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What is self-awareness exactly? Can you define it?
I mean, duh, it’s being aware of ourselves. But there’s way more to it than that. How does being aware of ourselves affect our lives? Why do we need to be self-aware? How does being good or bad at it affect our relationships? That’s what I mean by what is self-awareness. What is self-awareness for?
These are some of the questions that our guest blogger, Patrick, will answer for Mental Health Monday today. He blogs over at patricklinfante.com, and he is endlessly fascinated with human emotion and communication. He’ll explain what this vague, heady term really is, and why it’s important that you know it and incorporate it in your lives. I love that when he defines self-awareness, he breaks it into subcategories which get more and more specific as they describe more specific aspects of that self. And you can see that each section is a little longer, a little more detailed. It wonderfully describes exactly how people define themselves. And once you can define yourself, you can go out and be your best self.
…Are you sensing a pattern here? Is there an Uninspired echo?? I invited Patrick to come talk about this today because, like every week, I wanted to give you something that would help you be the best adult you can be. That’s what Uninspired is all about! Helping you stop feeling ~uninspired~ and start feeling motivated to transition smoooothly into adulthood. Of course, the first step to being an amazing version of yourself is knowing who *yourself* is! So, this post is pretty important. Learning to be self-aware means that we’ll be better equipped to go out in the world and be well-adjusted, productive members of society. So, let’s find out. What is self-awareness??
“The Importance of Self-Awareness”
What is self-awareness? Why is it important? Where does it apply in our every day lives?
Well, self-awareness is one of the single most important aspects of our lives!
Knowing yourself is more important than knowing anything else. If you don’t even know yourself, how can you expect anyone else to understand who you are or where you are coming from?
What is self-awareness?
We can break it down into 5 subcategories.
- Personal Values
Let’s begin with Self-Concept.
This is simply the general view of yourself. Are you athletic? Nerdy? An adrenaline junkie? A musician? Quiet? Loud? You can see how broad this is, and how the lines might start to get blurry as we dive deeper!
Next in line are Personal Values.
This Piggybacks off of self-concept. What do you value in life? What are your wants and needs? Do you care about relationships? Do you care about money? Maybe you care about people a lot? This is similar to your morals. What do you believe in? What makes you tick?
Then we have Self-Identity.
This is a more narrow scope on the previous self-concept. This is where we delve into what our specific qualities are, as well as our potential. We may be an adrenaline junkie, but are we better at driving, biking, surfing, skiing, or something else altogether? You are athletic, but are you better at individual sports, or team sports? Do you excel at hockey, basketball, baseball, tennis, etc? Do you retain information on the first go-round? Or do you need it repeated 3 times? Are you a visual learner? Are you an auditory learner? Maybe you learn by doing? Do you communicate by speaking alot? Do you use a lot of body language? A little body language?
I’ve give you a moment. Please, ponder those thoughts thus far.
As we continue, we get into Self-Development.
You are now aware of what your specific skills are. Now, which ones can be bettered? AH. Which ones, should be bettered. Listen, it is all well and good to work on your weaknesses, but.. at some point, they are still a weakness. We should most definitely work on them so that we are well rounded. However, let’s also spend time working on things we are already good at. Let’s make ourselves GREAT at them. Are you working on yourself, or are you becoming complacent, regardless of the multitude of reasons why?
So… how do we know? How do we check? Who holds us accountable?
Which brings us to self-regulation.
Liking Patrick’s post on self-awareness? You might like Millie’s post about dealing with negativity!
Area number 5. Self-Regulation.
We are our own judge and jury. We may have had teachers to hold us accountable, or our parents perhaps, or, maybe even the law at times. That is simply to get us to understand structure and discipline. At the end of the day, we are the ones that sculpt our lives. We are the one that decides whether you get up immediately, or you hit the snooze button. We are the ones that get to choose to stay in and work on our craft, instead of hitting the bars regularly.
And that’s what this is all about.
We have infinite choices in this life.
Are we choosing to be self aware? To hold ourselves accountable? Are we choosing to work on our strengths and weaknesses? Are we choosing the good life?
It helps if you are self-aware. If you can look yourself in the mirror, and be honest, every day, you have already succeeded. You have embraced yourself. You have accepted the faults, and have felt pride from the strengths. And you accept what you do know, while you also accept what you don’t understand.
The more self-aware you are, the more advantages that you have! If you are aware that you are terrible at basketball, you might not join a competitive league. Or you might! If you are choosing to have fun and improve something. Furthermore, this shapes our lives. If we hate sitting at a computer, we should probably avoid getting an office job, where we sit at a computer 40 hours a week. If you aren’t very social, you might not enjoy working in a restaurant. Perhaps if you are excellent with people, you’d LOVE a sales gig. (You also might not)
The more things we try, the more we sample what is out there in the world, the closer we get to knowing exactly who we are. This helps bring us closer to the life that we ultimately desire.
Again, the key is to pay attention. The key is to Choose to pay attention in life. Try out new scenarios, and pay attention to the results. Pay attention to how it makes you feel.
The real question, is what are you going to do with the information that you find?
Hopefully you use it to create the best version of yourself.
Will you choose to see what is in front of you?
Will you live in denial?
Or will you live?