The Journey of Self-Awareness

July 31, 2016

A·ware·ness – one word, three syllables. This powerful word gives root to another even more powerful word, self-awareness, which is the topic of today’s blog post. But let’s introduce the concept of awareness before we go any further. Awareness is defined as a state of consciousness or knowledge. It marks the first step towards any informed action. It implies that we’ve become exposed to or acquired knowledge of a situation, emotion, or state – that our eyes have been opened. Every campaign for change often begins with awareness as the first step in mobilization. People simply cannot champion for something they don’t know about, right?


Descending from this concept is the less understood and less practiced idea of self-awareness – and it is one of those grand gifts and mysteries bestowed upon as humans. To put it in philosophical terms we are conscious of being conscious. 

Simply put, I like to think of it as having a full understanding of self.

It is knowing what drives you versus what makes you tick. To me, self-awareness is an extension of self-love and self-worth. It is an increased level of emotional intelligence that allows you to be honest with yourself and others about your strengths, weaknesses, beliefs, motivations, and emotions.

When we live our lives on auto pilot we miss valuable opportunities to experience life to its fullest extent.

One of the main areas where this comes into play is with relationships.

Self-awareness is the difference between anticipating conflict and engaging in a productive conversation and getting into a blowout fight. Self-awareness gives us the clarity and empowerment to ask for help. It allows us to acknowledge our weaknesses while paying equal tribute to our strengths. It is an understanding that allows us to pursue our passions. Self-awareness allows us to peel back the layers and discover what truly makes us happy beyond the will imposed by others or our own appropriation of others’ beliefs.Beaching8

Self-awareness begins with introspection. But it’s not a singular journey by any means. Self-awareness at its best involves thoughtful reflection of how we engage with others and their perceptions of us. Feedback from others can help us see the things we don’t see such as how our intentions translate into actions, and what if anything is lost in translation. Feedback from those you trust can shed light on our areas of development and are an integral part of becoming more self-aware.

Notice that the title of this post is not “The Journey to Self-Awareness” but rather “The Journey of Self-Awareness.” Self-awareness is an iterative process and a continuous journey. You should strive for progress along the way as you build upon your learnings but self-awareness as an end goal in and of itself loses sight of the idea of a journey. Sure, there are some lessons in self-awareness which would serve you well to begin practicing sooner rather than later, like how to better handle conflict or how to better lead others, but the process of self-discovery is in my opinion, part of our lifelong journey and is what drives us to pursue everyday with curiosity, fervor, and passion.
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