I am a HUGE fan of self awareness. Self awareness is the ability to recognise aspects of our personality, behaviour, emotions, motivations, and thought processes without any self criticism or negative self talk.
It’s important to be self aware because if you don’t know yourself, how can you expect to become better? You need to know your strengths, your weaknesses.. what you like vs. what you don’t like + why you don’t like it.. why some people annoy you.. why you get on really well with others. There are many different dimensions to humans, so I think it’s very important to know ourselves the best we can in order to accept ourselves as we are and start to evolve.
This is why I’m so passionate about self awareness. It’s how we lay the foundation for our careers, relationships and lives. I want everyone to be able to know themselves inside out. Often you meet people e.g. someone you like and as you get to know each other, they will tell you about themselves. As a very self-aware person, I used to take their word seriously and have certain expectations but I would later realise, after spending time with the person, that they’re very different to what they said they were.
I feel people think they know themselves but don’t really know themselves. You may think you look or behave a certain way because of what other people around you have said to you. You may also consider yourself to be a certain way because you think it is more acceptable or of higher status.. I want us to stop paying attention to external stimuli to define or validate ourselves and start the awareness process from within. As long as you understand yourself it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of you. In fact, the better you understand yourself, the better you will be able to connect with others.
It is a continuous process; I don’t expect anyone to know every single detail about themselves, but at least get the basics right! This will minimise the disconnect in your perception and your reality and avoid you saying one thing and doing another.
After reading this post, I want you guys to have a better understanding of why self awareness matters and how to start. Some things you will find out when you start this process will include:
- Your typical traits and characteristics
- What motivates your behaviour – why you do what you do in the way you do it
- How you like to be apologised to
- Your love language (helpful to know for relationships and friendships)
- What makes you uncomfortable
- How you typically communicate
- Strengths and weaknesses
I used all of these insights to gain a better understanding of myself as a person and this has played a vital role in my career and relationships with people.
For example, through taking the Strengthsfinder test (link below), I figured out that I am more productive and successful when I focus on my strengths instead of trying to improve my weaknesses.
I want to introduce you to the 4 levels of learning, which are extremely important when we discuss self awareness. This is because it allows us to clearly see the process of learning a new concept or skill and identifying shortcomings with the intention of improving them.
Level 1: Unconscious Incompetence (you don’t know that you don’t know something). At this level you are blissfully ignorant. You have a complete lack of knowledge and skills in the subject in question but you are also unaware of this lack of skill or understanding.
Level 2: Conscious Incompetence (you are now aware that you don’t know, or are incompetent at, something). At this level you find that there are things you need to learn so you decide to take some sort of action.
Level 3: Conscious Competence (you develop in this area, but you have to practice intentionally). At this level you acquire the new skills or knowledge. You put your learning into practice and you gain confidence.
Level 4: Unconscious Competence (you are good at it; it comes naturally to you). At this level your new skills become habits, and you perform the task without conscious effort and with automatic ease. This is the peak of your confidence and ability.
With this in mind, have a look at the tests below to get started. The top 4 have been the most insightful for me so far and have strengthened my own self awareness. The bottom 4 are more fun but can also explain certain behaviours and morals.
Myers Briggs – personality test that helps you realise why you do things the way you do: https://www.16personalities.com/
Strengthsfinder – recognises your top 5 career strengths so you can capitalise on them: https://www.gallupstrengthscenter.com/
Love language – helps you to understand how you want to be shown love and appreciation by loved ones: https://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/
Apology language – accurately shows how you accept apologies from other people: https://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/apology/
Dichotomy – philosophical views e.g. materialism vs altruism: http://dichotomytests.com/test.html?id=0
Sensation Seeking – why you may display certain behaviours: http://psychtests.co.nf/sensation/
Fears and Anxiety – what are you scared of most: http://psychtests.co.nf/fear/test.html
Psychopathy test – self explanatory (explains your morals): https://openpsychometrics.org/tests/LSRP.php