What Is Self-Awareness and Why Is It Important? [+5 Ways to Increase It]

self-awareness mattersSelf-awareness is the ability to see yourself clearly and objectively through reflection and introspection.

While it may not be possible to attain total objectivity about oneself (that’s a debate that has continued to rage throughout the history of philosophy), there are certainly degrees of self-awareness. It exists on a spectrum.

Although everyone has a fundamental idea of what self-awareness is, we don’t know exactly where it comes from, what its precursors are, or why some of us seem to have more or less than others.

This is where the self-awareness theory comes in, offering some potential answers to questions like these.

Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Self-Compassion Exercises for free. These detailed, science-based exercises will not only help you increase the compassion and kindness you show yourself but will also give you the tools to help your clients, students, or employees show more compassion to themselves.

What Is Self-Awareness Theory?

Self-awareness theory is based on the idea that you are not your thoughts, but the entity observing your thoughts; you are the thinker, separate and apart from your thoughts (Duval & Wicklund, 1972).

We can go about our day without giving our inner self any extra thought, merely thinking and feeling and acting as we will; however, we also can focus our attention on that inner self, an ability that Duval and Wicklund (1972) termed “self-evaluation.”

When we engage in self-evaluation, we can give some thought to whether we are thinking and feeling and acting as we “should” or following our standards and values. This is referred to as comparing against our standards of correctness. We do this daily, using these standards as a way to judge the rightness of our thoughts and behaviors.

Using these standards is a major component of practicing self-control, as we evaluate and determine whether we are making the right choices to achieve our goals.


Research on the Topic

This theory has been around for several decades, giving researchers plenty of time to test its soundness. The depth of knowledge on self-awareness, its correlates, and its benefits can provide us with a healthy foundation for enhancing self-awareness in ourselves and others.

According to the theory, there are two primary outcomes of comparing ourselves against our standards of correctness:

  1. We “pass,” or find alignment between ourselves and our standards.
  2. We “fail,” or find a discrepancy between ourselves and our standards (Silvia & Duval, 2001).

When we find a discrepancy between the two, we find ourselves with two choices: to work toward reducing the discrepancy or avoid it entirely.

Self-awareness theory (and subsequent research) suggests that there are a couple of different factors that influence how we choose to respond. Basically, it comes down to how we think it will turn out. If we believe there’s little chance of actually changing this discrepancy, we tend to avoid it. If we believe it’s likely that we can improve our alignment with our standards of correctness, we take action.

Our actions will also depend on how much time and effort we believe that realignment will take; the slower progress will be, the less likely we are to take on the realignment efforts, especially if the perceived discrepancy between ourselves and our standards is large (Silvia & Duval, 2001).

Essentially, this means that when faced with a significant discrepancy that will take a lot of consistent and focused work, we often simply don’t bother and stick to avoiding self-evaluation on this particular discrepancy.

Further, our level of self-awareness interacts with the likelihood of success in realigning ourselves and our standards to determine how we think about the outcome. When we are self-aware and believe there is a high chance of success, we are generally quick to attribute that success or failure to our efforts.

Conversely, when we are self-aware but believe there is a low chance of success, we tend to think that the outcome is more influenced by external factors than our efforts (Silvia & Duval, 2001). Of course, sometimes our success in realignment with our standards is driven in part by external factors, but we always have a role to play in our successes and failures.

Interestingly, we also have some control over our standards, such that we may alter our standards if we find that we don’t measure up to them (Dana, Lalwani, & Duval, 1997).

This is more likely to happen if we’re focused more on the standards than on ourselves; if we fail when we are focused on the standards more than our performance, we are more likely to blame the standards and alter them to fit our performance (Dana et al., 1997).

Although it may sound like merely shifting the blame to standards and, therefore, letting yourself off the hook for a real discrepancy, there are many situations in which the standards are overly strict. Therapists’ offices are filled with people who hold themselves to impossibly high standards, effectively giving themselves no chance of success when comparing themselves to their internal standards.

It’s clear from the research on self-awareness that it is an important factor in how we think, feel, act, and react to our thoughts, feelings, and actions.


4 Proven Benefits of Self-Awareness

Now, let’s shift our attention to research on the outcomes of being self-aware.

As you might imagine, there are many benefits to practicing self-awareness:

  • It can make us more proactive, boost our acceptance, and encourage positive self-development (Sutton, 2016).

  • Self-awareness allows us to see things from the perspective of others, practice self-control, work creatively and productively, and experience pride in ourselves and our work as well as general self-esteem (Silvia & O’Brien, 2004).

  • It leads to better decision making (Ridley, Schutz, Glanz, & Weinstein, 1992).

  • It can make us better at our jobs, better communicators in the workplace, and enhance our self-confidence and job-related wellbeing (Sutton, Williams, & Allinson, 2015).

These benefits are reason enough to work on improving self-awareness, but this list is by no means exhaustive. Self-awareness has the potential to enhance virtually every experience you have, as it’s a tool and a practice that can be used anywhere, anytime, to ground yourself in the moment, realistically evaluate yourself and the situation, and help you make good choices.


3 Examples of Self-Awareness Skills

So we know that self-awareness is good, but what does it look like? How does one practice self-awareness?

Below are three examples of someone practicing self-awareness skills:

Bob at work

Bob struggles with creating a quarterly report at work, and he frequently produces subpar results. He notices the discrepancy between his standards and performance and engages in self-evaluation to determine where it comes from and how to improve.

He asks himself what makes the task so hard for him, and he realizes that he never seems to have trouble doing the work that goes into the report, but rather, writing it up cohesively and clearly.

Bob decides to fix the discrepancy by taking a course to improve his writing ability, having a colleague review his report before submitting it, and creating a reusable template for future reports so he is sure to include all relevant information.

Monique at home

Monique is having relationship problems with her boyfriend, Luis. She thinks Luis takes her for granted and doesn’t tell her he loves her or share affection enough. They fight about this frequently.

Suddenly, she realizes that she may be contributing to the problem. She looks inward and sees that she doesn’t show Luis appreciation very often, overlooking the nice things he does around the house for her and little physical touches that show his affection.

Monique considers her thought processes when Luis misses an opportunity to make her feel loved and notes that she assumes he purposely avoids doing things that she likes. She spends time thinking and talking with Luis about how they want to show and receive love, and they begin to work on improving their relationship.

Bridget on her own

Bridget struggles with low self-esteem, which causes depressive symptoms. She doesn’t feel good enough, and she doesn’t accept opportunities that come her way because of it. She begins working with a therapist to help her build self-awareness.

The next time an opportunity comes her way, she thinks she doesn’t want to do it and initially decides to turn it down. Later, with the help of some self-awareness techniques, Bridget realizes that she is only telling herself she doesn’t want to do it because of her fear that she won’t be good enough.

Bridget reminds herself that she is good enough and redirects her thoughts to “what if I succeed?” instead of “what if I fail?” She accepts the opportunity and continues to use self-awareness and self-love to improve her chances of success.

These three stories exemplify what self-awareness can look like and what it can do for you when you tap into it. Without self-awareness, Bob would have kept turning in bad reports, Monique would have continued in an unsatisfying relationship or broken things off, and Bridget would never have taken the opportunity that helped her grow.

If you look for them, you can find these stories everywhere.


5 Ways to Increase Your Self-Awareness

Ways to Cultivate Self-AwarenessNow we have some clearcut examples of self-awareness in mind. We know what it looks like to embrace self-awareness and grow. But how do you do it? What did our leading characters do to practice self-awareness?

There are many ways to build and practice self-awareness, but here are some of the most effective:


1. Practice mindfulness and meditation

Mindfulness refers to being present in the moment and paying attention to yourself and your surroundings rather than getting lost in thought or ruminating or daydreaming.

