Why Does Self-Awareness Matter?

How well do you know yourself? How deeply do you understand your motivations? Do you know your own self image or how others perceive you?

Self-awareness is the ability to monitor, assess, and control our thoughts and emotions. It is important, because it’s a major mechanism influencing personal development. I’ve learned that when we are unaware of how and under what circumstances our emotional nature is triggered, bad things can happen: Our lives can get out-of-control pretty fast.

Self-awareness is something we all need to develop and practice. Self-examination is key, but it’s not easy. We tend to beat ourselves up for our failings or fantasize about how great we are, when neither of those things is actually true. We all have a unique mix of good and bad traits, but most of us aren’t aware of them. In order to reflect objectively on ourselves, we need to quiet our minds and open our hearts, forgiving ourselves for our imperfections while offering ourselves kudos where they’re deserved.

To increase our self-awareness, we must be able to see past the false attitudes and inappropriate behaviors we’ve developed over time. We need to have peace of mind, time and attention to focus on those aspects of ourselves that require change. Knowing that we can indeed change in positive ways through deeper self-awareness makes it worth working on those personal qualities we most value. But first, we must look within ourselves through self-examination to see what’s there — which is often less obvious than we think.

Self-Love Mastery for Women: How to Build Your Self-Esteem, Self-Awareness, Self-Confidence…; by Judith Coleman

So Why Does Self-Awareness Matter?

Self-awareness is important because it makes it easier for us to take control of our lives. When we understand why we succeed or fail, and why we behave as we do, we can more easily take the steps that help us achieve our goals. Many people are on “autopilot” and hardly aware of why they succeed or fail. Their minds are so busy with daily chatter that they only self-reflect when something goes terribly wrong. That’s why self-awareness matters. But there’s another reason: self-awareness allows us to make better decisions by revealing how our emotions affect our choices.

We often feel unprepared for a challenge, even when we have prepared. We may stumble through an interview or test, handle something in our lives awkwardly, or lose someone we love due to a misunderstanding. When we find ourselves in challenging situations, it’s easy to get defensive or make excuses. It’s also common to blame another person for the situation. But if we can observe ourselves during such incidents, we’ll develop a better understanding of ourselves.

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6 reasons why self-awareness is important for well-being.

Becoming more self-aware can be enlightening

The inward journey can be a surprising one. Certain phrases come out automatically to reveal attitudes or opinions that we don’t even realize we subscribe to, or even know where they came from.

The ideas we absorb from the people and environment around us become a part of who we are. We all have things we’ve said or done, sometimes unwittingly, that embarrass us because they don’t reflect who we really are. This is one good reason why it behooves us to become more self-aware . . . so we can find ourselves and feel more confident that the ideas we are expressing are really our

Self-awareness can open you up to new perspectives

As we develop our perspectives and ideas, we become more rigid in our thinking and less open to new ways of seeing the world. But new ideas are refreshing and stimulating, opening our thinking in new and possibly promising directions. Open-mindedness is definitely a plus in being successful at dealing with life’s challenges and diverse situations.

Self-Awareness can boost self-esteem

The opinions we have about ourselves are often based on what others think, but it is important to consider whether those opinions are accurate and realistic. If we were criticized as children, we may develop low self-esteem and sensitivity to rejection. On the other hand, if we were praised as a “prince or princess,” we are likely to develop false self-esteem or arrogance which can be harmful to our relationships. We owe it to ourselves to become more aware of these thoughts and beliefs and whether they are consistent with reality.

Self-Awareness can help you look at yourself objectively

We may think that being hard on ourselves makes us more motivated to do better, but actually it just leads to stress and unhappiness. No one is perfect, so why should we expect ourselves to be?

Be honest with yourself. Don’t gloss over your weaknesses, but rather mine your subconscious for its opinions and correct the mindsets that are not compatible with your values. When you find something that is out-of-sync, examine it, remove what isn’t compatible, and insert a better value or phrase to bring the idea in alignment with your personal values.

Self-awareness can help you evaluate your strengths and weaknesses

Many people have a tendency to focus on their weaknesses rather than their strengths. But if you see your weaknesses as opportunities for growth, you will be able to develop yourself into a more well-rounded person and ultimately lead a happier life. To do this, you must be able to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Start a journal and begin writing down what you think you are good at and what you are not good at. Enlist help from family and friends, they can help you better identify each.

