Self-awareness is a key component of emotional maturity. A lack of self-awareness will hamper your progress in every area of life, and ultimately deny you peace. 

Human beings - we perfectly imperfect marvels of creation and life, are very social creatures. Even those of us who self-describe as introverts need social interaction with other like-minded people.

Our success in life depends on our relationships - from those closest to us to the ones we choose on our own, and the ones that are "forced" upon us by circumstances like our careers or businesses. Relationships are not optional - they are important factors in our lives, and any improvements we can create in them will make our lives easier, amplify our goals, and at the same time, help us reach them more easily.

When you are self-aware, it means that you have the ability to understand who you are, and that you have the ability to monitor your own thoughts and emotions. Understanding yourself leads to improvements in your emotional intelligence and recognition of our degree of control in our lives.

When you have the ability to step back from yourself and view who you are and your activities with a degree of objectivity, you realize that you have a degree of control over much of what you say, think, do, and even what happens to you.

Self-awareness helps you recognize that you have choices. Making the most of those choices means that you also can be self-determined. When you are self-determined, you know you have the power to make conscious choices - you decide the direction in which you want to move. You can choose from available choices or create new ones.

When you lack self-awareness, you tend to just accept whatever happens to you - thinking that life and its events are decided in advance and beyond your control. Instead of bemoaning your circumstances and being buffeted along by the currents of life, understand that the choices presented to you in life don't just happen to you.

You can plan and execute a vision for your future. You are in the driver's seat of your life - what you see ahead of you and how you prepare yourself to face it.

I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley, "Invictus"

When you take action to manage your own behaviors, thoughts, and emotions, you are more likely to act in a conscious manner - more so than a person who reacts either passively (letting life happen TO them) or instinctively (automatically or unconsciously).

One of the lasting benefits of self-awareness includes the ability to examine your experiences more deeply and in doing so, develop compassion for yourself and others. It makes you more likely to understand yourself and extend that understanding to others. It's not a quality that can be turned "on" or "off" but instead grows with time. It's a spectrum that is shaped by your experiences and your reactions to them - especially emotional reactions.

You can speed up the development of self-awareness within yourself by prioritizing mindful learning and by applying what you learn. Learned material is most effective when implemented.

Through self-awareness, you'll be able to see more clearly where your thoughts, actions and emotions are taking you, and to change course if needed. The ability to make changes along your life's journey allows you to keep moving toward your desired direction - a life that's full of experiences you want to cherish instead of forgetting them. 

Affirmations to help Develop Your Sense of Self-Awareness

  • My well-being is my number one priority.
  • I know myself and I recognize my weaknesses and do not let them hold me back.
  • I always have a choice.
  • I recognize the power that my words hold and think them through before speaking.
  • Having an awareness of who I am not, allows me to become who I am.
  • I am focused on the here and now.
  • I am aware and conscious of my emotions, thoughts, and experiences.
  • I hear myself. I respect myself.
  • I am aware of my behaviors, patterns, and habits and I am always conscious of myself.
About the Author Dianne Daniels

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, and currently residing in Norwich, Connecticut, Dianne M. Daniels' mission is to empower women 50+ to Amplify their Self-Confidence, Deepen their Self-Knowledge, Inspire Creativity, and Glide into the next phase of their lives with the Power of Journaling, Affirmations, and Assessments.

You can learn how to use these time-tested proven practices to create and manifest the life you want (and deserve) to live.

Dianne is an ordained Unitarian Universalist Minister and holds a Master of Divinity degree from Starr King School for the Ministry. She's an avid reader, a lover of old houses (she renovated an 1850s vintage Greek Revival home with her family) and has been journaling since the age of 9.

Dianne M. Daniels

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