Meditation is the practice of focusing your attention on one thing, such as your breath, a mantra, or a feeling, and letting your thoughts drift by instead of holding on to them.

Both practices can help you become more aware of your internal state and your reactions to things. They can also help you identify your thoughts and feelings and keep from getting so caught up in them that you lose your hold on your “self.”


2. Practice yoga

Yoga is a physical practice, but it’s just as much a mental practice. While your body is stretching and bending and flexing, your mind is learning discipline, self-acceptance, and awareness. You become more aware of your body and all the feelings that manifest, and you become more aware of your mind and the thoughts that crop up.

You can even pair yoga with mindfulness or meditation to boost your self-awareness.


3. Make time to reflect

Reflecting can be done in multiple ways (including journaling; see the next tip) and is customizable to the person reflecting, but the important thing is to go over your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to see where you met your standards, where you failed them, and where you could improve.

You can also reflect on your standards themselves to see if they are good ones for you to hold yourself to. You can try writing in a journal, talking out loud, or simply sitting quietly and thinking, whatever helps you to reflect on yourself.


4. Journal

The benefit of journaling is that it allows you to identify, clarify, and accept your thoughts and feelings. It helps you discover what you want, what you value, and what works for you. It can also help you find out what you don’t want, what is not important to you, and what doesn’t work for you.

Both are equally important to learn. Whether you like to write free-flowing entries, bulleted lists, or poems, writing down your thoughts and feelings helps you to become more aware and intentional.


5. Ask the people you love

It’s vital to feel we know ourselves from the inside, but external feedback helps too. Ask your family and close friends about what they think about you. Have them describe you and see what rings true with you and what surprises you.

Carefully consider what they say and think about it when you journal or otherwise reflect. Of course, don’t take any one person’s word as gospel; you need to talk to a variety of people to get a comprehensive view of yourself.

And remember that at the end of the day, it’s your self-beliefs and feelings that matter the most to you!


Importance in Counseling and Coaching

Self-awareness is a powerful tool that, when practiced regularly, can do more good for coachees and clients than anything else a professional can share with them. To make real, impactful, and lasting change, people need to be able to look inward and become familiar with that internal environment.

Building self-awareness should be a top priority for virtually all clients, after which the more traditional coaching and counseling work can begin. For example, you can counsel someone on their bad habits and give 1,000 ways to break their habits.

Still, if they don’t understand why they tend toward these bad habits in the first place, it’s almost a guarantee that they will either never break those habits or will quit for a while and simply pick up where they left off when things get tough.

Self-awareness is not only vital for the coachee or client; it is also important for the coach or counselor. In fact, self-awareness is prioritized as a core standard in the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs Standards (2017) for the profession, as both a requirement for counselors and a necessary skill to build in clients.

It takes a good amount of self-awareness to give competent counsel and provide actionable advice. Plus, self-awareness will help the caring counselor from getting too wrapped up in their client’s problems or seeing the issues through their own skewed lens.

To truly help someone, it’s essential to see things from their perspective, and that requires being self-aware enough to put our thoughts and feelings aside sometimes.


Meditation, Mindfulness, and Self-AwarenessBarriers to Self-Awareness

The link between meditation, mindfulness, and self-awareness is clear, meaning it’s no surprise that practicing the first two will naturally lead to more of the third.

When we meditate or practice mindfulness, we are paying attention to the things that can often get ignored in our busy day-to-day: the present moment and our own internal experience. Those who get to know their thought processes and patterns are more able to adapt and improve them, both by simply being aware of their processes and patterns and by giving themselves a mechanism for practicing and improving.

Indeed, a program intended to enhance self-awareness (among other things) through yoga and meditation resulted in a range of improvements, including more positive affect, less stress, greater mindfulness, enhanced resilience, and even greater job satisfaction (Trent et al., 2019).


Self-Awareness & Emotional Intelligence

Daniel GolemanEmotional intelligence can be defined as the cluster of abilities that allow us to recognize and regulate emotions in ourselves and others (Goleman, 2001).

According to the most popular theory of emotional intelligence from psychologist and author Daniel Goleman (2001), self-awareness is not only crucial for emotional intelligence; it’s one of the five components.

These five components are:

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Self-regulation
  3. Social skills
  4. Empathy
  5. Motivation

Other popular theories of emotional intelligence also include self-awareness as a core component, making it one of the factors that virtually all researchers and experts agree on (Goleman, 2001).

Self-awareness is a necessary building block of emotional intelligence; it is the building block upon which the rest of the components are built. One must have self-awareness to self-regulate, and social skills will be weak and of little use if you are not aware enough about when and how to use them.

If you’re looking to build your emotional intelligence, self-awareness is the first step. Make sure you have developed strong skills in self-awareness before giving the other elements your all.


4 Tips for Improving Self-Awareness in Relationships

If you want to be more like post-reflection Monique than pre-reflection Monique (referring to examples of self-awareness skills in action above), or if you’re going to help your clients with their relationship woes, here are some excellent tips for introducing more self-awareness within the context of a relationship:

  1. Practice mindfulness, especially when interacting with your loved ones. Pay attention to the words they say, their tone, their body language, and their facial expressions. We often communicate far more information with the latter three than we do with our words alone. Give your loved ones your full attention.

  2. Have regular discussions about the relationship. It’s important to keep things in perspective and ensure that nothing is falling between the cracks. When you have regular conversations about your relationship with your loved ones, it’s much harder to avoid or ignore things that can turn into problems. It also helps you reflect on your part and come prepared to discuss your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors with your loved ones.

  3. Spend quality time together and apart. This is especially important for romantic relationships, as we often find ourselves spending most or even all of our free time with our spouse or partner. However much you love and enjoy spending time with your partner, everyone needs some quality time alone.

    Make sure you and your partner are both getting some quality “me” time to think about what you want, what you need, and what your goals are. This will help you keep yourself from merging too much into your partner and maintaining your independence and stability. Then, since there will be two independent, stable, and healthy adults in the relationship, it will be even more fulfilling and satisfying to both partners when they spend quality time together.

  4. Share your perspective and consider theirs. It’s easy to get too caught up in our perspective on things; however, healthy relationships require that we consider others’ needs in addition to our own. To know what our loved ones need and to deliver on those needs, we must first identify and understand them. We do this by practicing our self-awareness and sharing that awareness with our friends and family.

    If you never check in with your loved ones on their views or feelings, it can cause you to drift apart and inhibit real, satisfying intimacy. Ask your loved ones for their perspective on things and share your perspective with them.


Role in the Workplace and Leadership

self-awareness and self-loveAs noted earlier, self-awareness improves our communication, confidence, and job performance (Sutton et al., 2015).

It’s easy to see how self-awareness can lead to these outcomes in the workplace, as better self-evaluation naturally leads to improving the alignment between our actions and our standards, resulting in better performance.

According to Tasha Eurich (2018), self-awareness can be divided into two categories or types: internal self-awareness and external self-awareness.

Internal self-awareness is about how well we see ourselves and our strengths, weaknesses, values, etc., while external self-awareness is understanding how others view us with those same factors (Eurich, 2018). Good managers and leaders need both to perform well in their roles.

Although you might think that more experience as a leader and greater power in one’s role lead to better self-awareness, that may not be the case. Experience can be positive or negative in terms of learning and improving the self. Even positive experiences can lead one to attribute success to themselves when it may have had more to do with the circumstances, leading to false confidence.

In fact, only 10–15% of those in Eurich’s (2018) study displayed self-awareness, although most of us believe we are self-aware.

