What Exactly is Self-Awareness and Why is it Important?
Self-awareness is having conscious, true, understanding of yourself.
It isn’t just about your personality, but your whole person, body and soul. It has to do with what you think, believe, feel, and do. It encompasses the ways you are internally or externally divided against yourself, where you have conflicting beliefs, and the conflicting emotions, and conflicting actions that flow from them. Self-awareness includes what is both objectively and subjectively true within you, about you, and around you as you relate to all of life, to others, and to yourself.
In other words, it’s seriously big.
Real self-awareness must be true. It cannot be actual self-awareness if it’s not true. Some things may be true in the moment you understand them, and then change and you can become aware of the change. That counts. But how many times have you thought something was true about you, or a relationship, or life, only to discover that it was never true? That doesn’t count. Because of this reality, we are often much less self-aware than we realize.
But we try, don’t we? We take personality test after test seeking insight into our being. Social media is filled with quizzes (some stupid in the extreme) promising us greater insight into ourselves. We eat it up, hoping some morsel we swallow will have some true nutritional value for our soul, and hoping that when we share our (sometimes very silly) results, others will buy into our hopes and perception of who we are.
The pursuit of self-awareness has been trivialized to the point that we've lost the seriousness of the thing. Self-awareness is no trifling matter. It defines how we see ourselves in the context of the rest of life. How we see ourselves—as philosophers, artists, scientists, or "nothing special at all" determines what we'll pursue, what we believe we're capable of, and how we'll approach major life decisions about work, family, and lifestyle. It impacts everything within us, about us, and around us, not only expressing our reality, but creating it.
Like I said, it's seriously BIG. In fact, that you see yourself clearly and accurately is critical to your health, success, and your happiness.