Hi there my beautiful lovelies! Hope you guys are doing well and staying safe. Today, I will talk to about something very important, self-awareness. It’s very important in my life, and thank to it, I was able to get the help I need much earlier than before.
What is Self-Awareness?
Self-Awareness is described as “conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires”. It is the experience of one’s own personality or individuality. It should not to be confused with consciousness in the sense of qualia. While consciousness is being aware of one’s environment and body and lifestyle, self-awareness is the recognition of that awareness. Self-awareness is how an individual consciously knows and understands their own character, feelings, motives, and desires.
Types of Self-Awareness:
There are two broad categories of self-awareness: internal self-awareness and external self-awareness according to Dr. Tasha Eurich of Harvard Business Review. For the last 50 years, researchers have used varying definitions of self-awareness. For example, some see it as the ability to monitor our inner world, whereas others label it as a temporary state of self-consciousness. Still others describe it as the difference between how we see ourselves and how others see us. Tasha Eurich, PhD, is an organizational psychologist, researcher, and New York Times bestselling author. She is the principal of The Eurich Group, a boutique executive development firm that helps companies—from start-ups to the Fortune 100—succeed by improving the effectiveness of their leaders and teams. Her newest book, Insight, delves into the connection between self-awareness and success in the workplace.
Internal self-awareness represents how clearly we see our own values, passions, aspirations, fit with our environment, reactions (including thoughts, feelings, behaviors, strengths, and weaknesses), and impact on others. We’ve found that internal self-awareness is associated with higher job and relationship satisfaction, personal and social control, and happiness; it is negatively related to anxiety, stress, and depression.
According to Dr. Eurich, external self-awareness means understanding how other people view us, in terms of those same factors listed above. Our research shows that people who know how others see them are more skilled at showing empathy and taking others’ perspectives. For leaders who see themselves as their employees do, their employees tend to have a better relationship with them, feel more satisfied with them, and see them as more effective in general.
Dr. Eurich’s group has identified identify four leadership archetypes, each with a different set of opportunities to improve:
The bottom line is that self-awareness isn’t one truth according to Dr. Eurich. It’s a delicate balance of two distinct, even competing, viewpoints.
Available Research on Self-Awareness Theory:
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. Self-Awareness Theory (and subsequent research on it) 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. 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. 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). It’s clear from the research on self-awareness that it is an important factor at play in how we think, how we feel, and how we act–and how we 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. 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).
The benefits listed are reason enough to work on improving self-awareness, but this list is by no means thorough. 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.
In a future post I will discuss the ways you can improve self-awareness.
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