To improve self-awareness, Eurich (2018) recommends introspection, but with a focus on asking oneself the right questions. She notes that asking “why” might not always be effective, as many of our internal processes remain shrouded in our subconscious or unconscious minds; instead, asking “what” may lead to better introspection.

For example, instead of asking, “Why do I fail at this task so often?” you might ask yourself, “What are the circumstances in which I fail at this task, and what can I do to change them?” It’s not a foolproof method, but it can aid you in improving your self-awareness and increasing your alignment with your standards on certain activities.


Self-Awareness in Students and Children

Self-awareness isn’t just for managers and employees; it can also substantially benefit students, children, and adolescents. The same benefits that make us more productive in the workplace can make students more productive in the classroom and at home: better communication with teachers and peers, more confidence, and more satisfaction with performance can all lead to happier, healthier students.

These benefits also apply to advanced students. Increased self-awareness leads to more self-care in medical students (Saunders et al., 2007) and a better understanding of one’s strengths and capabilities along with a boost to emotional intelligence in law students (James, 2011).


A Take-Home Message

In short, a little extra self-awareness can be of great benefit to anyone with the will to improve. This piece includes a description of self-awareness, an exploration of the theory of self-awareness, examples, and tips and tools you can use to boost your self-awareness. We hope you find this information helpful in increasing your self-awareness or that of your clients.

What exercises do you use to help build self-awareness? What are some other benefits you’ve noticed? Let us know in the comments section below.

If you liked this post, head on over to our post about self-awareness books to further help you increase reflection.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our three Self Compassion Exercises for free.


  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. (2017). 2009 Standards. Retrieved from https://www.cacrep.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/2009-Standards.pdf
  • Dana, E. R., Lalwani, N., & Duval, S. (1997). Objective self-awareness and focus of attention following awareness of self-standard discrepancies: Changing self or changing standards of correctness. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 16, 359–380.
  • Duval, S., & Wicklund, R. A. (1972). A theory of objective self-awareness. Academic Press.
  • Eurich, T. (2018, January 4). What self-awareness really is (and how to cultivate it). Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2018/01/what-self-awareness-really-is-and-how-to-cultivate-it
  • Goleman, D. (2001). Emotional intelligence: Issues in paradigm building. In C. Cherniss & D. Goleman (Eds.) The emotionally intelligent workplace. Jossey-Bass.
  • James, C. (2011). Law student wellbeing: Benefits of promoting psychological literacy and self-awareness using mindfulness, strengths theory, and emotional intelligence. Legal Education Review, 21(2).
  • Ridley, D. S., Schutz, P. A., Glanz, R. S., & Weinstein, C. E. (1992). Self-regulated learning: The interactive influence of metacognitive awareness and goal-setting. The Journal of Experimental Education, 60, 293–306.
  • Saunders, P. A., Tractenberg, R. E., Chaterji, R., Amri, H., Harazduk, N., Gordon, J. S., … Haramati, A. (2007). Promoting self-awareness and reflection through an experiential mind–body skills course for first-year medical students. Medical Teacher, 29, 778–784.
  • Silvia, P. J., & Duval, T. S. (2001). Objective Self-Awareness Theory: Recent progress and enduring problems. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 5, 230–241.
  • Silvia, P. J., & O’Brien, M. E. (2004). Self-awareness and constructive functioning: Revisiting “the Human Dilemma.” Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 23, 475–489.
  • Sutton, A. (2016). Measuring the effects of self-awareness: Construction of the Self-Awareness Outcomes Questionnaire. Europe’s Journal of Psychology, 12, 645–658.
  • Sutton, A., Williams, H. M., & Allinson, C. W. (2015). A longitudinal, mixed-method evaluation of self-awareness training in the workplace. European Journal of Training and Development, 39, 610–627.
  • Trent, N. L., Borden, S., Miraglia, M., Pasalis, E., Dusek, J. A., & Khalsa, S. B. S. (2019). Improvements in psychological and occupational wellbeing in a pragmatic controlled trial of a yoga-based program for professionals. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, 25, 593–605.


What our readers think

  1. Gail

    it’s a nice article for self-awareness. it gave me a lots of idea. Thank you very much~

  2. Helen

    Nice article, I really enjoy reading that.
    Thank you for sharing this article , it was very helpful for me to work on my self awareness and start thinking about myself.

  3. Maryanne Onyema Omorotionmwan

    This, indeed, is a good resource.

    Thank you so much.

  4. Clark Jimenez

    Nice! Thank you!

  5. Satisha

    I also feel that most of “self-awareness” research has focused on very young. And there are very few studies on “self-awareness” of adults and how it relates to the different behavioral variables.

  6. Miyuki Hudy

    Thank you for a great tip.

  7. Maria

    Can you share the references used in this article, please? Thank you

    • Nicole Celestine, Ph.D.

      Hi Maria,

      If you scroll to the very end of the article, you will find a button that you can click to reveal the reference list.

      Hope this helps!

      – Nicole | Community Manager

  8. Iqra Noor

    I am a 4th-year pharm d student at Humdard University Karachi Pakistan. I really love this article about self-awareness. It helps me a lot. Thanks, dear!

  9. Unesh Kushwaha

    I am first year B.Tech Student and i would like to thanks u a lot because this article helped me to do my assignment which was for 10 marks………

  10. Sam

    I am a post graduate student of university of Derby in the UK, i read this article and it was so helping in my essay on self awareness skill, please can I use this ideas and add you in my reference list ?

    • Nicole Celestine, Ph.D.

      Hi Sam,

      Glad you found the post helpful! Yes, you are more than welcome to reference us in your essay. Here’s how to do so using APA 7th style:

      Ackerman, C. E. (2020). What is self-awareness and why is it important? [+5 Ways to increase it]. PositivePsychology.com. Retrieved from https://positivepsychology.com/self-awareness-matters-how-you-can-be-more-self-aware/

      – Nicole | Community Manager

  11. Logan Torres

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  12. Y Brahma Reddy

    Yes very good article about the importance of the self-awareness, the benefits of self awareness.And also I could learn about the different ways to increase the self awareness.
    Practicing of Mindfulness while listening, eating & also different tools to cultivate Self-Awareness.
    I could clearly understand about emotional Intelligence as well. I liked The tips for improving the Self-awareness in Relationships.

  13. Minoo Pakgohar

    Would I be able to use your article and cite it in my presentation for Current events and issues impacting older adults course.

    • Nicole Celestine

      Hi Minoo,
      Of course — Please go ahead and good luck with your presentation. 🙂
      – Nicole | Community Manager

  14. Doddie Marie L. Duclan

    Good day!
    May I adopt your definition of self awareness and cite your work as one of the references in our module “I” is for Ideal, which is being developed for the Department of Education, Philippines.
    Thank you

    • Nicole Celestine

      Hi Doddie,
      Of course — please go ahead!
      Thank you for being a reader.
      – Nicole | Community Manager

  15. shabnam

    Thank you for this article!I have read several articles about self awareness,but this Article is informative and useful. Many people can benefit these information

  16. Jenny Pan

    I’m so thankful that I left my home country where the majority of the people have never been taught ” Self Awareness”, thus so many sufferings and tragedies happened and are still happening today. It’s my first time getting to know this WROD two years ago, now I’m in my 60’s, so sad, isn’t it!!
    But it’s never too late to learn, I desire to get on the journey of self-discovery not only for my own well-being ( to be a completed Self or wholistic being) but to be an awakener to enlighten our people.
    Thank you very much for this useful and practical information.

  17. Shewatras

    I need to have self-awareness methods to evaluate my strong and weak sides to improve my personality.Thank you for your helping.

