Self Awareness is a Personal Understanding

Self-awareness is the explicit understanding that one exists, as an individual, separate from other people, with private thoughts, with the understanding that other people are also similarly self-aware.

Self-awareness is a personal understanding of the very core of one’s own identity. It is during periods of self-awareness that people get the closest to knowing themselves objectively.

Self-awareness plays a large role in behavior, as it is common to act differently when people are in a crowd. It is the basis for human traits, such as accountability and conscientiousness. Self-awareness affects people in varying degrees, as some people self-monitor themselves more than others.

Self-awareness is the recognition of our personality, our strengths and weaknesses, our likes and dislikes. Developing self-awareness can help us to recognise when we are stressed or under pressure. It is also often a prerequisite for effective communication and interpersonal relations, as well as for developing empathy for others.

When you know who you are, you may have to change; and some people just do not want to change because changing demands effort. Self-awareness requires honesty and courage, to get in touch with what we are thinking and feeling and to face the truth about ourselves. The better you understand yourself, the better you are able to accept or change who you are. Being in the dark about yourself means that you will continue to get caught up in your own internal struggles and allow outside forces to mould and shape you.

The starting point should be the knowledge of oneself as a unique individual and how one relates to this new world. The clarity with which you can answer these questions: Who am I? Where have I been? Where am I going? will determine your capability to chart your own destiny and realise your potential.

In your quest to know yourself, do not think of yourself more highly than you are, rather have a realistic view of your strengths. On the other hand, do not exaggerate your weaknesses and look down on yourself. Also, do not excuse or rationalise your weaknesses. We need a realistic view of both our strengths and weaknesses if we are to know our true selves.

How we see ourselves may be clouded by the feedback messages we received about ourselves from others. But how could anyone know more about you than you? They do not feel your emotions or think your thoughts; they do not face the issues that you wrestled with. No one could know you better than you. Therefore, do not let others look down on you.
Remember what I said earlier that some people may not be prepared to face the truth about themselves. This may be true of you. Therefore, you must be prepared to listen to others, especially significant others and allow them to jolt you to re-examine your own perceived self-image.

There are no perfect people and there are no perfect parents. Nevertheless, from a practical viewpoint, our parents, who gave birth to us have the opportunity to observe us at close quarters over many years, would have a clearer insight of our character than anybody else. You don’t have to accept their views but at least listen to them.

With the following questions you can start your personal process of self awareness, think about the questions carefully, before formulating your answers and then write down your answers, so that you can review them afterwards, in your own private moments and maybe add more substance to the answers.

Can you describe your personality? If yes, then write it down
What are your strengths?
What are your weaknesses?
How do your friends describe you?
Do you agree with their descriptions? Why or why not?
List two situations when you are most at ease.
What specific elements were present when you felt that way?
What types of activities did you enjoy doing when you were a child?
What about now?
What motivates you? Why?
What are your dreams for the future?
What steps are you taking to achieve your dreams?
What do you fear most in your life? Why?
What stresses you?
What is your typical response to stress?
What qualities do you like to see in people? Why?
Do you have many friends as you just described? Why or why not?
When you disagree with someone’s viewpoint, what would you do?

Now you will have, maybe for the first time in your life, written down in front of you, who you are and what you think about yourself.

Review what you have said and highlight the things that you do not like about yourself, think about how you can change the things that you do not want to be. Once you have completed reviewing your personal assessment of yourself, sit down with a person that you really trust and discuss what you have written about yourself.

You will be surprised how good a feeling you get when you do this, you will have a sense of lightness and relief, you will laugh a lot and you will start to make actions for the future, your future, your life, your dreams and your destiny. Now that you know yourself, everything is possible, use your imagination, enjoy yourself, life is good.