Self-Awareness is a 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…
know thyself / γνῶθι σεαυτόν / gnôthi seautón / nosce te ipsum
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 Self Awareness matters!
Self Awareness is a cornerstone of Personal Development and Emotional Intelligence, and also part of the path to increased personal fulfilment.
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, decision making, etc all require Self Awareness.
By consciously focusing on the factors we can control, we can lay the groundwork for improved happiness and personal fulfilment.
Learning the skill of Self Awareness
We use the Four stages of competence as the pathways to help you learn the skill of Self-Awareness.
- Unconscious incompetence – Unaware of Self Awareness
- The individual does not understand or know how to do something and does not necessarily recognize the deficit. They may deny the usefulness of the skill. The individual must recognize their own incompetence, and the value of the new skill, before moving on to the next stage.
- Conscious incompetence – Learn Self-Awareness
- Though the individual does not understand or know how to do something, they recognize the deficit, as well as the value of a new skill in addressing the deficit. The making of mistakes can be integral to the learning process at this stage.
- Conscious competence – Advanced Self-Awareness
- The individual understands or knows how to do something. However, demonstrating the skill or knowledge requires concentration. It may be broken down into steps, and there is heavy conscious involvement in executing the new skill.
- Unconscious competence – Mastery of your Self-Awareness
- The individual has had so much practice with a skill that it has become “second nature” and can be performed easily. As a result, the skill can be performed while executing another task. The individual may be able to teach it to others, depending upon how and when it was learned.