  18. Prabina Deoju

    Self awareness is the way to see ourselves clearly. This article provides information regarding barriers of self awareness that most of the people does not know and also about the way to cultivate self awareness. The information given in the article that how to understand the self awareness and the way to cultivate are the major information and many people can learn through this the way to overcome the barriers of self awareness and can develop or improve their self-awareness.
    Thank you

  19. Yichen Sun

    I think it is useful for myself as it told me how to be self awareness. It is important in many fields especially useful for my major. Obviously, it is hard and this article also tell you how to solve them and the effective ways to cultivate self awareness.

  20. Sherryl Lubbers

    I simply wished to thank you so much all over again. I do not know what I could possibly have followed without those aspects contributed by you relating to this area of interest. It was actually a real frightening matter for me personally, but encountering a skilled mode you processed that made me to weep with contentment. I am happy for this information and thus trust you are aware of a great job that you’re carrying out educating other individuals through the use of your blog post. Probably you have never met all of us.

  21. yasir hussain

    over all well written …students are the pillers af any nation,the whole development of a nation revelves around the self awareness and critical thinking..if the students are not self aware, what will be the responsiblities of teachers?

  22. Christine

    In my life experience I disagree with ever leaving yourself vulnerable to asking any human about my own and your own self awareness. However, I do wish that when I allowed my boundaries to be crossed, that an on looker with my interest in mind would have been available. Not too many out there. Lonely self awareness is when we fall. I push this fact that we are a lonely breed. I found myself allowing others to criticize and make me want to change to accommodate. Reading this article gave me back my boundaries and self respect. I am the loyal one, I am the one is always sacrificing and empathetic. I hated these weak qualities about myself. For four years. Thank you for reminding me, I am self aware and I earned it , kicked ass and learned on my own. I really honestly let myself go. Fallen from my own self respect. Thank you. All of you. I needed this. I do not have a support system. Probably never needed one. You guys reminded me that of the simple words, self aware. God thank you so much. I am amazed for this quality and allowed it to slip through many people that I made excuses for. I let my surroundings define me. Again thank you so much. I didn’t know what I was missing but the simple words self awareness was all I needed. Thank you. Keep on with empathy and don’t ever let anyone ever question what you earned.

  23. michelle heydon

    Hi I’ve had to learn conscious thought and mindfulness from start due to more than several years of trauma and then dealing with recent death of my husband, in this happening I lost my sense of self and conscious awareness and suffering extreme anxiety, but as time moves forward I’m realising and re-learning my own conscious being . through techniques of mindfulness

  24. Akiiyoshii

    Truly agree that self-awareness is the key to living a fuller life. Great read! Good to share with your loved ones too.?

  25. Nichodemus

    How do I cite this article on self-awareness

    • Nicole DJ

      Easybib is a free online citation tool. It may be used for many types of citations.

  26. Hashim abbasi

    Great topic and well explained-I always think and analysed my self and review my daily doing and recorrect the wrong doings -always listen to others emotions –

  27. Peter Jordaan

    Thank you for this insightful piece.
    I would like to add my thoughts and experience in this. Our energy bodies have three basic layers, the mental body, the feeling body and the spiritual body. There is much to understand about this but lets leave that there. Lets start with each in turn;
    Mental body. This is our thinking side, our logic, our structure , our drive, our will power, our power, our masculine side, our action side , our doing side, our responsibility side, our understanding of how the world works. In general this side of us is well developed through our school and post school systems. We use these parts on every day activities at work, home school etc. To function well we need to be aware of all we have been taught and understand in order to function.
    Feeling body; This is obviously our feelings, but many simply don’t know how feelings work and how to read feelings in your body and understand how feelings drive us to do many things that we should not do. We don’t understand that our feelings are the things that we use to manifest in life. When we have a fear of something, it inevitably happens in our life because we have manifested it there, Most people operate from a unconsciously regarding there feelings. This is because we are never taught about our feelings at home or at school and so many of us rely on the media to develop some understanding of feelings. Basic issues about understanding why you react to certain events and how to prevent that or even release that within you is beyond most people. Many go into relationships that they never should go into based on looks instead of a real heart felt feeling. In fact when I ask many clients what is love and how would you know what love is when interacting with a partner. Many cannot explain it or even come close to explaining it. The core problem here is a complete lack of feeling intelligence, hence the big market to develop feeling intelligence in the market place. In general humanity is largely unconscious regarding feelings.
    Spiritual being. We are a spiritual being having a physical existence. When we understand and accept this as a basic truth then we can look at why are we the sex that we are born with and into the family we are in, and the socioeconomic structure we grow up in, and in the particular position in the family (order of siblings) that we choose for ourselves to experience. All of these have a deep impact on us and directly affect the way we operate in the world and interact with the world around us. Most of this is unconscious and many state that “well I am this way and that’s that”.
    Awareness; We need to examine each of these on there own and com to fully understand them and become fully aware of how they operate within ourselves. That alone is a study of note. Then we need to start the understanding of the interrelationship between them and how it works in you and thereby understanding how you operate or could operate differently. When you become aware of this all in you then you will develop a better understanding of you and thereby be able to understand others around you. when you have that you will have an awarenes of self and an awareness of the ability to interact with others in a functional way rather than a dysfunctional way.
    Imagine if our politicians developed this within themselves, how would they act and operate and how would they lead the country and their people and how would the people respond?? How would each family unit function? How would society function?

  28. Miko

    Thank you for this thoughtful and informative article! Self-awareness is something I’ve been working on. Through therapy, my self-awareness has transformed and broadened to include new ideas about myself and about others. So grateful to have resources like this to read and share. Thanks again.

  29. Kevin Matthew

    I want to share this omg!

  30. Joan Pinto

    Thanks. Well explained.

  31. Brent Selling

    Awesome article. Desire is key for the development of self awareness. Life is always as simple or as complicated as we make. You make the choice which could bare fruit or go down in smoke. We have the capacity to recalculate like a garmin GPS and carve our way forward each day applying what we’ve learnt the day before. We are limitless : – )

  32. Francis Karanja

    Inspirational and informative journal, well researched for personal empowerment

  33. Anil sharma

    excellent, today i got a topic from my HR to participate in a memorable presence, to find out some tips i have gone with this article and i ensure that i have come to know that what is the exact self awareness definition.

  34. maria salvino

    This explains a lot. Thanks!

  35. Zola

    This is a lot to process for me. I have serious self righteousness and always thimk im write. Reading and watching the clip has made realise a lot and that maybe i haven’t been treating people right.

  36. sibani das

    I can’t say I’m 100% self-aware at the moment, because still my emotions have control over me. Although I m quite capable of being self-aware for a moment, but in general I m driven by my emotion sand ego.

  37. Scott Rosenstein

    I like being in the present moment.

  38. Caroline Jack

    Very good article and helpful as I train in life coaching and realise the importance of self awareness.


    Indeed this is an inspiring article it helped me to write my research paper well

  40. Chris

    Wonderfully inspirating read on way to work for a Monday morning.

  41. Mary Rosenstein

    Excellent article really talks about getting to know the blind self which is crucial in being self aware and not repeating whether it be subconsciously or consciously the pattern of repeating the same behavior habitbor mistake over and over again if one can spot their blind spots they have a great chance of beating and overcoming their challenges. A big deal for the one who can be Self Aware.

  42. Sara Covarrubias

    Thank you this has help me a lot. I am exploring more the area of being self-aware of me due to the continue habit of ignoring and not paying attention of my own feelings. I had ignored and suppressed myself since I remember. I am realizing that this habit creates frustrations and then I have to dig deep to find the sources. Any input that you could add or other sources to address this area? Thank you!!

  43. Dahal

    This help me to understand myself and also encourage me to have worth living.

