Mirror Mirror on the wall, who is the prettiest of all? What do you see when you see in the mirror? The obvious answer is that when we look in the mirror, the person standing in front of us, looking back at us, is no other than our own self. When we look in the mirror, we may see pimples, unruly hair, or some unwanted wrinkles. When we look in the mirror, we instantly become aware of our physical state, but we are more than just flesh and bones. Everyone can see their reflection in the mirror, but can you see your true self? Are you really aware of your true self? Self-awareness is much more than just becoming aware of the current physical or emotional state. Self-Awareness knows one’s own self, such as understanding why does one behave in a certain manner. It is about observing your own thoughts; and behavior. It simply means tunning to your feelings, thoughts, and actions.
Knowing ourselves may appear easy, but it is much more difficult to know who you are in actuality. Self-awareness is the understanding of self that goes beyond your apparent behavior and actions. The true self lies beneath the layers of superficial lies that we have woven around ourselves to hide our faults and weaknesses from others. To present the best image of ourselves, we often hide behind layers of façade, and during this process, we tend to lose touch with our true selves. We begin to believe what others define us. For example, if people around us call us ugly or fat, we tend to develop our self-image as per their opinions and try to hide our faults, defined by them.
If you want to find out whether you know yourself or not, you may ask yourself – Who am I? many people respond to this question by giving themselves their titles and status. For instance, they define themselves as Teachers, Doctors, Entrepreneurs, Parents, etc. If your answer is the same, it is likely that you are not self-aware. Don’t worry! You are not alone and do not have self-awareness. Extensive research by Dr. Tasha Eurich on Self-awareness reveals that around 95% believe that they believe that they are self-aware, whereas only 10% to 15% of people are self-aware in reality.
Career, achievements, titles, status, wealth, and possessions do not define you. Your self-identity is developed by your core values, your passion, and your traits. Self-awareness is the ability to see through your soul. It simply means being conscious of ourselves. Just take a moment to look at yourself in the mirror. Do not just focus on your reflection. See yourself beyond your physical self. Break those walls that you have created around yourself to protect yourself from others. Put others’ opinions aside and embrace yourself. Cross out what you have become in the race to prove yourself to others. Accept your flaws and forgive yourself for mistakes. Embrace yourself as you are and become aware of who you are in a true sense because self-Awareness is the key to living life in peace and harmony. As Aristotle said that, “knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” When you become self-aware, you reach the pinnacle of success in life because when you know who you are, it becomes clear to you what do you want in life. It sets a clear direction and helps you realize your purpose in life.
Some of the easy ways to develop self-awareness are
- Meditate regularly.
- Spend time in solitude and explore your desires, wants, and goals in life.
- Take psychometric tests
- Discuss with your friends and take their feedback
Self-Awareness does not only help us understand ourselves, but it also helps us develop a better understanding of others as aforementioned at the beginning, “mirror on the wall, who is the prettiest of all?” Self-aware individuals are well connected to their inner self and attuned to their higher purpose. They know what they want from themselves and what they want from others. Several studies indicated that developing an understanding of one’s own self enhances the understanding of each other as it is considered to be a “semi-independent skill”.
When a person knows about their inner motives and beliefs, they are better positioned to understand how they react in a certain situation. Such understanding gives an insight into others’ perspectives as well and leads to developing empathy. Ultimately self-awareness leads to self-leadership. Several studies of Neuroimaging reveal that similar areas of the brain are active (For instance, the mirror neuron system) when reasoning or assessing one’s own personality traits and others’ personalities. So, it suggests that when we use the same area of the brain repeatedly, we tend to train our brain to better understand others. So, one of the most important benefits one gets from self-awareness is attaining self-leadership. Self-Leadership is considered an essential component in the modern era of management. Dr. Tasha Eurich calls self-awareness a ‘meta-skill because:
“Self-awareness is the underlying foundation to all of the skills that are required to succeed in the 21st century. It affects your emotional intelligence, influence, persuasion, and sales. If you are not self-aware if you do not understand who you are, how others see you, and the role you play in the world, you are going to come up short.” Recall the initial question at the beginning, “mirror on the wall, who is the prettiest of all?”
Are you ready to embark on the journey to find your true self?