Self Awareness

One thing is for certain; each person has his or her own views, thoughts, and emotions. Even though we are so different we experience similar patterns of self analysis which makes up who we are today. These patterns are typically created by the end result of our behaviors and viewed either negatively or favorable by our strongest critic, the almighty self. It’s amazing how our growth is determined by how the self translates our actions.
Self awareness is the ability to formulate a summary of our behavior based on past and current thoughts and emotions. It allows us to understand what’s going on in our heads and why; self-victimization prevents us from accepting that we’re responsible for it, and for what we do as a result.
Being self-aware is the ability to see our true self without blinders. This is the first step in being true to our self.  It requires empathy, patience, strength, humility, and love. One of the hardest things to do is to see our self as fallible but that is what we are. We all make mistakes and we all have our triumphs. The great ones are capable of seeing both polars and learn how to merge them together to make them a better individual.
Below is a wonderful poem about self-awareness:

The Man In The Mirror
When you get what you want in your struggle for self,
And the world makes you king for a day,
Then go to the mirror and look at yourself,
And see what that man has to say.
For it isn’t a man’s father, mother or wife,
Whose judgment upon him must pass,
The fellow whose verdict counts most in life,
Is the man staring back from the glass.
He’s the fellow to please, never mind all the rest,
For he’s with you clear to the end,
And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test,
If the man in the glass is your friend.
You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But the final reward will be heartache and tears,
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.

-Dale Wimbrow, 1934

As humans we generally spend our life living within the two hemispheres or poles of self-thought. On one side, we play out our lives as victims due to painful events in our past and learn to feel powerless when confronting obstacles. These thoughts are what we call the victimization thoughts:
  • Obsessing about the ways we feel we have been wronged
  • Complaining about painful events without considering the role we played
  • Using these difficult events to justify negativity, anger, and/or create negative reactions/behaviors
  • Telling sad stories from the past as a means of avoiding judgment or trying to win approval
  • Believing that everything would be better if the world or other people would change
The other hemisphere is the empowerment thoughts which requires self-awareness
  • Consciously choosing to let go of victimizing thoughts
  • Considering that we may have played a part in some of the most painful events from our pasts
  • Learning from these events how we can respond proactively to similar events in the future
  • Feeding our own emotional needs instead of coming to other people with a void that won’t ever be filled
  • Accepting responsibility for our actions, and the consequences of them
  • Realizing things will only improve if we make a change, internally or externally
The fundamental difference between self-awareness and self-victimization pertains to our acknowledgment that we have been hurt. Self-awareness is about observing our response to what happened; self-victimization is about feeding into the story of what happened.
Tips to Achieve Self-Awareness
  • Understanding our emotions—what we’re feeling and what triggered it—so we can effectively work through and transform our emotional responses instead of using them to justify unhealthy choices.
  • Recognizing our destructive thought patterns so we can redirect them
  • Noticing our behavioral patterns and habits so that we can make adjustments to change negative ones
  • Understanding our beliefs, assumptions, and expectations, and how they influence what we choose to do
  • Accepting that we are responsible for our actions—even if we developed certain patterns in response to events from our past