Why It Is Important to Be Self-Aware

Reading time is 11 min

Being self-aware is one of your most effective tools in achieving your goals and separating yourself from the crowd.

Knowing who you are means understanding what makes you special and unique. What separates you from the crowd as the real individual that you are.

Being unique can take you a long way in life. But first, you must understand how you are different from the next person. And the next person after that.

On the surface, it can feel like you know yourself. However, there are many signs that show you might not know yourself as well as you think.

If you have ever said:

‘I shouldn’t have done that.’
‘Why did I do that?’
‘What was I thinking?’

All of which are common phrases muttered almost unknowingly. Then the likelihood is, you don’t know your mind as much as you might think.

Boost Your Strengths

If you find yourself saying any of these phrases on a regular basis, you are not alone. There are very few people who can say that they know themselves completely.

This puts a whole new meaning on the old saying ‘nobody knows you better than yourself’. If you don’t know yourself, then who does?

Why It Is Important to Be Self-Aware
“By admitting your inadequacies, you show that you’re self-aware enough to know your areas for improvement – and secure enough to be open about them.” – Adam Grant

Understanding who you are and what you want intertwines with the importance of being self-aware.

Being self-aware is one of your most effective tools in achieving your goals and separating yourself from the crowd.

What Does It Mean to Be Self-Aware?

One of the most common references to self-awareness in the media these days is concerning artificial intelligence. The debate over self-aware artificial intelligence is rife.

But what exactly does it mean to be self-aware?

Put simply, being self-aware is to understand your feelings, character, and personality.

This is a conscious feeling, a complete understanding of who you are and what makes you unique.

While the explanation is a simple one, the connotations of being self-aware are much more significant.

To be self-aware is to know who you are inside and out. It is to know what traits make you individual and to have a clear perception of your unique personality.

This also extends to understanding what other people are like.

When you have a fundamental understanding of yourself, you can identify traits that match yours, in other people.

The debate over whether artificial intelligence should be self-aware shows a crucial part of its importance.

Knowing yourself wholely leads the way to understanding what you want.

Then, putting the plans into motion to achieve it.

Being self-aware can influence every part of your life. From your daily routine to your future aspirations, and your attitude towards achieving them.

Understand Your Individuality

The importance of being self-aware starts with individuality and learning what makes you different to everyone else.

Getting lost in the crowd is easy when you don’t know what it is that makes you stand out. Click To Tweet

Every human is unique in their own way. If you don’t know what makes you unique, then you can never reach your full potential.

To feel unique is to feel special. Feeling unique also helps you to understand where you need to be to allow your greatest potential to shine through.

With a better understanding of yourself, through developed self-awareness, you begin to understand what your traits are. You change your perception of yourself.

Open the door to new experiences based on what your characteristics make you most capable of achieving.

Positive Traits vs Negative Traits

Being self-aware means knowing what your character is and a vital part of this is knowing what your traits are.

Every person’s character is made up of different traits. These are both negative traits and positive traits, as well as those that can be either, neutral traits.

Very often, a person will apply a selective focus on one side of their traits and not the other side. This delivers a warped or distorted vision of yourself.

If you focus on the positive traits, you ignore your weaknesses.

If you focus on the negative traits, you ignore your strengths.

Digging deeper into your unique personality reveals both sides of your traits.

A balanced focus looks at what you are best at and where changes or improvements may need to be made.

A person who looks at the negative traits might describe themselves as:


A person who looks at the positive traits might describe themselves as:


On the surface, these describe two very different people. However, there is no reason a single person can’t have both sets of traits.

Being self-aware is able about getting that new perspective. Appreciating yourself for the good traits and acknowledging the bad traits.

Being self-aware gives you an objective view of both sides. The reality of facing both sides is often challenging though.

Embrace Who You Are

Through being self-aware, you can embrace who you truly are. And not who you think you are.

If you embrace one side of your traits, then you’re limiting the person that you can be. If you embrace all of your traits, you start to glimpse what you are capable of.

Self-Aware Note
“Every human has four endowments – self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power to choose, to respond, to change.” – Stephen Covey

The importance of being self-aware is not limiting who can be. Despite the challenges and discomfort of accepting the negative with the positive traits, it is highly rewarding.

This understanding of who you are can help you to advance to where you want to be in life.

A crucial part of being self-aware of your traits means the ability to reflect on your achievements objectively. Click To Tweet

Ability to Reflect on Achievements

Being self-aware can help you to self-reflect on your achievements and challenges.

Equally, being self-reflecting can help you to build a healthy form of emotional self-awareness.

Reflecting on what you have done will help you to become more confident, have greater emotional intelligence, and provide clarity to your core values.

It allows you to look back and get a full picture of where you have overcome challenges, where you need to work harder, and what you need to change.

By knowing your character, traits, and personality, you can view self-reflection with an understanding, not a self-judgement.

Overly judging yourself can put a negative shadow on reflection. If you are perpetually focusing on ‘what I should have done’ then you are not focusing on ‘what I’m going to do’.