  44. boi

    its a very interesting concept that can really help one understand themselves better and be more accommodating.It is a very important requirement more specially if you are a leader.It has really helped me try to know the person i am.

  45. Syed Saleem Ullah

    Thank you for meaning full information, I like this website please keep it up.

  46. Francis

    I felt like I’m adulting and experiencing personal crisis. This article helps me evaluate and understand myself deeply.

  47. Sam Vandervalk

    After reading so many self-help and self-awareness articles, this is one of the most well-written and easy to understand. Self-awareness well-defined with steps on how to develop it. I really do agree that self-awareness is one of the hardest things to achieve and a lot of people struggle from it. The 5-ways to cultivating self-awareness is helpful. Thank you for this article.

  48. Dhayna Adriaanse

    This is an amazing article. I had no idea this subject was so broad and up for so much discussion, seeing as I had to do a project on the concepts of self-development, but this has really helped me both academically and personally. I will definitely take these steps into mind in the near future. Thank you for enlightening me!

  49. Jill

    how do you help someone that has, what I would say is too much self awareness. that they constantly worry about their actions. Almost like they are afraid to do anything. So they do nothing.
    He is my son. He is 29 yrs old and he has agreed to counseling, but has gone threw several doctors and agencies. most of them in our area re exhausted. He is on govrnment health insuurance. But it is very difficult in our area if you dont have transportation.

    • Rona Florio

      It almost feels as though his self-awareness has led to self-judgment and self-doubt. I have observed this in some of my clients: they use their awareness as a stick to beat themselves up, but as they learn to become aware of this they can begin to use their awareness to take positive steps in their lives.

    • Dave R

      Sure hope that I can Help. I too worried (without realizing it) for over 40 years until it took over my life and ripped everything from me….everything from my job, wife of 23 years my home and friends. I’m a fighter and refused to stop seeking help. Finally, after having to leave my home town to relocate where I was excepted by new doctors I have found some help. What I didn’t recognize in my self was that it was anxiety that had worked itself to my most inner thoughts and had the ability to affect my every move. I am still trying to find relief as my anxiety is flying high like … (I call it a turbine)it never stops. Just diagnosed with G.A.D. along with neurological deficiencies due to too many hits to the head growing up. (something to consider) was there any hits to the head as your child was growing up? So, I have an appointment to start C.B.T. treatments which helps about 80% in most people. I couldn’t believe that me, a masculine, hockey loving, beer/scotch enjoying man lived with anxiety controlling my every move, yes, isolating myself 24 hours a day, still as I write however, it is managed in most. They say with 20% medication and 80% C.B.T. (Cognitive Brain Therapy) which you can start today if you can look up CBT training exercises. Anxiety needs to be talked about as it is ruining many lives. Stay positive and keep researching. Also look up Executive Function Deficits, that is “must know knowledge) be very helpful. Lastly, even if you deny it is possible look up ADHD symptoms. You will learn a lot. In my opinion, most mental patients seeking help are diagnosed too quickly without deeper examination which is crucial in determining someones cognitive state. Good Luck. I can’t edit this anymore my head is going explode.

  50. emily

    fantastic article really inspiring thanku so much

  51. Josephina Gonzalez

    Thank you for sharing this article very helpful?

  52. Brad Wolff

    Fantastic Article. You took a subject that is very broad and layered and made it simple and understandable. Your practical action steps are great. Thanks!

    • Craig Smith

      Hi Brad, thanks for the feedback, glad to hear the article was of value!

  53. saket jha

    Amazing post dude.
    you won my heart

  54. Heather

    My 18 year old had been seeing a counselor for different issues she dealt with. After several weeks the counselor told us she deals with a serious self awareness issue. After studying up on this and reading many articles, I see what she deals with and it puts into perspective all of her behaviors or lack of behaviors. Your article is one of the most well written and informative articles I’ve enjoyed reading. Thank you for enlightening us. I am sharing this with her. If you have any thoughts or help on the parental side of how we can help, please share. It’s not easy as a parent to watch your child float through life without realizing certain things. Self awareness is something I have always taken for granted.

  55. Guy

    Thank you for this article. I Will Follow your advices To become more self aware.

  56. Judy luckie

    Hi thankyou
    Am touched

  57. Vivian Mulenga

    Thank so much for this article it has made me to realize how important it is to take time in knowing myself before being judgemental. Am sure it has really helped someone reading through to always take time to think about himself/herself emotionally.

  58. Charu Sharma

    informative article. This helped me to get some insight about self awareness 🙂

  59. Louis Estes

    Thank you for your good advice. I agree with you totally. From time to time we need someone as kind and enlightened as you to reminded of these important truths. It definitely helps to keep un on the right road to our good important objectives!

  60. Mark

    Enjoyed and appreciate what you said. Having emotional sobriety has been important in my continued recovery from substance abuse,and to be at peace with myself. And avoid getting caught up in other people’s drama.

  61. Latief Ahmad Dar

    It is an interesting, meaningful and useful article. It is
    wholey and soley based on human/behavioural psychology.It gives information and knowledge that we need most. I expect that this article will prove meaningful and helpful for my career. Thank you.

  62. Latief Ahmad Dar

    It is an interesting, meaningful and useful article. It wholey and soley based on human/behavioural psychology.It gives information and knowledge that we need most. I expect that this article will prove meaningful and helpful for my career. Thank you.

  63. Ashwini Ravi.M

    Thank you so much for sharing this article.It is indeed,important to understand ourselves before we get all judgemental.We can actually appreciate whatever we experience in life if we just go with the flow and have the knowledge that we can create a better version of ourselves if we know who we really are and change the way we look at different subjects of life.This article is really helpful and I guess it truly gave all the readers an idea on what self-awareness is.

  64. Xaltair

    Wow, so many people misunderstood this concept.

  65. Maureen Barron

    Quiet time I can hear myself think for once.
    Sitting still ( making myself allow this)
    Mind says. ‘Get up, it is sunny outside.’ body says. ‘No, rest.’
    Mind says. ‘The washing will be ready to hang out.’
    Body says. ‘ Do it later, when you feel like it.’
    Mind says. ‘What a waste of a nice day you SHOULD go out and enjoy it.’
    Body says. ‘I want to stay still.’
    MInd tries coercing.’You will be sorry when the winter comes and it is cold, you will want to be out then.’
    Heart says. ‘Wish you two would stop arguing, can I have some peace please.’

    • April C

      All day. Every day Maureen.

  66. Abdul

    As a Muslim, our prophet Mohammad taught us to be more hopeful, to be kind and gentle in dealing with others, disciple our selves by praying.in my opinion, I think the spiritual aspect plays a key role to understand the self very well.

  67. Chris L Merideth

    Great article, making a consistent effort to practice listening and journaling can have a powerful impact on those around us.

  68. Trae

    I really enjoyed this article. I am in the process of creating a journal about self-awareness and setting boundaries. I did not journal or anything but I went thru the process of spending more time alone and evaluating my thoughts. Becoming self-aware has made my life more peaceful and enjoyable.

  69. Trae

    I really enjoyed this article. I am in the process of creating a journal about self-awareness and setting boundaries. I did not journal or anything but I went thru the process of spending more time alone and evaluating my thoughts. Becoming self-aware has made my life more peaceful and enjoyable.

  70. Ntobi Masindi-Matsheke

    wow don’t know what to say . Such articulation. I am a pro in understanding self awareness with its positive and negative side of it.
    It would be great to get more clarity of interesting concept.
    Kind Regards
    Johannesburg, South Africa

  71. Kimberly M. Smith

    I absolutely love and appreciate the importance of self-awareness. It has been a journey of mind over the last past year in half. What I have learned about myself is extremely powerful and to be able to inspire others to do the same is my purpose. I’m hosting an event about self-awareness at the end of the month and came across this article for research and it is spot on to what I feel and believe to be true.
    Thank you Jessie Zsu for sharing. I wish all those that come across the article to be mindful and dive in because what’s on the other end of self-awareness is a strength and power that will change your life for the better.
    Warmest wishes.

