“We cannot change what we’re not aware of, and once we’re aware, we cannot help but change”- Sheryl Sandberg
Self-awareness is understanding your character and feelings. Knowledge of yourself allows you to know your strengths and weaknesses, thereby enabling you to set better personal goals.
Personal growth is improving strengths and weaknesses. Knowing yourself is necessary for personal growth.
Types of self-awareness
- Public self-awareness– Being aware that other people are watching you, for example, in an interview or during a presentation. We only show our best behaviour, so it doesn’t reflect the real you. You’re expected to behave in an acceptable manner, which can result in anxiety or worry because you don’t know what others think of you.
- Private self-awareness– It is only you who knows this part of yourself. However, those who relate closely to you may also know this part of you as well.
The process of self-awareness
There are three processes involved in self-awareness. This includes:
- Understand the nature of your mind – reflect on yourself. Be alert to how you react to different happenings of the day.
- Allow others to assess you – It is not easy to be informed of our character especially if negative. It may lead to enmity and to become emotional. However, this is necessary for improving or changing that character for a better you. It is better to involve those to whom you relate easily to give this feedback.
- Take self-evaluation tests -they are similar to the tests provided to individuals during an interview. The tests help one to identify the areas needed for improvement. The psychometric tests evaluate your behaviour, intelligence, character and skills. There are many sites where you can access tests to evaluate yourself. An example is https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/6-free-online-tests-improve-your-self-awareness-alexa-carter/.
Importance of self-awareness
- Helps you to relate better with others thus improving relationships.
- Understanding yourself allows one to set realistic and achievable goals.
- Emotional intelligence- Being aware of how you react gives one control of their emotions.
- It is easier to make personal decisions.
- It fosters personal growth.
4 Quick steps for improving self-awareness
- Identify the area needed for improvement.
- Learn how it is affecting you and those around you
- Find ways of managing it and implement
- Observe your progress on how you’re improving.
The above steps are easy to follow. However, you can also hire a life coach to assist in improving self-awareness because it is a journey.
Self-awareness is knowing and accepting yourself whereas personal growth is knowing that you can become better. Self-awareness can be cultivated.
Self-awareness is also important in employment and employers adapt Johari’s window to help the staff understand each other. This aids in teamwork, communication and overall development. The Johari window is suitable for a group set-up.