Yes, it’s important to be self-aware!
Today let’s zoom in on the idea of self-awareness:
- Why aren’t more people self-aware?
- What is it, exactly?
- How can you become more self-aware?
- Words of caution
- Benefits of being self-aware
Self-awareness might very well be one of the most difficult virtues to master. Why? Because people tend to believe they are already self-aware. Who knows me better than me? I live with me day in and day out! Other reasons it is difficult is because we cannot trust our conscious minds, memories, or self-evaluation.
However, self-awareness is a much deeper idea than just being a witness to one’s own life or justifying our initial truths we believe about ourselves.
Self-awareness includes being aware of your strengths and weaknesses in an objective way. It is understanding what triggers your emotions and behaviors. It is being aware of your values and goals and being able to judge what behaviors are in line with the life you hope to create. It is understanding the HOW and WHY of your WHAT.
When you understand your HOW and WHY you realize you have control over your WHAT. You now have the opportunity to change things about yourself, choose how you react, recognize how others see you, identify and capitalize on your strengths and gifts, and look objectively at your weaknesses.
How can you become more self-aware?
- Listen to your self-talk
- Write down your short and long term goals and review regularly
- Ask friends, family, and co-workers for feedback
- Take personality and strength tests such as the ones in our course
- Notice and acknowledge your feelings, and what triggers them
- Notice how others react to you
- Pray for revelation
Just a note about feedback; be prepared to hear things that might make you uncomfortable. If someone has the courage to speak about where they believe you could improve, listen with a calm, objective mind, and give their words attention.
Another word of caution: Introspection does not always equal self-awareness. Too much introspection is actually not as helpful as just NOTICING your thoughts, emotions and behaviors. Do not get caught in a loop of obsessing over your every emotion and analyzing it, becoming self-absorbed.
Now, let’s examine some of the benefits of self-awareness.
- Gives you more confidence to pursue your goals
- Eases decision making because you know your best path
- Allows us to understand things from others’ point of view
- Gives you more control over your thoughts and emotions
- Helps you recognize that you have more power to shape your outcomes than you realize
- Improves relationships because you are aware of how you are affecting others
- Frees us from wrong assumptions
- Hopefully leads to self-acceptance
Self-awareness is a valuable virtue for all these reasons, and although not the easiest to develop or accept, it is a virtue that will enrich our lives with clarity and truth.
For more on self-awareness, check out these videos: