I have registered to use flomo for more than 500 days and for me flomo helps me to
Write knowledge notes: organize valuable ideas from articles and books I read and record my own understanding and thoughts.
Doing content output: writing selections, writing content, and recording my inspiration and ideas.
Doing self-awareness: recording and observing my emotions and thoughts.
In today’s article, I would like to share my experience and practice of self-awareness with flomo as a summary of my experience during this period of time. Please bear with me if there is anything wrong, and I appreciate all suggestions and discussions.
Why do I do self-awareness?
Before I describe how I use flomo to write my self-awareness notes, I think I need to answer one question first: Why do I do self-awareness?
At first glance, “self-awareness” is an esoteric concept, and if you look at it from a philosophical and psychological perspective, there are many profound and specialized academic discussions. However, I only want to understand this matter from a personal and practical level, so I don’t think it is necessary to give a particularly complicated explanation to the concept of self-awareness.
As an ordinary person, self-awareness in my eyes is about being conscious and more clearly aware of oneself.
There is nothing mysterious about self-awareness. Keeping an emotional journal is one of the most mainstream ways, and many people practice it in their daily lives, and it works. My approach to self-awareness is to use flomo to record my emotional ups and downs, my reflections on events, and my interpretation of my inner thoughts.
The main reason I wanted to do self-awareness was to record and preserve traces of my growth and to accumulate material for future review.
The words I recorded at different moments are photographs of my thoughts, sealing in the truth of what I was thinking at a particular moment; I wanted to collect my own journey and emotional changes through continuous recording, and archive them for me to look back and review.
It’s fun to be able to observe the subtle, gradual changes in my mood. Just having the records on file is the equivalent of having a clue to how I’ve changed, and it gives me a sense of security: I know I won’t lose track of what I was thinking, so that at some point in the future, I won’t feel strange but clueless about who I used to be.
At the same time, self-awareness stems from the need for self-appreciation and scrutiny.
To record myself authentically is to look at and appreciate myself more clearly. When I write my self-awareness notes, I am consciously using myself as an object of observation, and I use the words to reflect my thoughts, so that I can use the mirror of the words to reach a self-talk in a corner where no one is looking at me.
I hope that through conscious self-awareness, I can trace and review my own way of perceiving the world, so that I can understand more clearly the logic of my own thinking and doing, or what people often call “brain circuits”. This kind of observation and awareness not only has the meaning of self-examination, but also a kind of self-appreciation.
I myself have a need to be observed, watched, and appreciated, as I believe the vast majority of people do, and the process of carefully reviewing my experiences and navigating my thoughts and ideas actually satisfies my need for self-appreciation. Satisfying my need to look at and appreciate myself is one of the things that drives my self-awareness.
Finally, self-awareness is also a way to achieve personal growth.
The ultimate goal of self-awareness is to achieve personal growth, to be a better version of myself, and in turn to make my life better.
There is a saying that I like: “Seeing is the beginning of change. I find it very helpful. After all, if you don’t realize something, how can you change it?
The Four Labels of Self-Awareness
The way I use flomo to write self-awareness notes is also very simple.
When I feel the urge to record, I open a flomo window, describe the event itself that I am experiencing at the moment, and record the emotions, feelings, and thoughts that I am experiencing at that moment, then tag them and send them.
The flomo notes I write in this way are shorter than a diary – a few dozen words is enough, but a few hundred is not too many; the form and manner of recording is also more free, as I don’t follow a fixed cycle or time point, but rather use events and feelings as a trigger – if If something happens that makes me want to write, or if an emotion arises that I feel the need to record, then I will write; if not, I will not force myself to write.
If I don’t, I don’t push myself to write. When I don’t have the material, what I write will just be a vague, running account. In flomo, I use this tag to categorize my notes on self-awareness.
Under the tab Emotional Awareness, I will record my perception of my emotions in the moment, usually along the lines of
When I wrote this note, it was because of what emotion I was feeling?
Why did I feel this emotion and what event happened?
How did I perceive my emotion in the moment?
How will I respond only when a similar event occurs again?
I find this template to be very well developed and practical. Although I don’t follow the boxed template every time I take notes, its perspective of being aware of emotions is very inspiring for my notes.
Writing emotional awareness notes in flomo, like this, has also helped me in an important way.
Writing such emotional awareness notes has allowed me to accumulate a wealth of material about my own feelings. As I wrote and reviewed these notes, I also developed the ability to perceive my own emotions, allowing me to be more sensitive to my different emotional signals, a deliberate practice of my empathy; it also allowed me to spend more immersive time with myself, a very valuable experience.