  72. Rhonda Heggs

    I think self awareness is a good thing, a great thing, a GOD thing. I
    can honestly say I am self aware. It’s a more humble way to live and freeing. No competing and comparing just allowing which, for me is a better way to use my energy hand down. On another note for me I just started spending more time by my self then stopped watching the news only the weather, then no TV.I also let go of friends and family members as well. I would find my self talking to my self a lot asking questions. I knew things was looking up when one of my buddies did something wrong to me and I started trying to understand thing for his point of view and being forgiving instead of reacting. I also had a moment in meditation where my mind was very still and I realize that I was consciousness itself GOD. In my opinion it is something that you have to experience for your self. I am more self realized today than I was before!

  73. bwambale jimmy musoro

    very great it has helped me in my course work

  74. Rozel

    I am a student. Thank you so much for this content it helps me a lot.

  75. Jacob

    I am a recovering alcoholic. Journaling is one of many tools I use to help me deal with life. I have been doing it for years, but not until recently did I discover how beneficial it is. I used to write just because someone told me it would help. I would do it and ignore/suppress the negative thoughts that would creep in not realizing I was actually denying a part of myself. I decided to go back through the 12 steps and when you got to step 6 and 7 it was suggested I read Drop The Rock. I took a weekend camping trip with just me and my dog. I wrote every time something came into my mind. Most of it was negative thoughts. As I wrote I noticed a feeling of being free creeping in, which I had never experienced before. Self-Awareness was creeping in. It was sort of freeing and unsettling at the same time. It has been a few months since then and I continue to strive toward mindful journaling. I thank God and fellowship for the new freedom I am experiencing. It’s not constant, but the contentment Is well worth the effort.

  76. Noreen Bongo

    Wow…you exactly right..thank u foe the nice interpretation…??

  77. Lale

    I am a content provider, working in Iran. This article helped me a lot both in my career and personally.
    I think social networks are the most threatening factors to prevent us from becoming self aware… we should do something about being addicted to social media…
    Thank you so much


    I am a 62 y/o Grandmother. Through the years I have become a very good listener,compassionate, and aware of what I do and how it affects others. I have tried meditation but have not had luck. Just wondering if there is anything else I need to work on.

  79. Rabia

    Thank you for sharing this. You have explained it very well. I am going to try to practice more mindfulness and self awareness.

  80. Nino Anderson

    Your right about that

  81. Orio Victor

    .Orio Victor.From Uganda Christian University main Campus – Mukono.
    Awesome to the writer of this articles; I understand from you that if you don’t know where your standing even where your coming from and heading it will be very difficulty to understand. Therefore you cannot understand others if you yourself know nothing about yourself!.

  82. Deborah Seat

    I’ve always thought self-awareness was important and have always tried to be self- aware. At times, I feel as if I am extremely self-aware and really know myself inside and out but, at other times, I feel as if there is so much more I don’t know that I really should know. It’s very frustrating because I feel I could be more successful in life if I was more self-aware.

    • Chenel

      Hi Deborah,
      I can relate to feeling super self-aware at times and the complete opposite at other times. I think it’s normal and part of discovering ourselves as we go along.

  83. Samuelchege

    Thanks for that very useful information I believe as from today I will more aware of myself being able to distinguish between my weakness and achievement

  84. Parsia Pun

    Thanks for this information this is really a motivating information on knowing self more with not only the strengths of the individual but also accepting the weakness.

  85. sangita gurung

    I think this article is really helpful. This article helps us to know about self awareness, its importance, its difficulties and how to develop self awareness. Self awareness is understanding our inner world ,our thoughts and emotions as they rise. Self awareness help to manage our thoughts ,emotions and behaviours. Self awareness can be developed by having some space for your self, being good listener, taking feedback, practice mindfulness. Self awareness lead us to success.

  86. Rajani Napit

    Thank you for the information.
    I think self awareness is important for the better understanding of ourselves and also for empowerment to make changes and improvements in life.

  87. Kiran Pradhan

    Self awareness is a system of alerting oneself about the actions we have done and going to do . It help to prepare to reduce the error and encourage positivity. Therefore, self awareness is very important in life of every individual.

  88. sangita gurung

    Hi ,everyone
    I find this article very useful. I have gone through the article and find out that self awareness is knowing our inner world ,our thoughts and emotions .It helps to manage our thoughts, emotions and behaviour .We can be self awareness by creating space for oneself, being good listener, ask other perspective, writing journal and practice mindfulness. Self awareness helps us to have positivity in our life.

  89. Sabanam Regmi

    Self awareness simply means understanding self weakness and strength which helps in expanding, maximizing the knowledge and enable to achieve great future. Those article and self awareness speech made better understanding about self awareness

  90. Dipika Guragain Neupane

    Hi, this blog is really very motivating. I am going to apply those realistic tips mentioned in the article in my daily life. self awareness helps to achieve success in life.

  91. Dipika Guragain Nupane

    Hi, this blog is really very motivating. I am going to apply those realistic tips mentioned in the article in my daily life. self awareness helps to achieve success in life.

  92. Shrddha Pradhan

    Self-awareness for me is knowing myself for who and what I am. I think I am a self-aware person as I know my strengths and limitations and I am aware of what I am doing. Self-awareness very much essential as it guides us and let us achieve what we think of.

  93. Nirmala Karki Thapa

    self-awareness is being able to distinguish between the experiencing you and the remembering you. for this you need to be conscious about what is happening within yourself and area surrounding you. it is literally hard to remain focused in one thing but if u develop the habit to be aware then we will be active in the work we do as well as in daily life.

  94. Anita Vaal

    I think self-awareness helps to understand our strength and weakness which is helpful for our better performance in the present as well as in future.

  95. Anita Vaal

    Thanks a lot for information on self-awareness.
    I think self-awareness helps to understand our strength and weakness which is helpful for our better performance in the present as well as in future.

  96. julie

    self-awareness is all about knowing yourself either it’s emotion, thoughts or behaviour. You should know yourself to know others. This boost your confidence and make you independent with your choices and paths to you life.

  97. Neelam

    Self awarness is knowing about self and maximising the knowledge and experience for development of self and influencing other. It is important to develop confidence and participate in activities.

  98. Sabbu Chand Thakuri Shahi

    we should provide sometime for ourselves to know what is going inside us. Being more aware toward self benefit a lot for our personal and professional development.

  99. Rachana Majhi

    Self-aware person respects own and other values to prevent interruptions in achieving goals. It can be achieved as we start instilling positive thoughts and improve our mental development.IT provides us a way to success in our profession with confidence to improve us in various aspects of life. self-aware people handle the difficult situation smoothly and maintain a peaceful environment which is most important in any profession. Thankyou

  100. geeta khand Thakuri

    thank you

  101. Anju Rijal

    Self-awareness is the fundament for self-control. Knowing the inner you helps to reflect the action that can be a source of happiness or satisfaction. It is very thoughtful to know the ultimate source for becoming happy and also the way to become self-aware and evaluate yourself through the feedbacks.

  102. Manisha Ghimire

    This article is really helpful for self awareness. Self awareness is helpful to know what is going inside us or around us which we doesnot focus on . There are various ways to cultivate self awareness which is a key to personal and professional success

  103. Bhumika Koirala

    Hello, this article is really helpful in knowing about self. Self-awareness is knowing about what we are, what are our strengths and weakness and what others think of us. I would say I am self aware only to an extent and need to know more about self. This piece of work by the author has shown me the path to know about my self. I will give time to myself everyday, be clear on what I am and will try to take others’ perspective about me.Self- awareness is an essential component in the professional life. If we are aware about ourselves, we will be knowing our abilities and weak points and manage accordingly to reach the goal.

