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Importance of Self-awareness

By Darshan Aiyappa | Published on Jan 13, 2021

From amassing knowledge through the introspection, oneself to consistently implementing exceptional results in a particular line of work – across multiple mediums – incorporate a multitude of attributes, strategies and expertise. However, there is one trait that states to be paramount in every effective leader: Self-awareness.

What is Self-awareness?

Stephen Covey defines self-awareness as “a capacity to stand apart from ourselves, examine our thinking, our motives, our history, our scripts, our actions, and our habits and tendencies,” but commencing these characteristics is harder to see it in effect.

In social psychology, the study of self-awareness is traced to Shelley Duval and Robert Wicklund’s (1972) landmark theory of self-awareness. Duval and Wicklund proposed that, “at a given moment, people can focus attention on the self or on the external environment. Focusing on the self enables self-evaluation.” Self-awareness is one of the core aspects of emotional Intelligence (EI) -- a term devised by Michael Beldoch. Emotional Intelligence is termed as “a person’s ability to identify and manage their emotions.” Habitually, initiating Self-awareness as component to developing EI – the crux of living a successful and fulfilling life.

Why Develop Self-awareness?

By developing self-awareness, you are able to alter specific interpretations and concepts you build in your mind. Reshaping the thoughts in your mind will allow you to alter your emotions as well. Self-awareness is one of the aspects of Emotional Intelligence and plays the chief factor in achieving success. Studies have revealed that successful CEO’s possess a higher degree of self-awareness.

Self-awareness is the first and foremost step in constructing what you wish to have and the key to overcome the limitations of a mundane life. Areas of one’s focus will determine attention, personality, reactions, behavior and emotions in life. Being self-aware will allow you to perceive your thoughts and see where your emotions take you. It can also let you take command of your behavior, personality and emotions, to let you make changes, without altering the temperament of your ego. Unless you are conscious of what your words, thoughts, behavior and emotions mean, making changes will feel difficult in the course of your life.

Becoming Self-Aware

Self-awareness is attained through practicing by focusing attention to the specific details of one’s personality or as a whole. It can’t be learnt through a book. Reading a book makes you narrow your attention to actualize ideas in the book. It is possible to achieve an understanding the concepts of self-awareness from a book, but implementing ideas will not help you become conscious about it. By paying attention to the book, you will learn the concepts, rather than utilizing them.

At its crux, self-awareness offers you far more success than any other tool. It will justify why you wanted to become self-aware in the first place. It helps you discover the impact you hold on your life and the people around you.