Do you know why the majority of people are not living their dreams? Because they are living in random, following the crowd, going wherever the general masses are going.
And the reason for this is the lack of self-awareness.
I love the metaphor shared by Tony Robbins in his classic best-seller, Awaken The Giant Within.
In the book, Tony said that life is like a river. And most people go through the river of life without knowing where they’re heading.
They jump to the river without really deciding what they want or where they want to end up.
And when they come to forks in the river, they don’t consciously decide where they want to go, or which is the right direction for them.
They merely “go with the flow”.
Guess what, they then become a part of the mass of people who are directed by the environment instead of by their own values and desires.
As a result, they feel out of control. They find that life is happening to them rather than they are the ones who create life.
And if things continue – they continue to live in this unconscious state, without having any self-awareness – one day, they will arrive at a waterfall only to discover that it is too late for them to make any changes.
And they are going to take a fall…
- Sometimes it’s an emotional fall.
- Sometimes it’s a physical fall.
- Sometimes it’s a financial fall.
And Tony said it well in the book:
“It’s likely that whatever challenges you have in your life currently could have been avoided by making some better decisions upstream.”
And that’s what will happen if you live life randomly, without any goal or plan, and without any self-awareness for how you want your life to turn out…
What is Self-Awareness?
So, what exactly is self-awareness? If you go to Google and key in, “define self-awareness” and hit search, this is the answer you will get:
“Conscious knowledge of one’s own character and feelings.”
To make things easy to understand, self-awareness is your ability for knowing yourself.
It is the understanding of your feelings, motives, goals, decisions, emotions, purpose, and why you do what you do.
And you know what that means?
When you have a higher self-awareness, you tend to understand yourself better, you know what you want, and you can then consciously decide and take proactive measures to reach your goals and dreams.
Here’s an example…
Do you often grab your phone, thinking that you will just scan Facebook or Instagram for a couple of minutes, but you end up spending 30 minutes or an hour?
That’s what will happen when you lack self-awareness. You don’t consciously decide your action and you just let your action ‘flows’ according to the situation. And you end up wasting more time on social media than you thought.
Here’s another example…
Have you got stuck in traffic, and then someone just overtakes you and you feel so angry about it and you press the honk like a mad man?
That is when you are not aware of your own feelings and emotions. Instead of being in control, you let your emotion takes over and acted according to your feelings. And that’s an example of the lack self-awareness.
Why Are Self-Awareness Important?
By now, you should have a glimpse of an idea of why you want to improve your self-awareness or have more of it.
Because the more you are aware of your characters, feelings, and your current situation, it helps you make better decisions, become more proactive, able to course-correct, understand yourself better, and help improves dealing with problems…
1. Self-Awareness Helps You Make Better Decisions
Remember the metaphor from Tony Robbins? If you go through life without consciously understanding where you’re heading or what you want, you will end up making bad decisions that will eventually cause a catastrophe in your life.
Why do you think people fall into credit card debt?
Well, because most people spend unconsciously without being aware that they are overspending.
And when they spend more than they earn, they are digging themselves deeper into the credit card debt, which one day, will cause them a financial crisis.
But if you are aware and conscious about it from the beginning, it allows you to make better decisions earlier on so that you can avoid overspending or getting into credit card debt.
Can you see the benefit of self-awareness right now?
Awareness of actions allows you to make better decisions and choices upfront so that you will get better results out of your life.
Read: How Jeff Bezos Make Decisions Using the “Regret Minimization Framework” Thinking
2. Self-Awareness Makes You Proactive
Yes, when you are aware of what you want, you can then make better decisions and proactively work yourself there.
One of the most common reasons people are not living their dreams is because they are flowing through the river of life without any conscious thought of where they want to end up.
Thus, they follow the crowd, they do what most people do, and they become the general masses. And guess what, they will end up just like everybody else.
If you want to live a better life, you must be consciously aware of your goals and proactively get there.
You can’t wait for things to happen. Instead, you have to proactively make things happen.
Rather than waiting for things to come to you, go and make things happen. That’s what self-awareness will do for you.
3. Self-Awareness Allows You to Course-Correct
Course-correct is important because if you don’t, you will never get to where you want to go.
Imagine your goal is to build a successful internet business. Knowing your objective and the outcome you desire allows you to stick to your plan and make an adjustment when things are not going your way.
You can only course-correct when you know what it is that you want or where you want to go. Without self-awareness, you won’t be conscious of it.
Just like the saying, “You can only fix what you know is broken.” You can’t fix things that you don’t know have broken. It’s common sense.
When you are conscious and aware of the things you want, you can adjust your plan and make a better strategy to get there. That’s why self-awareness is important.
Read: 7 Powerful Steps How to Overcome Failure in Life and Bounce Back
4. Self-Awareness Helps You Understand Yourself Better
I love this quote from Lao Tzu:
“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.”
Understanding yourself is key to your success.
If you want to achieve outstanding performance in everything you do – both professionally and personally – you must understand yourself. You want to know why you do what you do or feel the things you feel.
Many people are stuck in life because they have no idea what they want. They don’t know what kind of life they want to live and what kind of career or business that aligns with their deeply rooted values.
But once you understand yourself, you can then make choices and decisions that support and empower you to achieve the success you want in life.
This is why you want to work on understanding yourself. The more you understand yourself, the happier and more fulfilled you will be.
And self-awareness is one of the keys to understanding yourself and what you want out of your life.
Read: How To Discover Yourself In 7 Simple Steps
5. Self-Awareness Improves Your Ability to Deal with Problems
Imagine you are stuck in traffic after a long day in the office. You want to get back home as quickly as possible, but there you are, stuck in the traffic.
How does that make you feel? Angry? You don’t feel great, isn’t it?
The more you think about getting stuck in traffic, the angrier and the more negative you become.
However, if you have a higher self-awareness, things will be very much different.
Yea, nobody likes to be stuck in traffic, but when you are aware of your thoughts and emotions, it gives you an advantage that you can change the way you react to it.
That’s what self-awareness will do – it helps you turn a negative situation into a positive or better situation by changing your reaction.
With self-awareness, you know you can’t change the situation because you are already stuck in traffic, but you can consciously make choices to react differently.
You can decide to focus on other things that will help you make your day better. For instance, you can focus on the thoughts that your children are waiting for you at home, your wife is making you a great dinner, and you can’t wait to enjoy your time with your family.
And that, my friend, will surely make a huge difference to your thoughts, feelings, and your life.
Read: 7 Ways How to Stop Negative Thoughts from Entering Your Mind
Now that you understand what self-awareness is and why it is important to you, you want to improve it as much as possible.
I do believe that self-awareness is one of the keys to success. You need to understand yourself in order to perform better in every area of your life.
What do you think? Do you think that self-awareness is important?
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