Are you aware of what you do, or who you are?
We don’t have a bird’s eye view of ourselves, so to our minds, we are the heroes or main characters of our own individual stories. That’s normal, but it means we can’t see ourselves, both literally and metaphorically.
Since we don’t have a set of eyes that can look at our own self, we often sue the eyes we do have to look outwards. We can obviously see other people, so it’s easy to judge their words and actions and take note of them.
It seems like the normal process of things, all of us seeing each other instead of ourselves, but it shouldn’t be, and it’s very dangerous to leave this as the status quo.
Without any insight on ourselves by ourselves, we only have two options for insight:
1) Accepting other people’s opinions of us
2) Disregarding them entirely
The first option is basic and well known.
Everyone is familiar with other people commenting on their behavior or giving them an idea of what they think of them.
Whether these are positive or negative feedbacks, they affect the way we see ourselves.
This is obviously a double-edged sword.
Someone might point something in me that I didn’t notice, a positive trait that I should be proud of, or a fault I need to address.
But they can most certainly be wrong, whether it’s from a place of malice or not, other people’s opinions can be fickle, and untrustworthy.
So this is where a lot of us head for option number 2, to completely discard of other people’s insights regarding anything that pertains to my actions or behavior.
This option has its merits and downfalls as well. You might be shielded from the ill intentions of people wanting to harm you with their harmful words or opinions, but you’re also missing out on the actual credible insight, form those who care about you and are honest with you, that can help better you and improve your personality defects.
Obviously there has to be a third option.
This is an option that is the more difficult of the three. Whereas the first two were quite passive actions, this one is active.
To be self-aware, means you first and foremost rely on your own ability to reflect on our actions and behaviors.
This protects you from ill-mannered or abusive comments from others affecting you.
More importantly, the largest aim behind this article is to raise awareness, ironically, about how much strife, conflict and problems occur at home and at the workplace due to the lack of self-awareness.
We’ve all been in a situation where there is a person at fault who seems to clearly be in the wrong but has genuinely absolutely no idea and we often brand them as delusional.
The problem is quite simple, when you’re not well versed in the discipline of self reflection, it’s natural to not notice your flaws and your mistakes.
You automatically assume that people are out to get you, and you assume that because perhaps in the past that was the case, but because you never tried to actually learn to self reflect, you can’t tell what’s the truth.
This is why so many conflicts go unresolved. Each person is deeply confined to their own reality where they can’t see any fault or wrongdoing on their part. We are not wired as humans to immediately see the bad in us, our brains protect us from such things because it could be hurtful. This can lead to devastating and dire consequences.
When a person is wrapped up in their own version of reality, unable to view their mistakes, this leads to narcissistic behavior.
Being selfish, at its core, is about the inability to see oneself as potentially in the wrong or on the same level as others. A selfish person treats their needs and wants as superior to other people, because usually they view themselves as better than others, due to the fact that they don’t properly judge themselves.
Self-awareness is no less important than any trait, value or principal you can possibly think of when composing good character. Without, people don’t grow their consciousness, they don’t improve on a personal level, in fact they worsen.
It is one of the most vital traits that we should value as a society, whether in your friends, significant others or employees.
The truth is that we’re currently living the bad scenario. A lot of times we sense that people around us have no heart, that’s because they don’t judge themselves objectively, something you cannot effectively do if you weren’t reflecting on your actions, thoughts and behavior every day.
We need to take a long hard look at ourselves. We might have easily exempted ourselves from past mistakes because we weren’t properly aware of the extent of what we said, did or thought.
If you want people to be kinder, more sensitive or more law-abiding, you need to start with yourself and see where you might have gone wrong.
Only after you’ve looked at yourself, can you begin to look at other people.