Writing emotional awareness notes is a spontaneous process of sorting out my emotions. Although it starts with emotion, when I use words to sort out the ins and outs of my emotions, I inevitably need to awaken my rational self to help me strip away some of my emotional scraps and take me out of my emotions for a while, which helps avoid my emotional outbursts.
I feel that only by being aware of my emotions can I observe and respond to them, smoothing out the ripples of my emotions like the folds of a garment. The recording of my emotions is itself a process that helps me dissipate them. When I have done a rational and emotional sorting of what I am experiencing, I am less likely to be engulfed by unexplained emotions, and it is a deliberate practice of self-control.
In this tab, I record and review questions about “what kind of a person I am”.
When I realize that I often show a certain tendency and always adopt a certain action strategy because of certain events, I will use this event as an opportunity to try to dig into the logic of my inner thinking and analyze the rationale and motivation behind my behavior.
Why did I choose to do this thing? Why did I do this thing in this way?
How do I think in this matter, based on what kind of value judgment I have?
I often show XX characteristics, why? How do I view this trait of mine?
I feel that by taking these notes to observe my inner personality and understand the logic of my actions, I can, to some extent, feel in control of myself. Based on understanding myself, I can control my behavior and guide myself in the right way at the right time.
I use the Success Diary tab to record what I feel I have done well each day, and to record my successes in certain areas.
The “success” here is not an objective success, but something that I can recognize and feel satisfied with, based on my subjective self-affirmation.
It doesn’t matter if it is something small in life, it doesn’t matter how big it is on a mundane level, it’s just to please myself by recording this label, to reinforce the feedback that I bring pleasure by doing something, and to be the motivation for myself to take action.
In other words, the notes recorded in this tag are small blessings that I have created in my own life. These, for example, may not be great achievements, but they do motivate me.
Although I didn’t have this in mind when I started keeping a success journal, I do feel that I have gained by doing so: I have a stronger sense of self-efficacy and am able to affirm myself more than before, while fighting some self-denial tendencies; I am able to appreciate and capture some of the good results my actions have had on the world, even though it may be insignificant, but, after all, there is no good deed that goes unpunished, and such a record is a positive influence on my mind and character.
This tag is sort of my personal memoir.
I created the opportunity to create this tag because I sometimes subconsciously and suddenly recall a certain memory, an experience I had. When I remember it, I realize that it played an important role in the formation of my current character and has a very special meaning in my life experience, but I was not even aware of the event itself for a long time, or even recalled the event itself.
At such moments when I suddenly remember an important experience, I choose to record such things, in order not to forget.
The reason why I want to make such a record is that I think I am a very “forgetful” person.
I don’t know how many people have similar experiences to mine, but I’m not a good social person and I’m not good at maintaining social connections, so whenever I change circles because of life changes, such as changing schools, classes, jobs, etc., I rarely keep in touch with people from my last circle, even if they were once good friends.
And because I have not developed the habit of keeping a diary, the result is that whenever I change my life circle, because I will be surrounded by a lack of reminders of past experiences, as well as the lack of people with whom I can remember, so I will quickly forget a lot of things that happened before, and even the faces and names of some once close classmates and partners have become blurred.
Of course, I know that some things are not necessary to remember, the brain will automatically clear some useless memories, this is the brain’s protection mechanism, to help us take in new information, to maintain physical and mental health. But there are times when I realize that an experience that I have ignored for a long time actually played a very important role in my life, and I get a little scared.
I will be afraid that although I remember now, will I forget again in the future?
Will there be many other things that were once important that I have unknowingly forgotten?
So there’s this tag, which I think is kind of a remedy for my never keeping a diary before. Standing in the present and remembering the past is also a different perspective than a diary. Many times I will recall it while describing the impact it has had on my life and character now, and I feel that it has, in many cases, helped me accomplish a self-reconciliation.
From self-awareness to self-development
To answer the saying, “Seeing is the beginning of change.
I think this is what self-awareness means for personal growth, and I believe that doing self-awareness is a necessary stage towards self-growth. From self-awareness to self-development, I think there are four levels: perception, awareness, acceptance, and development.
A straightforward explanation is to first recognize that it exists. Perceiving what kind of feelings, thoughts, and ideas you are generating, and realizing this process itself is the most basic self-awareness.
After recognizing its existence, one tries to face it, tries to understand it. Complete a communication with yourself. To think about and understand why you think the way you do, what kind of experience you have behind it, what kind of thinking path you have taken to reach it, and what kind of thinking pattern is at work behind it.
Cognition is the knowledge of one’s own underlying thinking patterns, just like a machine, to know how it works.
Acceptance and appreciation are a very important part of self-awareness.