Being self-aware during reflection gives the practice of self-reflection a more massive benefit. Instead of focusing on what could have been, you are looking at what can be.

Ask the Important Questions

Having an openness and understanding of yourself and with yourself makes it easier to ask the bigger questions.

Being confused about your traits, or uncertain of your strengths and weakness, can hinder progress and makes the big questions worrying.

The important questions:
‘What do I want from life?’
‘What is my main goal?’
‘How can I achieve that goal?’

All can come with a shadow of pressure and worry. Self-awareness puts a new perspective on things and gives your mind clarity.

With self-awareness, you can take a step back and look at your traits. Then you can analyse your goal and see whether it is something that you can complete.

If you think of yourself as ‘overly timid and passive’, you’ll never make the move to pursue those goals.

Add in ‘creative and dedicated’, and you have traits that can allow you to succeed.

Staying focused, setting yourself boundaries, and keeping an open mind, are all important parts of being a self-aware individual.

Broaden Your Experiences

Self-awareness can help you to broaden your perspective on life experiences

Being self-aware lets, you take everything away from an experience, instead of limiting the benefit achieved by trying new things.

It also opens the door to new experiences, releasing those self-imposed limits that you put on your capability.

If you’re not happy at work, want to make changes to your life, or remove negativity, being self-aware will help.

By considering the good and bad of an experience, you can better develop who you are.

The take-aways from any experience can reveal what you want and how you need to alter your perspective to achieve it.

Build On Who You Are

Knowing who you are as a separate individual helps to empower you to try new things and build on your core strengths and weaknesses.

Why It Is Important to Be Self-Aware
“Every human has four endowments – self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power to choose, to respond, to change.” – Stephen Covey

If you know that you tend to be unappreciative, then you can actively start to appreciate more things.

And if you know that you are creative, then you can start to express your creativity.

Or if you know that you are unhappy, then you can take steps to add more positivity to your life.

Being unaware of these things can prevent you from growing and expanding within yourself. Self-awareness unlocks the door to self-improvement and a realisation that things can change.

Those changes that you’ve always wanted to make can be realised by understanding what they are and how you can achieve them.

Building on your strengths and knowing your weaknesses leads to becoming a better version of yourself.

It doesn’t eliminate the characteristics that make you an individual but harnesses their capability.

Know What You Want in Life

These changes to yourself through being self-aware can lead to knowing what you want in life. This is one of the most important reasons to be self-aware.

Being self-aware means being able to recognise your goals, understand them, and manage your response to them.

This is very closely tied to emotional intelligence and the benefit of being aware of your emotions and other people’s emotions.

Finding a single goal amongst the fog of emotions and worries is difficult.

If you can’t focus on one thing and deconstruct it, then knowing what you want becomes a never-ending challenge.

Being able to manage relationships, be socially aware, and understanding emotions can help you along the path to finding happiness.

Understanding your character and capabilities will better align yourself with what you want.

Managing the pressure of goal-setting, understanding fear of the unknown, and knowing what you want, are crucial steps towards achieving.

Achieve What You Want in Life

To control what you want out of life, you need to be self-aware and claim responsibility for your emotions.

If fear, regret, or carelessness control you, achieving what you want becomes that much harder.

The importance of being self-aware and achieving lies in the comprehensive understanding of yourself that self-awareness creates.

Going back to that old saying ‘nobody knows you better than yourself’, nobody can tell you what to do.

Succeeding, be it at work or any other part of your life, comes from knowing yourself.

If you want something, then you need to understand why before pursuing it. That’s where self-awareness can lead to success.

An understanding of your behaviour can deliver a crucial understanding of other’s behaviour.

This helps you to understand the desires of others better and then find your path in life.

Becoming Self-Aware

The importance of being self-aware is substantial. It links to who you are, what you want, and eventually, what you will achieve.

Why It Is Important to Be Self-Aware
“Self-awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life without any attachment to it being right or wrong, good or bad.” – Debbie Ford

Without the ability to be self-aware, you can be quick to lose your uniqueness. Focus on the bad, not the good. Not realising what your potential is capable of.

So, how do you become self-aware?

Take a moment to think about the traits that describe you.

I don’t mean what you like to do or what is happening in your life. Think about your core values. The good and the bad. The hard to face characteristics and your proudest ones.

Have a list of your most prominent traits? Use that to answer the most important question of all: Who are you?

If you’ve taken on board the negatives and positives of your traits, your answer will be a varied mix. They are what make you unique.

The fundamental importance of being self-aware lies in those exact traits.

They hold your potential and your most significant challenges. When you start to understand these traits better, you can begin to enjoy your uniqueness.

Being self-aware is something that needs working on. Take an objective view of yourself and follow a path that utilises the best of your personality.

Boost Your Strengths

The only path to happiness is embracing your uniqueness and putting it to good work.

Drop a comment below, and let me know your thoughts one being self-aware. Want to know yourself better? Find out here.

Write your comment
David Brett-Williams