Self Awareness Wednesday

26 Jan

Self awareness is a phrase I hear a lot. It is also a phrase I say often. Mostly in the context of “that person lacks self awareness.”  For example, a person known for his impatience will tell me how infinitely patient he is and I will think, “this person lacks self awareness.” Has this guy met himself? Because the guy he is talking about is not the guy I know.

If you Google self awareness, you will find a lot of people using the term and quite a few books and articles on the subject. The best definition I found were “the ability to know and understand one’s self”, and “having a balanced and honest view of your own personality, and often an ability to interact with others frankly and confidently.”

Self consciousness is related in that it too is an awareness of self, but it is “an acute awareness of self”  and a “preoccupation” with self” that generally leads to awkward or strained social interactions.

Too much self consciousness can be a problem. Not enough self awareness is a problem too. I think people who are self conscious know it. People who lack self awareness don’t have a clue. If you have a problem with self consciousnesses, you can take a Paxil. I am not sure if there’s a pill to stimulate self awareness. If  you want to improve that situation, I think you actually have to do the leg work yourself.

I recently watched a documentary about Meth. It was called Meth. (Catchy title.) This documentary was specifically about the impact of crystal meth on the gay community. Everyone who was interviewed was in recovery except one man who was still using. The men in recovery seemed acutely self aware. The man who was still using was the poster boy for No Self Awareness. All these terrible things kept happening to this poor guy (he was in a car accident, his car was towed, he can’t pay his rent) but none of the bad things had anything to do with the fact he was high all the time. He was certain there was no connection to be made.

I like to think I am a fairly self aware person. I know my limits and I know my strengths. Still, I have stories I tell myself about myself. Every now and then I realize I am listening to a story that is either out of date, untrue, or in dire need of a rewrite.

Then there is the concept that if you want to achieve something, you should act “as if.” Our subconscious mind is apparently quite gullible and will believe most anything we tell it. If you need to have more confidence, ask yourself how you’d act if you had more confidence. Then make an effort to behave that way. This may well lead to more confidence.

I suppose it would lead to less self consciousness and more self awareness in the long run. Acting “as if” is telling yourself a story that isn’t exactly true, but it isn’t the same as self-delusion.

Some people will tell you that keeping a journal is a good way to develop self awareness. It is a good way to capture the stories in your head so you can examine them for inaccuracies that aren’t serving you well.

I am suddenly very self conscious about this topic. Where was I going with this? (Why are you all looking at me?!!)

Now I have to get my Self ready for work.

I hope your Self has a Wonderful Wednesday.

2 Responses to “Self Awareness Wednesday”

  1. Pamela N Red January 26, 2011 at 10:40 am #

    It’s always easier to see another person’s short comings but our own are not always evident. I am sure I say and do things that make people wonder what the heck I was thinking.

    • catzenspace January 26, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

      I’m sure we all do that from time to time. Still, some folks are just clueless. You most certainly are not clueless.

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