  104. Bhumika Koirala

    hello, this article is really helpful to make us think about self. we are so busy in our day to day life that we forget what we are in real. I would say that i am aware of self only to an extent and need to know more. This article has shown me the way that I need to give time to myself to know more about self and its important to get response from others about myself. Self awareness is an essential component that helps us grow in our profession. If we are aware of our strengths and weakness and get feedback from others, it leads towards the success.

  105. Nirjala Sigdel

    Self-awareness is all about knowing owns behavior, strengths and weakness.Viewing all our inner aspects can help us to overcome our weakness so that we can gain success throughout our way.A key factor to generate self awareness is by taking and accepting feedback .It is equally necessary to spend time with oneself to gain self awareness.

  106. Jeny Rai

    self-awareness is the ability to identify own strength, values and preferences. It helps us to understand our own emotions, thoughts and insight. To develop self-awareness, try to give sometime every day to think about own preferences, have a positive attitude towards own beliefs. Following this practice can help to achieve the goals in future.

  107. SUSHMA DARNAL Darnal

    firstly, thank you this inspiring article related to self awareness and yes being aware of your own abilities and the capacities is a key to have a successful life and most of all it will help you to be happy always with a satisfaction of what your doing is your choice and your born to do this.

  108. Rohini

    Hi, I am Rohini. Really this article is useful. It makes sense that we are just focusing outside and not trying to feel what is inside and how we are perceiving things.The tips are useful to have self awareness, also we can apply whenever we feel to

  109. Antje Badger

    I can relate to Memory tells the story from experience. It is far more rich when you are self aware and can stay in the moment to really appreciate the experience. Your story will be richer and the memories far more meaningful if you really listen and appreciate the experience good or bad.

  110. Pippa

    Great article – thank you!

  111. Ashna Dhungana

    Self-awareness is what we develop when we pay attention to our expressions of emotion, thoughts, and behavior.self-awareness makes us confident in all field.It is one of the core elements to get success in our life.

  112. vincent

    i am vincent, i agree self awareness is a powerful tool to know ones emotions and how they affect others

  113. mudafiatun isriyah

    if any other book about self awareness can help send to my email address?

  114. mudafiatun isriyah

    thank you

  115. Bandana chaudhary

    Hello everyone, I really love this piece of article and I am will definitely use the tips mentioned in the article to enhance my self awareness.well, I would say to some extent I am self aware person because to certain degree I am aware of my own limitations and strengths. In my view self awareness is key for professional and personal success. Being self aware helps an individual to modify self and adopt to the professional expectation and finally leading to achievement of intended goal.

  116. Barsha Bhattarai

    I think self-awareness is an essential component to achieve success in our both personal and professional life. We could apply our strength in the right situation and gain trust and respect from others.
    Thank you.

  117. Matina Maharjan

    This blog is really very interesting and motivating.
    Matina Maharjan

  118. Brenda

    Very well written. Love how you explained the many aspects of self-awareness and how it is essential for a counselor and vital to work competently with a diversity of clients. I appreciate also how you explored how self-awareness can negatively impact the counseling process.

  119. saroj khan

    I think self awareness really very essential in our life .
    i got to know many thinghs because of this article . thanks a lot

  120. Tiffany Robinson

    I have been wondering, praying, and inquiring about self awareness for myself. I thank God for the revelation of my lack of self awareness thru out my life. I thank you as well for this article which has helped me on this journey of seeking self awareness because this article has been very informative and helpful. As a child my mother always told me that I had a lack of self control and in the beginning of this article you addressed how self control does play a part of being self aware. I’m enlightened and grateful for God’s revelation and your explanation of self awareness which has been very eye opening and helpful for me. Thanks alot

  121. saloni shah

    hey thanks a lot for this article , actually i was looking for the same . this is gonna help me a lot in future .

  122. Michelle M

    I have been told that I am self aware, and always thought it lucky that I was. I felt it helped me in dealing with “childhood “ and all the fun ways that parents can mess up their children. I felt like negative aspects that probably would have did some damage to some, but not me. I was like, okay it happened, move on, what are you going to do, wallow in self pity? I felt sorry for people who couldn’t snap out of it. But really I have children, and while I was busy trying to stay a step ahead of depression and self destruction, I was being self focused . I thought I work hard for my family (single mother), provide for them, roof, food, clothes, and such. Even though my grown children now tell me how the suffered in their childhood, I don’t want to hear it. I’m incredulous even because I worked, blood, sweat, tears, to provide, how then could they say it was bad? Everything’s about perception. The perception of a child who cares about love, security, doesn’t see that working your butt off for them is love. Self awareness, being able to fix yourself and survive by just doing mind tricks. I only saw me.

  123. Maureen Drieberg

    I am very aware of self-awareness and I find it comes naturally when you spend a lot of time alone. Writing is a good tool. However I think another’s analysis would be very helpful. How do you act consciously compared to passively can be very overwhelming especially to those who suffer low sel-esteem.

    • Bijar Khan

      It was an interesting piece, thanks a lot. In my experience, the techniques mentioned are really effective. The most crucial I believe is being present in the moment. The awareness element is greatest for those who are present in the moment and less on auto pilot. The latter is mentioned in the article. I am on the journey, wish me luck.

  124. Saeed Gorsi

    I really appreciate this statement which i read above.its an easy way to aware the self of any person..

  125. taspyn

    thanks alot for the [iece.it was awesome and i can know work on being aware of my self.

  126. Will Bratt

    Excellent article. It is very enlightening when you distinguished self-awareness from self-focus which is interchangeably termed also as self-love.

  127. Ameeth

    Nice Article!

  128. Joleen Law

    Thank you for the explanation of self-awareness. Before choosing to get to know my true self a bit better, I had to start with the basics and understand its meaning. Now the work can begin.

  129. Saroj Shah

    Nice Blog.
    Saroj Shah

  130. Physiologistz

    I think self awareness really important
    But believing invincible parts of being human is more important to be more productive.
    When you are emotionally observed the surrounding it’s really Bullshits
    But believing Bullshits as a part of being human being matter here too…

  131. Iosif

    My name is Iosif Chelaru, I am from Romania, 
    I am part of a group here in Romania called Gimini Workshops where our purpose is to discover our true selves and to live a life of peace and joy.
    We have a formula that we follow, “Awareness + Compassion = Choice” and the awareness part is crucial in order to change our lives. In order to make this step easies we have developed an awesome awareness tool, in the form of a mobile app called Gimini Moodtracker.
    The app is available on iOS and Android and with a simple swipe on the screen as input, it can give me:
    1. Top people in my life.
    2. Top locations I visit.
    3. Top days of the week.
    4. Top activities.
    The app itself can be also used as a small diary during the day to help me remember passed events that influenced my mood.
    It would be awesome for us if you could check the app and offer us some feedback about it.
    Download link:
    iOS – https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gimini-moodtracker/id1215567824?mt=8
    Android – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gimini.moodtracker
    Thank you very much and have a nice day.

  132. Joe Thompson

    Being self aware an positive has changed my life.. but a big part of life is being positive an once u train yourself to wake up happy live happy an go to sleep happy life is much greater.

  133. Dr. Ben Duke

    Well done, thank you.
    Will be using some of the research found in my book. Appreciate you.

