Why we need to be Self-Aware

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Self-awareness is the ability to identify how our thoughts and feelings influence our behaviors. To be self-aware, we must understand our emotions, behavior, and thinking patterns. What are thinking, behavior, and emotional patterns? I am glad you asked!

Understanding our thinking patterns is being aware of how you typically make sense of what happens. What do you expect to happen in any given situation? What do you believe that makes you think that way? Do you believe there is an alternative to what we think, or believe our way of thinking is the only possibility? Being able to able to identify the “why” behind our way of thinking allows us to identify our thinking patterns.

Understanding emotional patterns is knowing how we typically feel in different scenarios. How well do you know your feelings and moods? Do you pay attention to and attempt to understand your emotions, or do you behave impulsively when your feelings and moods arise? Do you see negative emotions as something to be avoided or as signs from the universe to make changes? Being able to identify our understanding about how we feel allows us to understand our emotional patterns.

Understanding behavior patterns is knowing why you behave in the same manner in certain situations. Do you have an idea of the circumstances that promote certain behaviors? Do you know why you choose one behavior over another? Being able to identify our behavior response to people and situations allows us to understand our behavior patterns.

Understanding why we feel, think, and behave the way we do is a powerful tool as we navigate the world around us. The advantages of self-awareness are infinite. But here are a couple…

  • Improved Relationships.
    When you’re not crystal clear about what you want and need in a relationship, it’s challenging to ask for it and create healthy limits. How well do you know your values, for instance? Attempting to increase self-awareness is frequently the ideal strategy to enhance any partnership.
  • Better Emotional Management.
    How you think determines how you feel. For instance, if you worry all the time, you are likely to experience anxiety all the time. But, as your self-awareness grows and you understand how your thoughts and emotions are related, you can identify the thought behind the feeling and appropriately address any situation.
  • Improved Productivity.
    It is not always a lack of effort or commitment that leads to procrastination and low production. Bad habits, unhelpful feelings, or negative thoughts often interrupt us. Having better self-awareness can help us remove these barriers to productivity.
  • Better Decision Making.
    When we are unaware of the why behind our thoughts and emotional responses, it causes our decision-making to be less than what it needs to be for the best outcomes. When we can better identify our thoughts and feelings, we improve our ability to identify goals and the possible impact of our choices.

I don’t think we can deny that being self-aware is beneficial. Do you know your level of self-awareness? Does it need to improve? Drop me a line; maybe we can work on it together!

Dr. Kimberly VanBuren

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