Self-awareness is crucial for personal development. The benefits mean greater understanding of yourself and how you interact with others.
I used to believe that when someone was described as being self-aware, it meant that they were conceited and full of themselves—that there wasn’t enough room in their brain to think about anyone else. I wondered why I’d ever want to be around someone who was so self-obsessed, let alone be the kind of person who considered themselves self-aware.
Then I learned what self-awareness meant and everything changed.
Self-awareness is being able to clearly see all the different elements that make up your personality and to see them without judgment. You pay attention to your feelings, the way your body feels, and you make note of your reactions to the things that have a direct effect on you and the world around you.
When you’re self-aware, you lessen the chances that you’ll be completely thrown by the things that happen, any wrong or inappropriate moves that you might make in response to those things happening, and you’ll tend to not make the same mistakes over and over again. You’ll still do you, you just won’t lose control doing it.
When you know yourself well, you tend to trust your instincts more You learn from the past, and you learn how to separate your gut feelings from raw emotion and how not to come from a place of fear when you react.
If you were writing a character in a story, you’d want to know everything about them—no detail would be too small and nothing they did would go unnoticed. Since you’re the main character in the story of your life, it’s in your best interest to be conscious of the things that you do and try to be cognizant of why you do them. The truth is you’re more interesting (especially to yourself) than any fictional character could be.
When you’re "woke" to yourself; you’ll begin to be able to handle most challenges and problems that come your way without any self-destructive behavior.
Here’s what you gain from self-awareness:
Your basic understanding of yourself constantly grows deeper.
You use your self-knowledge as a guide to help you in the choices you make. If you know that you don’t function well on only a few hours of sleep, you’ll do whatever you need to do to have a set bedtime. You’ll know what combination of things such as herbal treatments or meditating before bed you need to do that will assist you in getting a good night’s sleep.
You can be proactive rather than reactive.
When you just react to the things that happen to or around you, you can often find yourself in the victim role. However, when you’re proactive, you’re better able to make things like meeting goals or advancing in your career happen by placing yourself in a space of strength.
You don’t need anybody else to tell you your abilities, weaknesses, flaws, and talents—you already know them. If someone can’t see your worthiness, then that’s on them, not on you. You won’t waste energy trying to change someone’s else’s mind; you’re too busy doing your own thing. You know already that not everyone will like you and you’re okay with that.
You think of mistakes as tools for growth.
You never let a failure go by without learning from it. You don’t beat yourself up if you make the same mistake twice because you know that you must have missed the lesson you were supposed to learn the first time. Life is about the process of not getting everything perfect the first try.
You know why you do the things you do.
When you’re self-aware, you’re never shocked by your own behavior. It’s not that you can’t surprise yourself such as when you complete a challenge you didn’t think you could do, it’s just that your behavior never comes from left field and doesn’t stun you into inaction.
You have better relationships.
You’re honest about who you are, and you ’re able to really hear what your loved ones say to you, even if their words are critical or full of unasked-for- advice. You don’t have to keep up a fake persona (which is exhausting,) so that your partner can know will never know the real you. There’s much less conflict in a relationship between two self-aware people who don’t hide their true selves.
You pursue your goals and dreams.
You have a good idea of the steps you need to take in order to accomplish the things you want to achieve. If you’re weak in certain ways you do what you have to do to improve. Your self-awareness helps to make you confident and bold. Your self-awareness gives you a strong foundation so that you can take calculated risks.
You let go of past hurts.
When you hold on tightly to past wrongdoings and pain, you tend to miss what’s going on right now. The self-aware person knows that it’s important to make peace with those who hurt you but to not give them the power to hurt you again. You’re thankful for someone being a part of your life, but if the relationship is over, you are strong enough to move on.
You have healthy boundaries.
You know and understand your limits and are able to enforce them. If you feel that you’re not keeping your boundaries clear, you ask yourself what’s changed, what could you do about the situation, and why the situation causes you so much stress. Once you’ve asked yourself all the questions you need to ask, you go about restructuring those boundaries and fortifying them.
You live in the here and now.
If you aren’t honest with yourself about what’s happening in the world and spend most of your time in some fantasy in your head, you won’t be able to make the changes that will make you a better person and the world a better place.
Being self-aware means living a life based on knowing who you are and being brave enough to share yourself with the world. It’s not being so self-focused that you have no time or energy for other people; it’s knowing who you are and why you behave the way you do. You’re kind to yourself and you’re kind to others, and that kindness comes from a place of knowing your self-worth and giving yourself permission to put yourself first.