If perception and awareness were followed by criticism or examination of the self, that might be a bit too strict; but since we actively do perception and awareness, it cannot be because we want to avoid or condone some of our shortcomings, and there is absolutely no need to be redundant.
On a positive note, I think that self-awareness is closer to a neutral purpose. It requires us to try to be honest with ourselves, to let ourselves become our closest friends, and to open up to each other without defenses.
It is not necessary to accept your shortcomings in their entirety, but you should recognize your own mistakes and, more importantly, realize what is the source behind some of the flaws you are not willing to face and from what angle you can improve.
It is also important not to spare praise and give positive recognition to the parts that perform well.
At the same time, for all desired changes, realize that there is a process for its development, and it may not happen as fast or as smoothly.
The process of accepting the self may open up some knots and make us slightly better from our contradictory, screwed up, self-denying state.
The ultimate goal of self-awareness is to promote self-development and achieve personal growth.
The process of self-awareness is a preparation for achieving growth in practical action. Therefore, I would divide self-awareness and self-development into 2 stages. Self-awareness is more at the mental and conceptual level, while one’s actual growth must be achieved through action and practice.
In order to be able to achieve self-growth, I need to develop self-awareness as an unconscious habit of mine, integrated into my daily default thinking patterns, like breathing.
Finally, to conclude the self-awareness section, let’s return to the other topic of the day, why do I use flomo, or how does flomo help me with my self-awareness?
In taking notes on self-awareness, flomo makes my notes flow more naturally.
I didn’t choose flomo from a bunch of note-taking tools with the intention of doing self-awareness, but I was attracted to flomo first and then started taking notes with it. In the process of note-taking, it helped me accomplish this self-awareness thing.
I was first attracted to flomo because of its simple product design, and its idea of “note-taking is for better thinking” also got me into the game. After a year of using it, I’m already a loyal user.
What I think flomo does very well is that its product concept made me realize that I should start from very small, start practicing small actions, and it really helped me do that. I really like the lightweight design of the product, which expands in a small window, and this limited nature allows it to build an advantage that other note-taking software does not have in promoting lightweight note-taking.
It looks like a small note every time it unfolds in front of me, as if it’s telling me to write as much as I want and it doesn’t matter when I finish; so it doesn’t pressure me to output, it allows me to focus on what I want to write down, and it’s easier to get into the flow of ideas.
When I open flomo, I feel like I’m opening a chat window instead of a big blank notebook, which gives me a completely different feeling, so it’s easier for me to unload my baggage when I’m recording in flomo, to face myself sincerely, and to sink my heart into being my own pen pal.
flomo’s annotation feature helps me to make connections between notes and notes, linking up tracks.
For example, after noticing a change in an area that I had previously perceived, I can trace back to my previous related notes and create a link to revise and add to them; or record the results of my development and progress in a certain area.
Then, for example, after one has gained knowledge of a certain area of the field, one creates a separate line of notes to guide one’s actions and creates links for them; or conversely, when one has an idea for a certain area of action, one finds the theory that supports it from the library of notes and creates links.
Rather than editing on the original note, I prefer to create a separate new note and then link it to related notes and make annotations. That way every time I click on a note with an annotation, I can see its previous life. It’s like watching a series, each card comes with a timestamp that marks the key points in time when I made key explorations and changes on my growth path.
Conclusion: My fragmented thoughts
By taking notes on self-awareness, I’ve also slowly realized something.
The closest person to ourselves is always only ourselves, but our ‘ego’ can sometimes be ‘cunning’ and it knows how to play hide-and-seek with ourselves more than we think.
We may avoid self-awareness through self-deception, thus ignoring our flaws and shortcomings
We may also temporarily comfort and protect ourselves through self-abandonment
We may also sometimes be blinded, busy with the faces of others and overly concerned with others, thus neglecting to take care of our own emotions
There is a saying I like very much, recording self-awareness notes and keeping an emotional diary is like giving yourself a spiritual massage. It may not get to the root of the problem, but it at least provides a way to relieve stress and allows our mind to build up the energy to meet and face new events.
Perhaps self-awareness may be realized in different ways and mean different things to each person.
For me, I think the practice of self-awareness at flomo over the past year has helped me develop the habit of review and self-analysis, and I have started to do a “mental sketch” of myself with my own words, carving out my inner personality and thinking process.
The process of “self-sketching” is meaningful in itself, because some of the self-talk that we usually complete silently in our minds is not suitable to be kept inside, but more suitable to be visualized, and should be expressed and extended in an outwardly open way. Otherwise, it may become a lump that sinks in the bottom of our hearts.
Finally, seeing is the beginning of change.
Self-awareness is not about “criticizing” or “correcting” ourselves, it is just an opportunity to get to know ourselves and look at ourselves from different perspectives.