What is self-awareness?
Self-awareness or self-insight refers to our ability to understand our own thoughts, feelings and behaviours. It is when we have a clear and accurate perception of ourselves, including our strengths, weaknesses, values, beliefs, and habits.
Self-awareness lets us reflect on our experiences, make informed decisions, and navigate our relationships with others in a more meaningful and effective way. It also helps us identify patterns of behaviour that may be holding us back and take steps to make positive changes.
Developing self-awareness takes effort and introspection, and may involve activities such as journaling, meditation, therapy, or talking to trusted friends and family members. It’s an ongoing process that can lead to personal growth, improved relationships, and a greater sense of purpose and fulfilment in life.
Why is self-awareness important?
It improves self-knowledge
By gaining a deeper understanding of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, we can start making informed decisions.
It enhances personal growth
Self-awareness allows us to identify areas for growth, challenge negative beliefs and behaviours, and make positive changes.
It improves relationships
By being self-aware, we can better understand our motivations and behaviours, as well as the motivations and behaviours of others, leading to more fulfilling relationships.
It increases emotional intelligence
Self-awareness helps us recognise and regulate our emotions, leading to better emotional intelligence and the ability to respond to challenging situations in a more effective way.
It enhances decision making
With a clearer understanding of our own values and beliefs, we can make decisions that align with our goals and priorities.
It reduces stress and anxiety
Overall, self-awareness is a critical component of personal growth and development, and can lead to a greater sense of purpose and fulfilment in life.
4 resources to help us improve our self-awareness
Practising mindfulness meditation can help us become more aware of our thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations, which can then help us identify patterns of behaviour and thought.
Taking personality assessments like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or an Enneagram test can help us gain insights into our tendencies, strengths, and weaknesses, which can help us understand our behaviour and decision-making processes.
Asking for feedback
Asking for feedback from others can help us see ourselves from a different perspective and identify areas for improvement. This can be done through informal conversations or through more formal channels like 360-degree feedback assessments.
Working with a therapist can be a valuable resource for improving self-awareness as they can provide a safe and supportive environment to explore our thoughts and feelings and gain insights into our behaviour.