“He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.”

Lao Tzu

What is Self-Awareness?

Imagine seeing yourself through a mirror. What you see is your reflection, the exact physical replica image of yourself. But what if it could show who you are, what makes you happy, what ticks you off, what are truly your flaws, what are your strengths and most important of all knowing about the things you don’t know. Well dear friends, that magical mirror which can show your true self is Self-awareness.

Why the buzz?

People are under the misconception that they know about themselves very well. Well, yeah, maybe everybody knows what they are, but the hard part is accepting what they are! That’s why self-awareness is important, to accept yourself, as whole with good & bad. Believe it when people say, without self-awareness there is no growth – spiritual or professional!

Without self-awareness we may fall into toxic situations or toxic habits that do no good to us!

Let’s see an example of Mr.Y who has a habit of eating sugary stuff as soon as he comes from work late. This habit may be an outcome of stress at work and increasing sugar levels calm him down. This becomes a pattern – which may cause insulin resistance in him. If he was self-aware, he would think about what makes him eat sugary stuff, find the root cause which is stress and will try to eliminate the stress causing things at work!

Most of the recurring mistakes people make, most of the self-destructive behavior and addiction are due to lack of self-awareness.

How To Cultivate Self-Awareness?

It takes a lot of changes to become truly self-aware. But one can start with this – Changing every “Why” into “What”

Instead of asking, “Why this is happening to me”, think about “What made this outcome”.

For example, instead of “Why can’t I make genuine friends?”, ask yourself “What trait of mine is attracting wrong people / what trait makes people take advantage of me?”

Any problem we face traces back to lack of self-awareness. Some problems don’t have solutions but with self-awareness, the ability to accept the situation increases, thereby reducing your impulse reactions.

Types of Self-awareness:

Self-awareness is broadly divided into two. Internal self-awareness and external self-awareness.

Internal Self-awareness:

Knowing what is going inside of us – our mind, body is internal self-awareness. Internal self-awareness includes our feelings, our thoughts, our image about yourself. Knowing one’s strength, weakness, character, values, goals, desires and priorities comes under internal-self-awareness.

Internal self-awareness is very important to accept ourselves, which in turn gives us happiness and satisfaction in life. More you are internally self-aware, the easier it becomes to overcome stress, anxiety, negative thoughts and depression.

External Self-awareness:

As the name implies, external self-awareness is about how others see us. How they see us a person, how our thoughts and actions are perceived by others.

External Self-awareness helps us see things clearly in a third person’s perspective. This comes very handy for those in leadership positions to evaluate the situation and show empathy wherever it is necessary. Even in personal life, if you are externally self-aware it will strengthen your relationships.

Getting Started with Self-Awareness

  1. Understand your life

“Self-awareness involves deep personal honesty. It comes from asking and answering hard questions” Stephen R Covey

Everything that has happened in the past, has some impact in our overall core character, our fears and our mindset. So, to begin with, understand your journey, what you have been through and accept that gracefully. Knowing yourself is the first step of self-awareness.


  1. Getting Feedback 

“The Easiest Person to Deceive Is One’s Own Self.” Edward George Bulwer-Lytton     

         Every aspect needs a different perspective. Take feedback about yourself to cover all the blind spots. You can also match your version of you with how others see you. Do they see you as what you want others to see in you?

Taking the feedback positively is the key here. Get some honest feedback from people you trust. This will help you find your triggers. And which in turn will help you be more aware of yourself.

  1. Practice Mindfulness

“Self-awareness is a key to self-mastery” Gretchen Rubin

Being mindful means becoming more of an observer and listener to all the things around you. Understand what is going on in your environment, body, thoughts and accept everything that is happening.

Meditation is one of the best ways to help you get started with mindfulness. Meditation helps you be aware of what you are feeling and thinking. More you practice meditation, the less you get distracted and which helps you to focus better.


  1. Writing Things

“We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change” Sheryl Sandberg

         Journaling is one of the best tools that we have. It has so many benefits. Keeping a journal, starting a blog or handwritten notes, writing out your thoughts has huge benefits. When we talk we don’t have control over what we say. But while writing, you can see clearly what your thoughts are and get more clarity of them.

Benefits of self-awareness:

  1. Clarity and confidence

When you are self-aware, you have much clarity over your thoughts and decisions. That clarity of thoughts will reflect in your body language and you will gain confidence to face any situation that life throws to you.

  1. Purpose of Life

Everyone born has a purpose. Being self-aware will help you to find out your purpose in life. Not only that it will help you to clearly decide on the path that you need to take to achieve your purpose in life.

  1. Peace of mind

When you clearly understand who you are and accept yourself, you will find your mind is in harmony with you and thus helping you to be at peace and refreshed.

  1. Improved Relationships

Be it professional or personal life, ability to see others perspective will help you handle people better. When you are self-aware, you can truly understand the other person’s point of view and show empathy towards them.

  1. Better Decision Making

When you are self-aware, you know what you want and how you want that to happen. This will help you narrow down your options quickly and take your decisions precisely and swiftly.

Self-awareness process is life enriching and helps you to lead a better life. But it can be very difficult to start and practice. Having an accountability partner or a coach to guide can help you achieve your goals easily. Need some help to start your self-awareness journey? Contact us and our coaches will be glad to help.