Here is a quote – Self-awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life, without any attachment to it being right or. wrong, good or bad.
Self-awareness is the mantra to gain a real understanding of one’s unique identity, which separates one from others, who also have their distinct personas. However, the path to self-realization is not an easy affair at all. It takes a lifetime of practice, persistence, and commitment to unearth just a few elements of our personality. Complete awareness of one’s real self, hence, becomes a prerogative of only those select few who are willing to dedicate a sizeable chunk of their time, efforts and focus to this purpose. Hence, those who claim to understand ‘the universe’ before recognizing the ‘I’ in them are fooling either others or, to a greater extent, themselves.
Self-awareness or the sense of oneness with their inner identity exalts humans and their sensibilities to another level altogether. Once we attain self-awareness, we stop becoming the victims of worthless comparisons, identity clashes and, of course, idle mindsets that make further progress impossible.
Furthermore, self-awareness is all about questioning one’s own truths, analyzing them and choosing only those truths that are beneficial to our inner self. Rather than following others and aspiring to be like them, believe in your true identity, which reflects your ideals, ideas, and truths.
Why do you need to seek self-awareness?
Self-awareness is about having emotional intelligence, being involved, being conscious of our flaws and strengths and knowing our purpose in life. When you are paying attention to your thoughts, words, actions, feelings, food habits, reactions, decisions, secrets, patterns, and physique, you start tuning in consciously. In doing so, your higher self proactively keeps a vigil on everything about you. Accordingly, you can decide whether your outer personality aligns with the person that you always wanted to be, or whether you need to work more to attain that equilibrium. You need to seek self-awareness to remove distractions, be the person you want to be, focus on the present, let your ego go and simplify your life.
How to develop self-awareness
Developing self-awareness is no cakewalk. Since you need to delve into your past and hold on to your current self simultaneously, the journey to self-awareness has many slips. Nonetheless, if you are committed, results will follow eventually. To gain self-awareness, you should recall, remember and understand your life story. Be aware of the narrative that you keep telling yourself about your life.
Try to understand each of your narrative frames – experiences, events, and people – apart from your passions, failures, and inspirations. Make it a point to reflect on your experiences, current moments, and future prospects, while ensuring that you stay away from anger, anxiety, and melancholy.
Next, you should try to see yourself and your blind spots as others see them. Here is a small anecdote to further explain this point.
Once, a man named Jason was talking to his wife, Emma, and to Rogers, one of his friends who was visiting them after quite a few years. The topics ranged from familiar ones to several new ones. While remembering and talking about the good old college days, Rogers stopped mid-sentence to rebuke Jason about his bad habit of checking out of the conversation and starting the next one before allowing the first to reach its culmination. When Jason turned to Emma for support, she reiterated Rogers’ opinion. She added that Jason could not take criticism and habitually became defensive each time he encountered it.
It was a sort of a shock for Jason, who had never thought of this aspect of his personality before. Here, getting too defensive when criticized is the blind spot for Jason, and the whole incident is a way to self-realization. We will not need others to point out our weaknesses or imperfections if we make it a point to work on them and become what we want to be – a better human being who understands their real self.
Always remember what Ernest Hemingway’s Jake Barnes said about self-awareness in The Sun Also Rises : ‘You can’t get away from yourself by moving from one place to another.’ So instead of ignoring your blind spots and gathering some new ones in the process, remove them fully. Yes, of course, it will not happen in a day. Still, you need to start somewhere. It might take years of introspection and reflection to achieve self-awareness.
Personality tests that help you understand the ‘I’ in you better
Asking others for their feedback and listening to them is a sure way of understanding others’ perspective of you. However, it is not the only way to attain self-awareness. The RHETI Test15 is a forced-choice, scientifically validated test that includes 144 paired statements to produce a full personality profile across their nine types. Another personality test among reliable online self-awareness realization tools that deserves a mention is the Myers Brigg test16. This particular test helps one understand their true preferences and the process of their emergence.
Self-awareness should connect to emotional intelligence
The journey of self-realization and self-awareness always starts from within, with no shortcuts. This implies that humans do need to make changes to their basic nature or develop a better understanding of it. Once you know your fundamental construction or structure, chances are that you will eventually understand its cosmic implications and significance.
The more we recognize the real ‘I’, the greater our chances of understanding the unique identity of others around us.