see ourselves clearly as we really are.  This is what a good contemplative or spiritual practice can do for us.

Although there are many forms and methods of meditation, true methods essentially bring stillness and awareness to our body, thoughts, feelings as well as our mind and spirit.  Meditation can change our state of being and how we feel anytime we practise it.  Other examples of practices that can increase our self-awareness are Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Prayer, Gratitude.


Another way to increase self-awareness is to journal.  This might mean writing down what you want to do and tracking your progress along the way.  Journaling brings awareness to our patterns of thinking.  When we write down our thoughts, stories and ideas in a written form, we begin to understand and develop clarity in our mind.  Journaling is also a powerful tool to help us solve problems, develop our innate creativity and it’s relaxing too.

Psychometric tests

There are a number of different psychometric tests and quizzes which involve answering questions to help understand your personality, strengths and values better.  Myers-Briggs is a popular one, but all the tests are geared towards helping you progress towards greater self-awareness.


Coaching as a process contains a whole host of methods and techniques, all of which can be used to self-reflect and build self-awareness.  It’s in the very relationship between the coach and the coachee that acts like a mirror, and where powerful questions are asked which compel the coachee to look at themselves deeply and grow from it.

Psychotherapist Carl Jung once said, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”  Developing our awareness is a life-long journey of learning, insight and discovery.  Sometimes bringing awareness to ourselves can be challenging too.  There might be aspects to ourselves which we might be uneasy with and so might not yet be ready to bring more awareness to it.  Overall, developing self-awareness is transformational and is at the heart of coaching for both clients and coaches.

The Benefits in Coaching and Beyond

Any regular practise that brings stillness and relaxation is going to benefit you as a coach and as a person.  Most traditions have a self-reflective practise whether it’s prayer, meditation, chanting or yoga.

Ultimately all the practises help to get to know yourself better.  It’s a gradual process of transformation, development and insight.   Let’s look at some of the benefits of doing some form of contemplative practice regularly.

The benefits are not only for your coaching but go way beyond that into your life and everyday experience:

  • Clarity and calmness.  The most immediate effect is normally feeling much calmer.  If you’ve never spent time in silence before, it might be challenging at first, but as you progress, you’ll find that you become more equanimous and relaxed in your coaching and life.
  • Resilience.  You’ll be equipped to handle day to day situations better.  You’ll find that things don’t bother you like they did before.  You’ll have more options to react in the way that you choose to.
  • Focus.  You’ll be more focussed, and your productivity will increase.  You’ll find that you can focus with ease and get more done.  Today, it’s important than ever to be able to focus because we’re constantly surrounded by so many distractions.
  • Non-Judgmental.  You’ll see judgments that your mind might be making from habitual thinking, and you’ll have the choice to not engage with them.
  • Patterns of thought.  You’ll be aware of your minds circling thoughts and be able to create a space between you and your thoughts, as an observer.
  • Space.  You’ll be able to create and hold a sacred space for yourself.  You have your own space to check in with yourself for self-care.
  • Letting go.  You’ll release things that are stored in your body and mind, and you’ll understand your own mental patterns of thought.

Time to Reflect

What personally helps you become more self-aware?  How does self-awareness help you in coaching?

About Aneesh Alidina

Aneesh is a Coach, Explorer and Creator.
Aneesh creates content on various topics including Deep Coaching, Business, and True Productivity.