Ever heard the saying – What you don’t know won’t hurt you? Well, that’s both false and misleading. In reality, what you don’t know will hurt you. What if a kid growing up and being raised by his or her parents isn’t taught to look left and right when crossing a road? The outcome of that scenario is death, or the unfortunate result of not being able to walk ever again. What if as a kid is growing up, they’re not educated on the repercussions of stealing? You can already see where I’m going with this.
Self awareness works in the exact same way. If you’re not aware of yourself, you don’t know yourself, and you do things unconsciously—the outcome is also death. Not physically, but spiritually, or as the quote below puts it –
“Some people die at the age of 25, but it’s not made official until they’re 75.” – Unknown
You need self awareness for these 3 important reasons. Then I’ll share some insight to help you become more self aware.
1. To know your strengths and weaknesses.
“Knowing your weaknesses is as important as knowing your strengths.” – Unknown
In 99% of schools, we’re taught to focus on our weaknesses and make them better. But this is the wrong approach altogether. Though it’s important to know what your weaknesses and flaws are, it’s just as important to know your strengths and the things you’re good at. In fact, knowing your strengths is even more vital to your success in life. Most of us don’t know our strengths and weaknesses, and that’s because we lack self awareness. When you’re self aware, you’ll know exactly what you’re awful at doing and great at doing. Then, when you know that you can put all of your focus into the things you’re good at, while either ignoring your weaknesses or having somebody else do the things you’re weak at.
2. To know what it is you want out of life.
Until I was around 23 to 24 years old, I had no idea what I wanted out of my life. I know I wanted to create a ridiculous amount of wealth (because who doesn’t?), but I wasn’t clear enough. Money isn’t enough. Material is just pleasure, and that only lasts for so long. I needed something more purposeful. Something more exciting. Something worth living for/dying for. That’s where self awareness came in. I started to ask myself questions. I took a step back from life and looked at what it was I actually wanted out of it—the “end” goal so to speak. I looked at the things that made me happy and the things I’ve been resisting or had been afraid of doing. In three words, I dug deep—into my soul.
If you lack self awareness, you’ll forever be running around in circles. That will lead to misery and frustration, as well as confusion, doubt, disappointment, and even unhappiness.
3. To make purposeful decisions that push you forward.
Being unconscious is no different to being blindfolded. You can’t see what’s in front of you no matter how hard you try to see it. If you can’t see it, then each decision you make will lack clarity, focus and intent. Self awareness solves that problem. Since gaining a great deal of self awareness over the last few years, each decision I make is aligned with my purpose, my goals, my intentions, and what’s important to me.
I don’t make decisions based on instant gratification like buying a pair of shoes just to look good until they become dirty and ruined. I make decisions based on where I want my life to go, what I want to create, what legacy I’d like to leave behind, who I intend to become, the results and experiences I want to develop, and so on. Each and every decision has pure intent and purpose behind it. Without self awareness, your decisions will be based either on what 99% of society expects of you or dictates to be right, or your decisions will be based on what feels good right now such as drugs, highs, instant gratification, and pleasure that lasts for 10 minutes.
How to develop the self awareness muscle.
Ask the people you trust what they believe you’re good at doing.
Ask them what they believe your strengths and weaknesses are.
Monitor your actions, habits, interests, and hobbies.
Audit yourself to figure out what it is that gets you excited.
Write out a list of things that motivate you.
Ask yourself – If I have X amount of time to live, what I want to do in the time I have left?
Pay attention to your happiness, what drives it and what takes it away.
Experiment, test and practice.
This is what worked for me, and it hasn’t failed me yet. So put it into action and see how it goes. One more point I’d like to make is – I believe self awareness is an ongoing practice. What you know about yourself today may change tomorrow, next month or next year. So, consistently developing the self awareness muscle is important down the line. What did you take from this article? Share your thoughts, and share this on social media!
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Author: Theo Ellis
Theo Ellis is a straightforward blogger from the UK who’s committed to helping you overcome your self confidence and self esteem issues. So you can build the confidence you deserve.