Self aware people are not exempt from experiencing stress. Although these people know who they are and what they want to achieve, they still have the same burdens as other people. Yes, having high self awareness is a rare gift, almost like a superpower. However, as the song goes “even heroes have the right to bleed.” Check out this Huffington Post article below to better understand the analogy.
High Self Awareness Can Be Stressful to Have
At face value, self awareness sounds like it should be a superpower.
High self awareness is linked with stronger relationships, better careers, and other markers of success that sell lots of self-help books. You’re in touch with your body and emotions! You lead with intelligence and empathy! You make generally appropriate life decisions!
When you are self aware, you understand your mind and body more. You know your wants, needs, emotions, habits, and shortcomings. Having high self awareness can help you improve in many aspects of your life. After all, the more you know yourself, the easier it will be for you to act in ways that will help you flourish. However, sometimes high self awareness can actually hinder you.
How High Self Awareness can be a Double-Edged Sword
— ATBBusiness (@ATBBusiness) October 19, 2017
When you have learned to reflect on yourself, you start to create this ideal version of yourself. This can lead to a lot of internal pressure. These pressures cloud your judgment by sowing doubt in your mind. Highly self aware people may start to internalize things outside their control. The article by the Huffington Post mentions that there are 4 surprising situations that can stress out people with high self awareness:
- Being by yourself — Spending extended amounts of time in deep self-reflection can only go in two directions for people who are very self aware: You either come out of it feeling inspired or hopeless. You compare yourself to what you envision your future self to be like. Comparing yourself to an idea of yourself can cause cognitive dissonance that may push you to do better, or pull you further down the rabbit hole.
- Exercising — For those who are self aware, this can be a very powerful experience. They feel everything in a stronger way. Every ache and emotion is magnified when putting your body to the test. However, it is important to keep exercising. Otherwise, you can’t keep your mind and body functioning well.
- Planning for the future — Looking into what the future might bring can be great or terrible for those who are self aware. On one hand, you can feel empowered and ready to face whatever life may bring. On the other hand, it can make you question things about yourself and your choices. Although it might hurt to realize these things, remember that self awareness is always better than ignorance.
- Spending time with others — When you’ve spent so much time looking inwards, being with others can become difficult. You may not be able to analyze others as well as you do yourself. That’s why it’s important to listen not only to yourself, but also to those who are in your life.
More of a Blessing than a Curse
Even though self-reflection can be tough on you and others, it is still important to do. Opening yourself up to your own emotions and thoughts can go a long way in improving your way of life. High self awareness is a rare skill, but once you master it, you’ll find yourself feeling like a super version of you.
For more on high self awareness and its importance, watch this TEDx Talk by Valon Murtezaj: