Some of the most successful people in the world continuously cultivate self awareness. Why does self-awareness matter so much to these leaders? Well, far too many people pursue goals half-heartedly, not realizing that the reason they’re unsuccessful is because those goals aren’t what they’re actually passionate about. This is where a concrete self-awareness definition can help. After all, understanding self-awareness involves identifying your own strengths and weaknesses. That’s why becoming more self-aware is the key to succeeding. Whether it’s in a relationship you care about or building your career, we’ll examine what self-awareness means and how it can help you below.
Self-Awareness Definition and Why It Matters
“Self-Aware” Doesn’t Mean “Self-Centered”
Pursuing one’s sense of “self” is not a selfish act. Yes, self-awareness requires you to deeply examine yourself. However, it doesn’t mandate that you ignore those in need or act arrogantly.
Becoming self-aware is about the journey of knowing who you are. So many of us are held back by the fear of diving into our own psyche or beliefs and discovering negative and dark secrets about ourselves. We worry we’ll be forced to realize that we should just accept our failings. We’re scared that we just don’t have the gifts that we need in order to pursue our dreams.
However, by learning about yourself, you’re facing your deepest fears — and coming out the other side. Like most people, you’re likely discrediting your positive attributes while giving too much weight to your negative characteristics. This imbalance stems from your fear. Additionally, when you refuse to look at the good and the bad without fear, you impede spiritual growth. Don’t keep yourself from acknowledging what you’re really good at, and truly interested in, any longer. Don’t hold yourself back.
The Road to Enlightenment
Though obvious, one of the best ways to achieve real self-improvement is to identify what needs to be improved within you. To do that, a sometimes-brutal self-assessment is essential. However, how you realize this assessment is up to you. Whether you believe you can best improve yourself through taking workshops, reading books, or simply conquering bad habits, identify a strategy that works for you. Then, identify which skills or characteristics need improving.
Here is just one example of self-awareness: have your loved ones told you that it’s difficult to discuss touchy subjects with you without you snapping at them? Anger management therapy or workshops are excellent tools for learning specific coping techniques in order to keep stress from turning into destructive behavior.
However, remember that you won’t learn those methods in the first place if you don’t start by admitting that your anger is an area on which you need to focus.
Escaping the “Echo Chamber”
— Inome (@Inomeapp) January 21, 2018
The term “confirmation bias” is one you may have seen crop up during the recent election. It referred to a tendency in people of all political persuasions that made them easy targets for false stories. This is because these stories knew that they could use confirmation bias to reinforce what the reader wanted to be true, even if the evidence seemed sketchy.
When it comes to self-awareness, confirmation bias is just as tempting as it is when you’re analyzing current events. After all, if you don’t really want to work out very much, wouldn’t you rather listen to the friend who tells you that doctors over-sell the importance of lowering your cholesterol? When you have a “nagging” suspicion that you nag your husband too much, don’t you feel relief when you find that article that assures you that sometimes men just need that extra bit of nudging?
It may be difficult, but it’s time to leave the echo chamber of outsider influence. Instead, you need to start listening to your inner voice. It’s your conscience that helps you understand when you actually aren’t feeling great about the choices you’ve been making.
All this to say that there comes a time when you have to lovingly silence your enabling friends. You have to turn off your confirmation-biased social media. Turn away from these voices and simply listen to what your heart is telling you to fix.
Here’s a video by Dalai Lama on awakening the self beyond religion:
Developing self-awareness takes effort — and in some ways, the task is a lifelong one. Often the journey is one that combines personal development, spirituality, and tools like meditation to improve your sense of self.
Regardless of what the journey looks like for you, the most important component of that odyssey of self-discovery is simply to begin it!
Have you started your journey to self-discovery yet? Do you follow a different self-awareness definition? Let us know in the comments below.