•Self-awareness is not unidirectional neither is it a destination.
•It is a process like peeling an onion that takes you to a different reality every time.
There is an increasing need for self-awareness in a world where everything seemed to be determined by external factors. Everyone is born into this world and socialized into a streamlined perspective of how life should be. Every society has a standard definition of the ultimate form of self-actualization, which has resulted in you living on autopilot.
Adults want to make everyone believe there are free of thought and self-aware, yet most are following a path in life set out by others. Even those with a little sense of awareness find motivation in things that are external such as being better than others.
This leads me to ask, do you know who you are?
If you have been to any job interview, you are likely to have been asked, “Tell us about yourself?” A simple yet complex question that has been shrunk to imply your skills and past experiences. It may sound cliché, but who you are goes beyond what you do. Getting to this understanding takes you on a journey of self-awareness.
Self-awareness is not unidirectional neither is it a destination. It is a process like peeling an onion that takes you to a different reality every time. There are three components of self-awareness which entail the mental, physical and contextual. This means a process of understanding your personality, values, habits, needs, thoughts, emotions, beliefs, intentions, and motivation. Often, they may be masked by our environment and that is why the context is important.
Every time I am asked to introduce myself, I do it differently. Trust me I have been advised enough times on how important it is to have a consistent story which I have tried but failed. I believe we are different people to different people in different scenarios. We reveal ourselves based on need and convenience or in the worst-case scenario it is autopilot.
So, what are the most critical aspects of self-awareness?
Despite how objective or factual you are, emotions control the best part of our lives. This makes emotional intelligence a critical survival skill. However, this is one area that most people do not want to confront since it is quite uncomfortable. The more you explore your emotions the more emotional you become, and you end up in a pit of emotions. Worse still is the human desire to attach meaning and relevance to every emotion and even when there is none then it must mean something.
What matters most is understanding the source of your emotions and reactions. They are likely to reveal patterns you have and coping mechanisms you have created based on an experience. This gives you the freedom to control your emotions rather than have them control you.
This can be looked at as how your mind works. There is so much that goes on in the mind before manifestation. Our thought patterns could be motivated by the human desire to avoid pain and seek pleasure. This could explain your need to scroll through social media rather than do an assignment that is due. It could also explain why you would sleep in, yet you have an early meeting.
When you do an introspect on your thought pattern you are likely to identify distractive and constructive impulses. Then you will discover why you take on such habits. For instance, you would be sleeping in to get late for a meeting with a toxic boss or you would avoid an assignment that you took on to look impressive.
Skills and Abilities
What would be the need to be self-aware if you had no clue about your abilities? It is important to know your abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. In a world dominated by the need for peak performance,, this puts you at an advantage. Once you know your weaknesses then they cease to be such since you can do something about it. If you lack a critical skill you can go work on it. If you are good at something, then you can align yourself with situations or careers that allow you to excel. If you are bad at something, then you can eliminate the habit or work on it.
According to Johari’s window, we all have four windows to our personality: The Open, Hidden, Blind and Unknown. The open is what you know, and others know, hidden is what you know and others don’t, blind is what others know and you don’t while unknown is what nobody knows.
To be fully self-aware you need to see yourself through the lens of others. An area that needs one to be bold since it requires seeking the opinion of others about you and remaining objective.
Challenge yourself today to take on the journey and live beyond the autopilot. The goal is to have a glimpse of who you are and became conscious of the life you live including how you feel, the decisions you make, and the desires you have. Join WomenWork today to interact with Tabitha and other professionals like her.
Tabitha is a multiplatform content creator, author, publisher and life coach. She helps individuals become their best version and help organizations communicate effectively with their target market. She also runs a media, communication and publishing firm called Digital Scroll Media. and works as an Entrepreneurship and Employability Specialist with an NGO. Additionally, She mentors, train and coach women and youth through her initiative called Decent Conversations Foundation.. They have a blog, YouTube page and podcast. Reach out to her via [email protected] and https://twitter.com/TheDigitalScrol