Is self-awareness a skill you can possess?

It’s easy to assume that self-awareness is more a trait than a skill. But is it? Can we safely assume that every woman is aware of herself? There’s a reason why this is a skill to have. Although many women think they are self-aware, it is a rare trait to have, and even harder to cultivate.

What is self-awareness?

It is the ability to tune into your feelings, thoughts and actions. When you see yourself clearly, you’re able to recognise your strengths and weaknesses. Being self-aware means you understand how other people see you compared to how you see yourself.

There are two types of self-awareness:

  1. Private self-awareness– this is when you are aware of something about yourself that others do not know. You are able to notice and reflect on one’s internal state for example you might be afraid of the dark
  2. Public self-awareness– this is when you know how others see you. It usually begins at the tender age of 5 when you recognise people don’t share the same feelings and opinions. This is why people adhere to social norms and behave in public.

What are the elements of self-awareness?

  • Emotional intelligence

You don’t only need to show empathy towards others but also notice non-verbal cues. This will help you recognise how people around you feel and help you get in tune with the situation.

  • Self-concept

This is how you see yourself. Most of your perceptions come from personal experience, what you believe your strengths are and what you expect from yourself in the future.

Having a healthy self-concept will allow you to take up more challenges, achieve goals and overall live a more positive life.

  • Thoughts

Ever notice how easy a thought could change your mood? Thoughts are tied to your emotions. This being said, understanding your thought process is important in controlling your mood.

  • Feelings

Identifying which feelings are linked to your thoughts and past experience will help you know your triggers and nothing will throw you off balance.

  • Body

You may not be aware but your body gives off a physical response to things said and done. For instance, my eyes don’t lie about how I feel. You could easily know whether I’m thinking, happy or even furious. It is important to know your “show tell” and find out if it works for you or if it’s something you need to work on.

  • Emotions

These could be the most important in the bunch. How you react to situations directly affects your relationships with others whether personal or professional. You need to be able to know the emotional state you are in order to process your emotions and get past them.

Questions to help you understand your self-awareness state.

  1. Who am l?
  2. What do I want now and in the future?
  3. What is my next step?
  4. What is your view on a particular topic or situation?
  5. How do you feel physically and emotionally at the moment?

If you are able to answer these questions then you’re more self-aware than you think. You’re connected to what is going on around you and have some sort of control.

Sources: Business Insights,, BetterUp, Harvard Business Review, Understood, Trainning eTracking,

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