Do You Know You? PART 1
Many people are strangers to themselves basically because they are absolutely not self-aware.
What Is Self-awareness?
Self-awareness is a crucial part of living a great life. The ability to see yourself clearly, know yourself intimately and be objective about your perception of self through reflection and introspection is being self-aware.
Total objectivity may not be possible to attain about oneself but you can still achieve a high level of self-awareness. This exists on a spectrum.
In order to live a happy life, make better decisions and life choices, be a more effective leader and lead a generally better life; self-awareness is a crucial life skill to possess.
It is the ability to focus on yourself and how your actions, thoughts, and emotions align with your internal standards or not. When you are self-aware, you are able to objectively evaluate yourself, manage your feelings and emotions, track the direction of your actions, note your triggers, and align your behaviour with your values.
Those who are highly self-aware can interpret their actions, reactions, thoughts, and feelings objectively.
This skill is not innate, it is cultivated through deliberate efforts and is quite rare to find in a lot of people. People more commonly spiral into emotion-driven interpretations of their circumstances.
Self-awareness theory is based on the idea that you are not your thoughts, but the entity observing your thoughts; you are the thinker, separate and apart from your thoughts .
We can go about our day without giving our inner self any extra thought, merely thinking and feeling and acting as we will; however, we also can focus our attention on that inner self, the ability that is termed “self-evaluation.”
Engaging in self-evaluation makes us give some thoughts to whether we are thinking, feeling, and acting as we should and following our own standards and values. In that way, we are comparing against our standard of correctness.
Two States of Self-awareness.
Self-awareness exists on two distinct planes: private and public self-awareness.
When you have public self-awareness, you are aware of how you appear to others. This consciousness can make you adhere to social norms and make you behave in ways that are regarded as socially acceptable. The danger in this type of self-awareness is becoming self-conscious to the point where you worry so much about how others perceive you.
Being privately self-aware on the other hand means you are introspective and you approach your feelings and actions/reactions with curiosity. Your ability to notice and reflect on your internal state and consciously deal with your feelings appropriately.
It is noteworthy that becoming self-aware to the point of self-consciousness is an extreme that can drive you to develop a persona that lacks authenticity.
Why Is Self-awareness Important?
Research has found that when we look inward and are able to clarify our values, thoughts, feelings, behaviours, strengths, and weaknesses; we are able to recognize the effect we have on others. People with self-awareness are happier and cultivate better relationships with others.
And when we look outward, we are able to understand how people view us thereby becoming more empathetic to people with different perspectives. We daily use these standards to judge the rightness of our thoughts and actions. Using these standards is a major component of practicing self-control, as we evaluate and determine whether we are making the right choices to achieve our goals.
Benefits of Self-awareness.
Self-awareness has the potential to enhance virtually every experience you have, as it’s a tool and a practice that can be used anywhere, anytime, to ground yourself at the moment, realistically evaluate yourself and the situation, and help you make good choices. The benefits are numerous but here are some of them.
- Self-awareness allows us to see things from the perspective of others, practice self-control, work creatively and productively, and experience pride in ourselves and our work as well as general self-esteem
- Frees us from assumptions and biases
- Helps us build better relationships
- Gives us the power to influence outcomes
- Helps us become a better decision-maker
- Boosts our confidence when we are able to communicate with clarity and intentionality
- Greater ability to regulate our emotions
- Reduces stress
- Makes us live a happier and better life
- Makes us better at our jobs
- Makes us more proactive, boosts our acceptance, and encourages positive self-development