Self-awareness is one of the pillars of self-development. That’s because it affects your ability to evaluate your thoughts, feelings, and behavior and plays a crucial part in correctly judging yourself and your environment. Being aware of one’s self comes from psychological theory, the self-awareness theory.
So, What Is Self-Awareness?
Self-awareness is a person’s capacity to recognize emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Hence, it plays a crucial role in people understanding themselves and making good decisions.
In essence, people with higher self-awareness are more aware of what they feel, think, or do. Most importantly, they are also more aware of why they feel that way or why they did that thing. The self-awareness theory was studied in-depth in the 20th century.
What Is the Self-Awareness Theory
The self-awareness theory, proposed by John Bargh, states that people are constantly aware of their thoughts, feelings, and behavior. It states that people use introspection to judge themselves.
Like other theories, this theory has its controversy. The most controversial is that self-awareness is far more complex and contextual than it was initially believed to be.
The Two Types of Self-Awareness Within the Theory
This theory is made up of two components: public self-awareness and private self-awareness.
- Public self-awareness is the awareness of how other people perceive you and is the root of self-conscious emotions such as shame and embarrassment.
- Private self-awareness is how you perceive yourself and is where self-esteem and personal satisfaction develop.
Why Is Self-Awareness Important?
Self-awareness is important because it allows you to understand your thoughts and feelings, which can help you better manage them and your interactions with others. When you are aware of your emotional states, you can better regulate them and respond more constructively. Additionally, it allows you to reflect on your behaviors and identify any possible areas for growth.
The Role Self-Awareness Plays in Self-Development
Since self-awareness allows a person to understand how they behave, think, and feel, it is a critical part of self-development. Additionally, it helps individuals better understand their strengths and weaknesses.
In essence, if you are not self-aware, then you’ll have a hard time knowing what you need to do to change.
Benefits Associated With Being Self-Aware
As you become more aware, you can better manage your reactions. In addition, you develop a better understanding of people’s perspectives, allowing you to respond empathetically.
Self-awareness allows you to build life skills that serve you personally and professionally, including:
- Improved communication
- Healthier relationships
- Increased emotional stability
- Better decision-making
- Higher self-understanding
- Greater self-confidence
- Improved stress management skills
- More empathy for others
- Enhanced creativity
- Greater Productivity
5 Ways to Improve Your Skills
There are many ways to improve self-awareness skills. You may find some methods are more effective than others. Still, any improvement will help you live a fuller, more productive life.
1. Pay attention to your body and emotions.
When you are feeling stressed, anxious, angry, or sad, take a moment to ask yourself why you are feeling that way. Thing about what is happening and why it’s causing these feelings? Are you reacting to something that someone said or did, or are you worried about something in the future?
Similarly, pay attention to your physical sensations. Are you tense, have a headache, or stomachache? What is your body telling you?
2. Listen to and assess your thoughts.
Evalute you initial thoughts when you are upset, stressed, or angry? What are you telling yourself? Are you judging yourself harshly, or are you dwelling on negative thoughts?
Pay attention to your inner voice and learn to question your thoughts. Are they true, or are you just assuming things?
3. Set aside time for reflection.
Setting aside time to evaluate your thoughts and feelings.
- What was good about today?
- What was bad about today?
- Are there things you are worried about?
- What are you looking forward to?
Taking the time to reflect intentionally on your life can help you to become more aware of your thoughts, feelings, and motivations.
4. Seek feedback from others.
You may find it valuable to talk to others about your thoughts and feelings. Get feedback from trusted friends and family members about what you do well and areas where you can improve.
This type of feedback can help improve self-awareness because it provides an outsider’s perspective on your strengths and weaknesses.
5. Seek support
If you struggle to improve your self-awareness, consider hiring a therapist or a life coach to provide you with the support you deserve.
You can also consider training. There are a plethora of affordable personal-development courses.
It is said that only 10 percent of people have natural leadership skills. The good news i that the other 90 percent of the population can develop the skills. Additionally, everyone must continuously adapt to an ever-changing environment. Thus, self-awareness can help you adapt and thrive in your life’s journey.