What Is Self Awareness And Why Is It Important?

What Is Self Awareness And Why Is It Important?

What Is Self Awareness And Why Is It Important?


What is self-awareness and why is it important?  Self-awareness is the capacity to examine and sit with your own thoughts and feelings, viewing yourself as a unique individual, separate from your surroundings. Introspection, self-reflection, and observation are all components of self-awareness. This ability to see yourself plays into your health and well-being.

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Developing Self-Awareness


When you have a high degree of self-awareness, you are able to correctly see all aspect of yourself quite clearly. These aspects include your strengths and what traits you’re most proud of, while also accepting your weaknesses, and acknowledging the ways in which you’re improving. It’s the ability to embrace and accept all parts of yourself; your thinking patterns, emotions, motivations, and beliefs.

The motivation behind developing greater self-awareness is the ability to change harmful belief and behavior patterns. There’s virtually no hope of changing negative thought patterns, and less-than-ideal behaviors, without some degree of self-reflection and awareness. Acknowledgement is the first step on the road to change.

Emotional Self-Awareness


Self-awareness and emotional intelligence are intricately connected. Can you think back to a time when your emotions were out of control and volatile? I can think of many instances in my own life. The situations where I didn’t reflect on what I was feeling and why, my emotions got the better of me, and negative consequences followed.

Juxtapose that with the times I did sit with my thoughts and feelings, contemplating where they came from. Those were the times I could deflect destructive behavior, because I was able to evaluate the origin of my feelings, and make sense of them. If feelings are felt, inappropriate behavior to try and deal with them, isn’t necessary.

Being cognizant of your own feelings and behaviors, equips you to better empathize with how others feel and why they act the way they do. Emotional maturity is essential for meaningful relationships. Connection, the life-blood of relationships, isn’t possible without some degree of self-knowledge. It’s difficult to give fully to others what you don’t possess yourself.

Here are two great books on self-awareness:

Emotional Intelligence and Body Sense: The Science and Practice of Embodied Self-Awareness

Self-Awareness Assessment


All personal success and accomplishment are byproducts of self-observation, and the course correction that naturally follows. This clarity, necessary to initiate change, is a direct result from the emotional intelligence gleaned from self-awareness. Recognizing and evaluating emotions as they happen develops self-awareness. I believe it is a skill because it can be learned.

This information regarding one’s emotions, leads to the effective management of those feelings, and the ability to see the effect those emotions have on others. Another positive result of self-awareness is increased feelings of self-worth and confidence because awareness fosters the ability to see one’s abilities and accomplishments realistically.

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Self-Awareness Quiz


1. Do you feel confident in your abilities to tackle life’s challenges?

2. Can you put your emotions on the back burner until you can effectively deal with them?

3. Do you fall apart when criticized, or take constructive action, leading to improvement?

4. Do you have a strong enough sense of self to be comfortable with your own company?

5. Are you suspicious of others, or is it easy for you to trust others?

6. Do you try your best in every situation, confident in your unique skills and abilities?

7. Do you refrain from falling apart when things don’t turn out as planned?

8. Do you have the emotional maturity to openly discuss issues, without judgment, in your intimate relationships, or do you avoid conflict altogether?

9. Can you make mistakes without beating yourself up?

10. Can you graciously accept compliments  offered to you?

11. Do you generally view yourself in a favorable light, taking into account your weaknesses and past mistakes?

12. Do you take responsibility for the trajectory of your life or blame it on happenstance with no responsibility on your part?

The more questions you answered in the affirmative, the greater your level of self-awareness. If your skills aren’t where you want them to be, try the self-awareness exercises in the next section.

Billie Jean King self awareness quote

Self-Awareness Exercises


Self-awareness is the number one asset determining your level of success in life. Without self awareness, it will be difficult to choose the right career, the ideal relationships, or perform to the degree you’re capable of. Self-awareness helps you reach your highest potential. Those who cultivate awareness are better able to set goals, working systematically to achieve them.

Here are five strategies you can engage in to further your personal journey of evolution:

1. Meditation


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Meditation is a great way to practice and increase awareness. Take a few minutes out of your busy schedule every day to reflect on your life. Essentially, meditation is getting in touch with yourself. Sit quietly, while concentrating on the simple act of breathing. Observe your thoughts and feelings. Your greatest inspirations may come during these moments of pause.

This is a good time, without distractions, to check in with yourself. Ask yourself important questions like: “Am I effectively prioritizing my time?” What strategies can I put in place to assure that I am?” “What am I doing in my life that’s working, and what do I need to change?” “Am I progressing in my goals, or do I need to re-evaluate?”

So many of us are in survival mode that we don’t take the time to just think. Thinking is how we sort things out, and come up with new ways of doing things.

2. Journal writing


The act of writing gets you in touch with your thoughts and feelings, providing insights into what is and isn’t working. Record your concerns, track your progress in meeting your goals, and write down what you’re grateful for.

The act of writing aligns perspective, bringing to awareness issues that need to be sorted out. Over time certain patterns of behavior may be uncovered, and consequently dealt with. Documentation precedes improvement. There’s something therapeutic about writing in a journal.

3.  Determine Three Reasons Before Acting


Acting on purpose increases your chances of success by identifying your underlying motives and purpose. This exercise provides clues to what your authentic self is truly seeking.

Weed out any ulterior motives and detrimental impulses, that could be potentially harmful to yourself and others, by first identifying three valid reasons justifying your actions. If these reasons align with your life goals, go ahead and act.

4. Expand Your Emotional Vocabulary And Express Your Feelings


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Investing in your emotional world, enriches, not only your life, but those around you. Meaningful connections aren’t possible without emotional intelligence, which isn’t possible without self-awareness.

