What is Self-Awareness?
In part, Self-awareness is how an individual consciously knows and understands their own character. As I said, that’s only of part it. To better understand self-awareness as a whole, we have to look at it from all three of its aspects:
Self-concept, self-worth, and self-esteem. The funny thing is that both self-concept and self-worth contribute to self-esteem, while self-worth is directly influenced by our self-concept.
Self-concept is the most complex of the three aspects. Self-concept is how we evaluate ourselves and past experiences. Self-concept is directly linked to your confidence and can be broken down into four distinct parts:
Social-self is the version of ourselves we present in public places or are public personas. This is the part of ourselves that we show strangers, bosses, acquaintances, friends and even loved ones. For the sake of example, let’s equate our social-self to wearing a Kabuki mask.
Ever met someone that comes across as fake? These are people who are not confident in who they are or who they are pretending or trying to be. As their actions don’t reflect their core being, their mask doesn’t fit right.
This could be anything from a salesperson new to the job still finding their way, to people who haven’t accepted who they are at their core. For the salesperson, experience will fix that. For the latter, a little self-discovery might be necessary. If we don’t know who we are at our core being, how can we expect others to see it or appreciate it?
Self-evaluation is how we evaluate ourselves and past experiences. And past experiences includes everything that has happened up until this point.
The way you experience a situation will determine your reaction, and ultimately determine how you experience and react to a similar situation or experience next time.
Self-evaluation should not be critical, but it should be honest. Evaluating ourselves and our skills is not about comparing ourselves to others, it’s about seeing what skills (emotional and literal) we need to achieve our vision or ultimate goals. As our wants and needs, goals, and visions of the future change, so do the skill sets needed to accomplish these things. This is how we learn, this is how we grow.
Once you have self-evaluated yourself, it’s time to ask some easy to answer questions:
What do you do to improve yourself? What could you do?
What effort do you put in? What effort could you put in?
What skills do you have that are going to waste? What can you do differently to prevent or change this? And if you answered ‘none’, have you tried everything that is out there? Not possible. So what could you try next, or has something specific piqued your interest?
Easy questions and maybe you had a few answers (or maybe a few questions of your own), pop into your head as you were reading them.
But, what are you going to do with those answers? Doing nothing is like buying the ingredients to bake cookies and then leaving them on the counter while saying to yourself “I know the ingredients are there, so that’s the next best thing to having cookies, right? Wrong! You won’t have cookies unless you physically mix the ingredients, place the dough on the cookie sheet, and put them in the oven.
How much attention and effort you put in will determine how well the cookies came out, or if they came out burnt, or not at all!
And remember, a ruined batch of cookies doesn’t mean you can’t ever bake cookies again. Just learn from the experience for next time, or try a different recipe.
The theory behind self-verification says that we want other people to see us the way we see ourselves. That might seem obvious, but what’s interesting is that this applies even when our self-views are negative.
It’s probably even more obvious that all we need to do is try to tweak our self-views, but sadly, people are more likely to try to tweak their social environment to match up with those views instead.
Self-worth comes from the feedback we receive from the effort we put in.
How other people value us is important to our self-worth. When they appreciate us, it makes us feel fulfilled it directly influences our self-esteem.
Also called confidence and by know, you have figured out how it is influenced by both self-concept and self-worth.
And while it’s easy to say that we have full control over our self-esteem, it’s not. But nothing will change if you don't try.
Remember that it’s up to you to bake those cookies, else you will never get a chance to taste them. And let’s be honest, an imperfect cookie is usually better than no cookie at all.
Are you aware that this blog post is coming to an end?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on self-awareness! Till next time, have a Zen day!