By: Kevin Sinclair
Self awareness involves being conscious of who you are and how you will react in certain situations – but it’s also more than that.
What is Self Awareness
Self awareness is achieved by reflecting on your intentions and your actions. It is being aware of your own emotions and how to channel them in order to achieve what you want from life. So many of us re-act to life. Awareness of our selves enables us to be pro-active and therefore more in control of our life course. Self awareness stems from reflection, on trying to understand what we do and how we might do it differently to achieve greater success.
Self awareness involves self knowledge when we know ourselves we learn to trust ourselves and rely on our own judgment rather than the judgment of others.
How Do We Develop Self Awareness
One way of achieving self awareness is to take the time to think things through. So often in today’s world everything carries on at such a pace that it is much easier to say I haven’t the time or I can’t be bothered. If we stop to reflect on things we recognize that it is not time that is the problem but the way we view it and use it. The problem is that we get so caught up in the everyday happenings of our lives that we just don’t take the time to reflect.
When you reflect you look back over the happenings of your life in an attempt to discover how you have become the person you are. Unless we develop self awareness then we cannot change things and develop our full potential. Carl Rogers, who developed person centred counseling believed that everyone had within themselves the means to develop their full potential but in order to do that they had to develop a positive self concept.
We develop a positive understanding of who we are by doing things that we are happy with or successful at. Experience teaches us that when we do things that give pleasure not just to ourselves but to others then we are less stressed and happier. It makes us feel not only that what we are doing is worthwhile but that we ourselves are worthwhile. Part of self awareness is a recognition of the intrinsic value not just of ourselves but of others.
Techniques For Greater Self Awareness
We have already discussed the importance of reflection to becoming self aware – but there are other things that we can do to develop this quality in ourselves. In the East there is a greater recognition of the quality of self awareness and this is often achieved through the practice of yoga and meditation. Buddhist monks for example have to learn to meditate to develop a taste for silence.
Meditation comes in many forms. Transcendental meditation, for example relies on the reciting of a mantra or sacred phrase. Christians, Muslims and Jews also recognize the benefits of meditation and contemplation and how this leads to greater self knowledge. A more recent tool in developing self awareness is cognitive therapy where we take greater control over out thinking processes and try to correct thoughts that are erroneous.
Finally, rediscover what is important to you. One way of doing this is to keep a journal. Many more people are now recognizing the benefits of journaling. Here you can record your thoughts, chart your progress and decide what you see as important. When you decide what is important in your life then you have an idea of what you value. Knowing what you value in life is a vital tool in self awareness and success. When we know what our values are, then it is much easier to chart a path in life that adds to our personal growth and happiness.
The Benefits of Self Awareness
When you become self aware you grow as a person. You develop self-acceptance and this in turn makes you more accepting of others. You become more self reliant and self motivated. These are the qualities that help you to continue growing as a person and to be successful in your chosen field.