The cornerstone of Personal Development. Find out how to know yourself more and what drives you.
Self Awareness is about getting to know yourself, particularly the conscious knowledge of yourself and your character. Note the emphasis on the word conscious. This is a state-of-mind of actively looking into your knowledge of yourself, of being aware that there is more to know, and that there are real benefits to knowing yourself.
Take a simple example – our “fight-or-flight response” to a stressful event. What is you instinctive reaction when a stressful situation arises: Stand your ground and deal with it, or remove yourself? In this instance it’s beneficial to know how you tend to react, so that you can combat the situation and reduce the stress. More on this later…
γνῶθι σεαυτόν / gnôthi seautón / nosce te ipsum / know thyself
The idea of needing to knowing about yourself goes way back to the Ancient Greeks, who wrote γνῶθι σεαυτόν as one of the Delphic maxims. The phrase has since gone on to inspire many a philosopher, poet, polymath and politician.
Sage advice indeed.
Why it matters!
Self Awareness is the cornerstone of Personal Development and Emotional Intelligence, and also a path to increased happiness.
Prior to planning our own Personal Development, it’s beneficial to have some knowledge of what it is that WE want and what drives us – not what others want or expect of us. In this way we set out what we want/need, and in doing so we are better placed to achieve the goals we set ourselves.
For greater Emotional Intelligence we need to know and understand our own emotions. Good EI also requires recognising the emotions in others – something we can do even better if we know our own emotions.
And for increased happiness, researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky say that approximately 40% of our happiness is within our control and the other 60% are factors outside of our control. The factors we can control, the 40%, are things like state-of-mind, attitude, habits, actions, decisions we make, etc. all require Self Awareness. So by consciously focusing on these, we can lay the the groundwork for improved happiness.