Many professions require a high degree of emotional maturity. Consider the fields of counseling, teaching, or any other field that requires leadership skills, and the ability to show compassion and empathy.

Your emotional health dictates how efficacious you’ll be in these areas. Emotional awareness and strong communication skills make you accessible to others. This accessibility makes you likable and trustworthy. Transparency promotes trust.

I wonder if the rates of anxiety and other mental-health challenges would not be skyrocketing like they are if more of us were in tune with our inner worlds? Could this one practice greatly reduce crime rates and episodes of violence?

5. Be Aware Of Your Self Talk


We all have a running commentary going on in our minds at all times. Being aware of this continual commentary will alert you to any self-sabotaging patterns and behaviors that are brewing. Monitor and control your self-talk instead of letting it continue unabated.

Is you inner voice constantly berating and beating you up? Realize you are separate from your thoughts, and stop identifying with them. Control unproductive thoughts by noticing what is parading in your mind. Be an active participant in your thought life, rather than automatically believing every thought you have.

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Key Points


Self-awareness is a foundational component of healthy relationships, whether that relationship is with yourself, an intimate partnership, or social and business interactions.

Knowing yourself enhances your capacity to truly see, know, and care for others. Tame the enemy within by cultivating self-awareness, and notice the positive changes that result.

What is your level of self-awareness according to the quiz? Is there room for improvement? Let me know in the comments:)

 

 

 

12 thoughts on “What Is Self Awareness And Why Is It Important?”

  1. Wow, self-awareness is an integral part of one’s life. You know I think many people are not aware of this, neither are they even aware of themselves. I need to be more self aware. I can see by what you’ve posted here,that it’s important.

    I can make better decisions when I am self aware, I can choose better relationships, and I can generally better my life. I will try to put in those exercises into my routine, although I am always busy. This is enlightening and inspiring and so it is worth sharing. Thank you.

    • Thank you Henderson.

      Yes, self-awareness is so critical to make the most out of your life, work, and relationships. I believe cultivating self-awareness is a skill, and we can get better at self-reflection if we put our minds to it.

      It imbues all areas of life, including decision making. Which, when you think about it is huge because we make numerous decisions every single day.

      Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment!

  2. Benjamin Franklin was right when he wrote: “There are three things that are too hard: the steel, the diamond and the awareness.” It’s difficult for some people to develop a clear perception of their personality and generally accept it. When this is done, however, self-esteem, self-confidence, and thus success thrives in our lives. The Self-Awareness Quiz is very helpful. I’ll share it. Thank you for this really interesting and comprehensive article.

    • Thanks so much for sharing that great Benjamin Franklin quote. It’s so true. Many people find it too painful to look within and reflect and so they don’t. It’s sad because their lives won’t be what they could be without self-awareness.

      How can you change negative behavior if you refuse to be aware of it and acknowledge it. Self-reflection is such a foundational component of success! Think of how businesses and relationships could change for the better if we were all more self-aware? The world would be a better place!

  3. There is surely a lot of room for improvement on my path regarding self-awareness in line with the quiz given in your article. I couldn’t supply affirmative answers to more than 8 of the questions from the quiz, which seemed kind of bizarre initially.

    It made me realize how little I know myself. The tips you gave concerning self-awareness, and how to become more self aware, are spot on and I’m definitely going to incorporate them into my life, especially the journal writing piece. Interesting article. It definitely provided an insightful read for me.

    • Hi Ramos,

      Thanks for reading my article. Self-awareness is an important topic, that in my opinion, isn’t talked about enough. I’m glad you took the quiz. I hope every who reads my post takes it because it can provide pertinent information, and start them on a journey to better self-reflection and awareness.

      Much success to you as you incorporate journal writing into your schedule and life. I know it will help you learn more about you, which is what we should all crave and desire!

  4. I find this article very helpful. I am still on my journey of self-awareness. I stopped journal writing just over a year ago, actually for some personal reasons. Right now I am doing meditation. Meditation is difficult for me because even if I am in a peaceful quiet place, I can’t keep my mind focused. But I have been practicing meditation and improving, as I do it often. This article is a good read. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Gillian, 

      I’m happy to hear you’re on a journey of self-awareness. I wish more people were. If writing in your journal no longer works for you than find other strategies that resonate with you. Meditation can be hard for me sometimes too. I understand how you feel. It does get easier with time as you learn how to focus your concentration.  

      Thanks so much for your comment!

  5. I must agree with the importance of self-awareness in the life of a human being. It is very essential because it helps you to deal with any situation you find yourself in. Most people fail today because they have neglected or failed to accept the truth about themselves, and when they are faced with difficult situations, they give excuses for it. 

    I believe when you’re aware of your strength and weaknesses, your more prone to dealing with everyday challenges and living your best life.

    • Hi Dane,

      Yes, being self-aware is great tool because it helps you cope with reality and life better. Without self-awareness, denial and blame can often creep in, which is extremely damaging to relationships of all kinds. You can’t be accountable without self-awareness, and we all know how important accountability is. 

      Thanks for your insightful comment!

  6. This is a really helpful post. Amazing information that has relaxed my mind and helped me understand how important self-awareness is.  Being able to know how to handle situations with one’s self, when things go wrong and also when they go right, requires the ethics of self-awareness. Thanks for writing this nice article .. it would go a long way to help create a perfect mindset.

    • Thanks for reading Willy. Yes, self-awareness is a critical skill to have. I think of it as a skill become it can be honed and perfected, and it’s absolutely vital to having successful relationships!

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