“Resting in Awareness, we transform all the ‘stuff’ of our lives.” ~ Ram Dass
What is self-awareness? And why is it important?
Briefly, self-awareness is the ability to recognize your emotional shifts, pinpoint your triggers, and view situations from another person’s perspective. A benefit of being conscious of your emotions and triggers is that it’s the first step in being able to regulate them, thus allowing you to respond more intentionally in the future. The advantage of seeing things from another person’s point of view is reduced conflict and more meaningful relationships.
According to New York Times best-selling author and leadership guru Tasha Eurich, 95 percent of people believe they are self-aware, but only 10–15% of people actually possess this skill. This means that they do not know who they are, how others perceive them, or the bigger role they are meant to fulfill in the world. Thankfully, self-awareness is a skill that can be developed.
There are two main types of self-awareness: internal and external. Both are essential for transforming your unwanted habits, routines, impulses, and reactions to more desirable behaviors. Internal self-awareness is the cognizance of your values, thoughts, and emotions. External self-awareness is the understanding of how you’re viewed by others.
Self-awareness, both internal and external, is foundational for revealing your full potential. When you can embody self-awareness, you have a more holistic understanding of yourself and how you fit in the world.
Types of Self-Awareness
Internal self-awareness refers to an inner understanding of your values, thoughts, passions, motivations, needs, emotional triggers, behaviors, and affect on others. If your internal self-awareness is high, then you tend to make choices that are in alignment with who you truly are. This means that you’ll enjoy a more fulfilling life. On the other hand, if your internal self-awareness is low, you may choose actions that result in undesirable outcomes. For example, enduring an incompatible job or relationship because you’re unsure of what you really want.