Self-Awareness: Signs You’re Not Self-Aware (Part 1 of 3)
“Be yourself!” is the cliché we are most disgustingly proud to flaunt. We grow up hearing that we should be ourselves, and to be confident in who we are. We may not have any self-awareness and yet often declare with such sass, “That’s who I am!” “I’m just being myself!” But do you really know who that is?
Only 10-15% of People are Truly Self-Aware
According to the article, Eurich states there are three reasons for this disconnect; “(1) We naturally have blind spots… (2) We’re wired to operate on autopilot, unaware of how we’re behaving, and why… (3) There’s also the feel-good effect: we’re happier when we see ourselves in a more positive light…”
With these natural disadvantages, it takes a lot of purposeful reflection to recognize who we are and why we operate the way we do. As a deep thinker, this is something I thrive in, but it’s not something most people enjoy.
I believe that every little thing about us is part of a much bigger puzzle. Every piece of that puzzle says something about who we are. By that logic, I have to believe that I can learn about myself from everything I do.
The Pride of Being Yourself without Self-Awareness Sets You Up for Failure
As someone who thrives in self-awareness, I tend to have a bit of an issue with the simple and vague idea of being yourself. I’ve found that this concept causes some foundational issues that set us up for failure:
- It builds a false confidence within you. Eurich’s second reason for why we lack self-awareness is that we run on autopilot. As such, we get a false sense of self, because we act in ways that come naturally and we don’t take the time to stop and reflect.
- It becomes the excuse for everything you do. We’ve been conditioned to believe that if we are true to ourselves, then basically anything goes. If you can justify it with, “I’m just being myself,” then you think it makes it ok.
- It becomes a hindrance for growth. If you are satisfied with simply being yourself, why should there be any growth?
Instead of simply being proud to be ourselves, we should work to gain a clear understanding of who we are in order to build the self-confidence that we need.
When we are self-aware, we are better equipped to make good decisions in all areas of our lives.
Signs You’re Not Self-Aware
- You lack self-esteem – Self-awareness means that you’re aware of your shortcomings, and you also understand your strengths and self-worth. If you lack self-esteem, then it’s probably because you don’t know what those things are that make you so great.
- You often regret your decisions – One useful tool in good decision making is the ability to truly see yourself in the future. When I have to make an important decision, besides analyzing pros and cons, I ask myself, could I live with the consequences of this decision? That does take some true and deep consideration. Some decisions turn out to be wrong, because perhaps you didn’t have all of the necessary information, but if it’s a constant occurrence, then it’s a good indication you may lack self-awareness.
- You live in guilt – Similar to, but not exactly like regretting your decisions, living in guilt reveals that you did not realize how much a decision was going to affect you. That guilt may be indication that you were unable to understand how this was going to affect you.
- You’re defensive – It’s not easy when someone points out our failures. However, if you find yourself acting defensively or simply making excuses, you may not be self-aware. When you’re self-aware, you own your failures even if they are shameful.
- You’re unhappy with your job/career – Sure, it could be that the path you once gleefully followed no longer makes you happy, plus it’s not easy to change a job or career. It could be that you know exactly why you’re unhappy with your job, but you just feel stuck now. Still, it may be a hint that you lack self-awareness.
- You’re envious – This one is tough because it requires that you realize and admit you’re envious and well, that’s not so easy because no one likes an envious person. If you find yourself constantly wishing you had someone else’s things, well there you go! When you’re self-aware, it doesn’t matter what other people have or accomplish. You understand that your goals are different than theirs and you’re ok with that.
- You’re unable to freely talk about your shortcomings – Some may be shameful and you simply don’t want to voice them, and I don’t blame you! But if this is the case for all your flaws (imperfections, or whatever you prefer to call them), then you may simply be unaware.
- Your friends avoid confronting you about real issues – I know…I know, you’re probably thinking this may have to do more with who they are than it has to do with your self-awareness (or lack thereof). Let’s assume that’s correct, then consider the friends you have; are they bold, honest? Are they comfortable speaking freely to others? If the answer to those questions is yes, then it’s about you more than it is about them.
- You often try new foods you turn out not to like – This one sounds ridiculous, but start paying attention to the foods you try and don’t like, you should find a pattern. I’m quite the picky eater, and seldom try new foods. People think this makes me unadventurous. On the contrary, when it comes to activities, I am daring, but with foodstuff—not so much! I know what texture, flavors, and smells I like, but most importantly, I know the ones I don’t. So by smell, look, and feel, I know whether or not something is going to please my pallet. And in case you’re wondering, yes, I’ve tested this.
Recognize the Patterns
In case you missed the pattern, the key here is “often,” “constantly,” etc. Yes, those are subjective terms but generally speaking, you can determine what they are. Recognize when you’ve developed a pattern where you lack of self-awareness.
I’d love to help you in your self-awareness journey.
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