How Good Is Your Metacognition?
August 10, 2022
Meta Cognition is the cognitive ability we possess to think about our thinking. We can think of metacognition as the self-awareness of what we are thinking and feeling.
Instead of having a tantrum, you say I “feel” like I am going to have a tantrum, or Instead of having an anxiety attack, you say I “feel” anxious. Metacognition is your ability to think and keep track of what thoughts and emotions are going through your mind at any point. And because you can keep track of the thoughts and feelings you are experiencing; you have a chance of letting your executive function control how you act.
Your executive function is the “management system of your mind.” It is responsible for many of your cognitive skills like paying attention, focussing on tasks, organizing, planning, regulating emotions, self-monitoring, etc.
To enable your executive function to operate effectively, your metacognition has to be good. Therefore, the better you are at observing your thoughts and emotions, the better your executive function operates.
Questioning yourself is a great way to sharpen your metacognition. Some typical examples
- Why am I feeling anxious or jealous?
- Am I being fair to the person?
- Am I being judgemental?
- What did I learn from this experience?
- How can I do this same task better?
- Why am I feeling defensive?
Your metacognition or self-awareness improves when you ask yourself questions about everything you do and force yourself to answer them honestly.
Someone wise once said, “The most important conversations you’ll ever have are the ones you’ll have with yourself.” He was perhaps alluding to metacognition..