  134. Tim Meister

    Very good article! I am starting the process of bringing self awareness in my life because I have been going on auto pilot for so long. I am always interested in tips to stay focused because losing focus can be very easy. Kids, electronic devices, worklife can cause one to lose the self awareness. I am trying to be in the moment for each event that takes place so I can have a positive experience or learning experience that I may have with each event that takes place in my life. I have been meditating for the last month now and that is definately a good practice to help being self aware.

    • Seph Fontane Pennock

      Interesting Tim. While I was reading your comment, I couldn’t stop myself from thinking; meditation, meditation, meditation! Keep it up and let me know how things go! All the best

  135. penny

    yup.. i also have spates of popcorn and mayo which tastes horrible. I have this abstract thought of me wanting to stop the noise or the cog overload blank out.. so i push things in my mouth hoping to block or shift the chat stress agh… stuff! I wonder if its because we are tired and really need to rest i.e. lie down – then lying down equates tv and food and bham! swimming helps especially when I dive and then swim underwater. Thanks Jess, I am writing my dissertation on self-awareness and this is informative, lovely balance. xx

  136. FredMary

    Thanks dear. You’ve got me interested. I’m off to work on myself; to be more self-aware.

  137. John Walter

    I would like to know what you think about changes in self-awareness that can arise from viewing oneself in a True Mirror – a mirror that reflects one accurately, without reversing left and right. My studies show a much higher quality of personal interactivity because one’s eyes and face communicate properly in this kind of mirror. The non-verbal content of your expression matches what you see, so you can keep expressing, keep being yourself. If you want to test this idea – hold two mirrors up at exact right angles, try to ignore the line in the middle, and notice how your eyes look and feel differently, especially in real time as you think or process your thoughts. A new defining moment for self-awareness? It happened for me about 35 years ago when i first saw a double reflection mirror. Our company now produces a seamless version of it, aka True Mirror, and would love to hear from the community about what they think about the concept. Thank you for your consideration.
    John Walter

    • Stephanie Diepering

      Hello John, thank you for leaving this very interesting concept on our blog. Would you be interested in perhaps writing an article on the True Mirror for us? We are always looking to expand our knowledge and this idea leaves me very curious. If you would like to write a piece for us you can email me at stephanie@positivespsychologyprogram.com. Look forward to hearing your answer.

  138. Jai S Hegde

    Hi Jessie,
    Thank you for your article, it was very interesting and informative.
    I am a self-aware person. It started when I told my Guru that I was always guessing what was normal. He pointed out that most people who have experienced abuse had to be told that. That was my first indication that I had a higher degree of self-awareness. After that I studied Philosophy, specifically the Upanishads (Philosophical texts in the Vedas that deal with Self-Knowledge and the pursuit of enlightenment). Having gained this knowledge after years and years of study, in India and here, my self-awareness has deepened and expanded cognitively. Having this knowledge and self-awareness makes me more objective in my day-to-day dealings with folks in all areas of my life. I see things as they are, and so do not attach any extra value to different pursuits, for eg. success in career, material wealth, acquisition of desireable objects and so on. My locus of happiness/fulfillment is no longer in the external world but in myself.
    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts and experiences on this topic!

  139. Clay Ryan, BrainTrainCoach

    Very informative article, Jessie. Thank you.
    It creates a greater level of connection to my own interpretations in this area, and adds insight to the materials you quote, such as Kahnemans’ two selves you discuss. I’ll ponder this.
    The one technique which I would add is that of the mindfulness, or awareness bell. Many apps are available which can on a timer, or random time, generate a sound such as a bell to make us stop, take notice and apply ourselves to our inner being. This is the fundamental nature of finding awareness. (there was a study done, can’t find it, will follow up) A random timer, we stop, and write what we are thinking.
    I look forward to learning more from your articles and following up with a plan to not just be self-aware, but to then redirect are thoughts in that space to align with a proactive direction we pre-program to train.

  140. Santosh Sali

    Very nice article.
    But most of “self-awareness” research has focussed on very young. And there are very few studies on “self-awareness” of adults and how it relates to the different behavioral variables. Will you please elaborate on any of such studies available?

  141. Katie Jones

    I am definitely one of those people that will beat themselves up over something that I should have done. I guess living in the past of what I could have done instead of the now. I am terrible at keeping a journal, but I have thoughts that need to be expressed. I appreciate the information.

    • Reham Al Taher

      Dear Katie,
      Have you ever heard of Eckhart Tolle? He is a great person to learn from about letting go of the past. In his words “The past gives you an identity and the future holds the promise of salvation, of fulfillment in whatever form. Both are illusions.”
      We all get hypnotized by our internal monologue. I believe our challenge in life is to learn to bring it’s noise down to a soft whisper.

  142. Reza Zolfagharifard

    Thanks a lot Jessie. You’ve included all the important points in just a short and well-written article and I like the links you’ve provided to your sources. Developing a non-judgemental and open-hearted kind of self-awareness that you suggest, is indeed a cornerstone of emotional intelligence and the basis for a good life. I admit that I still need to work in this area. Being a good listener is difficult but I found it even harder to be a good listener to my own inner voice.

    • Jessie Zhu

      Hi Reza, thank you for sharing. I truly believe connecting to ourselves in an open, kind and accepting way is essential to our well-being and realising our true potential. Cultivating self-awareness is a life-long journey and we all have work to do in this area! I share with you that being a good listener to own inner voice is not easy, especially given how much noises and conditioning (external and internal) are imposed on us. One thing I find helpful to be a better listener of own voice is to use my body as my guide, by paying attention to where/when I feel tension, weight or softness in my body and exploring it with curiosity and appreciation. Best, Jessie

  143. Jessie Zhu

    Hi Yatin, thank you for sharing your thoughts beautifully. What you said about balancing between the inner paths makes me think about those times of stress and challenge in my life -lots of times I see them as the universe’s invitation to dig deeper within myself – at first it may seem dark (or even scary as we go deeper) but as you said if we can keep connected with our our inner rhythm, the process of exploring the darkness can also be a enlightening experience that makes us stronger, wiser and freer. Thanks again for sharing. Best, Jessie

  144. Yatin Khulbe

    Hi, Jessie. You have presented a wonderful article. Ya, I am a self-aware person but sometimes, I deviate from the path. The ups and downs are part and parcel of our life. During stress, the graph goes down and inner path becomes dark and during happy phase, inner path is full of light. I am hoping to maintain the balance between these two paths to discover a subtle path.
    To me, Self Awareness is about cutting all external strings to enjoy the internal melody. When we are connected with our internal rhythm, all the chaotic noise takes a back seat. At this moment, we are like a free sailor dancing on the boat of life and facing odd winds in a carefree manner.

  145. Jessie Zhu

    Hi Reham, glad the article resonates and thank you for sharing your experience. We all have those moments where we do things we can’t explain – in those moments typically our emotion takes over and doesn’t even allow us the time or space to be aware what we are doing! But as you said if we can start asking the right questions to understand ourselves better, we will be much more aware of what’s happening inside and can manage our reactions better next time the same trigger event occurs. Enjoy the writing and would love to hear how you find it! Best, Jessie

  146. Reham Al Taher

    Jessie, I really liked and identified with your article. I would like to think of myself as being generally self-aware but whenever a deadline is coming up and the stress is starting to kick in I see myself doing things that I can’t explain. For example, I don’t know when my brain decided to make me hungry every time I’m stressed-I am such an emotional eater and there’s no better addition to my procrastination than watching TV while eating Pizza, or chocolate, or Chips. The next day I feel guilty and I go back to healthy eating. I don’t know why it happens, why it makes me feel better, or how it started. I started asking myself “What am I REALLY hungry for?” So I can understand that motivation behind my actions. I’ll start writing my thoughts down to see if I can find a link. Thanks for the advice and the article!


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