Self-awareness can help you set intentions

If you don’t set a goal for yourself and create an intention, you may not end up anywhere in particular. In order to form an intention, you must understand what’s important to you and what you hope to accomplish. It’s not necessary to know how you’re going to get there, but it’s very important that you have some idea of your general direction. For instance: “I intend to create my own business in _ (whatever field) and become self-sufficient by age _“; “I intend to find the right life partner and raise a happy and healthy family together in the country”; “I intend to stand up for myself when my boss puts me down”; etc. Say your intention out loud, communicating with your inner self, letting yourself know that you intend to create a more meaningful and satisfying life.

Find Meaning and Purpose

How do we cultivate self-awareness?

Your self-awareness and degree of, is going to determine how much other people are going to become to know and trust you. Self-awareness is just about being secure in who you are. Many people define themselves by what they do and believe. When someone is not 100% secure in who they are, they are going to look for something else as a source for their security. (e.g. money, circumstances, material things, etc.) Most people don’t really know who they are.

Self-awareness is us reaching a stage where we’re not just aware of the world but also what’s going on inside of us. (One world will be happening inside of us, while another world will be happening outside of us). Many of the problems people have are work related, stress, anxiety, fears, phobias. These emotions are reactions or responses to something that’s happening to them in their outside world. This can also be called perceptions.

An internal response to an external problem!

If we become aware of the world we have going on within our minds. We have accomplished the first step. Most people have a negative limiting belief in some way. It’s always going to prevent them from moving forward and making progress.

All “good” traits are alive in all people but because of circumstances a person may choose not to project those traits. These people have low self-worth, low value. Becoming conscious of who you are, instead of who you think you are, is the most important step in achieving self-awareness.

Engage all your senses.

To build self-awareness we must begin with becoming aware of…everything. You’ve heard that saying, “Stop and smell the roses”? That’s not just about slowing down and taking your time, it’s also about paying attention to everything around you.

Go for a walk. Pay attention to everything around you not just what you see. Close your eyes and focus on the smells, sounds, touch, taste. Do you live in the country? What do you smell? Can you smell fresh cut grass? What do you hear? Can you hear the wind blowing through the branches in the trees? Take your shoes off. How does the grass feel between your toes?

Do you live near the beach? Listen to the waves crash on the shore. Smell the salt in the air. Feel the sand between your toes. Is there a breeze coming off the ocean? Engage all your senses and then write about it in your journal.

We can use this same tactic with the other areas of our life. How did you react to what that person said to you? Why did you react in that manner? Was the statement hurtful? Why was the statement hurtful? Was it true? Why was it true? From what place do you think the statement came from? Could the person making the statement be projecting their own insecurities on you?

Write in a journal

Writing can be a powerful tool for self-discovery. When we write our thoughts or stream-of-consciousness ideas, we often open up to those vulnerable places within ourselves. Writing sometimes reveals what contemplation does not, so this method of self-exploration may assist you in expanding your self-awareness. Telling your story, releasing your woes on paper, dreaming up your fantasy situation — these are ways your subconscious can speak to you, revealing what’s really “the matter.”

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness, like self-awareness, is a practice of consciously directing our thoughts inward and becoming more aware of our inner state. Mindfulness includes focused attention in the moment to whatever one is doing, as well as practices such as meditation or quieting the mind.

Be a better listener

A good antidote to downward spirals of negative thinking is to get out of ourselves by focusing on another person. By listening objectively, even lovingly, to what that person wants to or needs to share with us, we learn how to better listen to our own inner dialogues and opinions objectively and lovingly.

Ask for feedback

Because we spend so much time with ourselves, we can become blind to our own faults. The objectivity of others can be very helpful in self-assessment. If you have the courage, ask a friend or acquaintance their opinion of you, or ask about how you managed some project you worked on together or how you handled yourself in some quirky situation.

Final thoughts

When you encounter some aspect of yourself that needs additional refinement, be willing to look behind its obvious manifestation and explore its deeper meaning. When you find something that needs some re-tweaking, make a mental or written note to yourself to look at it later when you have some time alone for your self-care.

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