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What is Self-Awareness and Why It Should be Important to You

Self-awareness refers to being able to be objective when looking at our inner self through introspection and reflection. It is about being transparent when examining your internal thoughts and feelings. A key component of self-awareness is to see yourself as separate from your thoughts; you are the thinker, your thoughts are just the byproduct of the process.

Objectivity being the operative word, it is easy to look at oneself through rose-tinted glasses, but being honest with yourself is a skill. It is easy to go about your day-to-day routine without examining yourself. We often get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and may barely have time for relaxation, let alone introspection. So why is self-awareness important? Here are some benefits that are associated with self-awareness.

Benefits of Self-Awareness

1) Better Decision-making

Self-awareness leads to having a clearer state of mind which would result in a more coherent mind when it comes to decision-making. People would be clearer in their thought process and thus be better equipped to make logical decisions. We all have our subconscious emotions which are detached from the emotions we recognise.

Subconscious emotions have an inherent influence of our decision-making process and is likely to affect our thought process without us knowing. Hence, identifying how you are feeling subconsciously would allow you to take them into account when making a decision, thus aiding the process. Increasing your self-awareness helps you achieve greater perspective to come up with more reasoned decisions.

2) Encourages Personal Development

Demonstrating Self-Awareness leads to the comprehension of your strengths and weaknesses as an individual. This would mean that you would understand your scope for development, what you are good at and what you can improve on. This makes it easier for one to self-improve.

Understanding your weaknesses is more likely to encourage self-development than not knowing what you can improve on. With a sense of who you are, you can take the necessary steps to achieve the professional and personal development to become the person you strive to be.

3) Increased Emotional Intelligence

Self-awareness makes it easier to understand the perspective of others as you are more in-tuned with your personal emotions. Displaying empathy is an underrated skill, understanding other perspectives are a core component of successful relationships.

Once you develop an understanding of your own emotions, you will understand how your actions may affect those around you in both a professional and personal setting. Most of us are aware that our actions have consequences but knowing how our actions affect others is a more nuanced topic. Having a high-level of self-awareness would precipitate that.

4) Better Worker

As previously mentioned, possessing Self-Awareness means that you will be able to understand your strengths and weaknesses better. It is a particularly useful skillset in a workplace, especially in a group dynamic where knowing your deficiencies means that you can rope in individuals that complement you. This leads to increased productivity as the team would be more balanced.

It improves communications as you will be able to articulate your thoughts and emotions in more coherent manner to your colleagues. Recognising your weakness is not negative, far from it, it shows your team that you have the big picture in mind and that are putting the common goal above your pride.

How to achieve Self-Awareness?

1) Reflect on your thoughts and emotions.

Start examining your thoughts and emotions. Ask yourself why you feel a certain way. What caused you think in a certain way? Were you justified to feel that way? These are all questions that you should be asking yourself.

Introspection is a key guide on the path to achieving high levels of self-awareness. Take a deeper look at your inner mind, remove the superficial aspects of your emotions, analyse the rationale for your emotions. Emotions are complicated, so do not expect this to happen overnight, it is a gradual process but one that will greatly benefit you in the long run.

2) Ask those around us

Self-awareness is not just for ourselves but also for those around us, it enables us to better communicate with them. External feedback is an important tool that allows us to gauge how others perceive us. We may feel like we are self-aware but others may have an opposing view.

Be mindful of what they say, do not get defensive if you do not like what you hear, remember that this is all part of the process. Take their comments onboard and ask yourself honestly if that is the truth.

Self-awareness is a term that gets thrown around a great deal and for good reason, it is a trait that companies would like their employees to embody. It shows employers that you are confident in your own abilities but also understand that you have room for improvement.

As for personal relationships, everyone appreciates a self-aware individual who is realistic with their capabilities and honest with their deficiencies. Mould yourself into a more self-aware person and you will be a better individual for it.


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