Help The Kashmir Monitor sustain so that we continue to be editorially independent. Remember, your contributions, however small they may be, matter to us.

Self-awareness



Self-awareness is important since it involves knowledge of different characteristics of one’s self including the behaviour, how one feels, and what qualities does on have. It is a psychological state in which one knows his self, and how the person reacts in private and public. Self-awareness is something that is central to who a person is even though he or she may not be actively conscious to it all the time. Human beings are complex and diverse.  To become more self-aware, we should develop an understanding of ourselves in many areas.  Key areas for self-awareness include our personality traits, personal values, habits, emotions, and the psychological needs that drive our behaviours. The first thing to work on is our personality. We don’t normally change our personalities, values and needs based on what we learn about ourselves.  But, an understanding of our personalities can help us find situations in which we will thrive, and help us avoid situations in which we will experience too much stress.  For instance, if you are a highly introverted person, you are likely to experience more stress in a sales position than a highly extroverted person would.  So, if you are highly introverted, you should either learn skills to cope with the demands of a sales position that requires extravert-type behaviour patterns, or you should find a position that is more compatible with your personality.  Awareness of your personality helps you analyse such a decision. The second important aspect in self-awareness is values.  We should know and focus on our personal values.  For instance, if your first priority is “being there for your children” or “your relationship with God,” it’s very easy to lose sight of those priorities on a day-to-day, moment-by-moment basis.  During the workday, so many problems and opportunities arise that our lists of “things to do” can easily exceed the time we have to do them.  Since few (if any) of those things pertain to what we value most, it’s easy to spend too much time on lower priority activities.  When we focus on our values, we are more likely to accomplish what we consider most important. The third one is our habits, the behaviours that we repeat routinely and often automatically.  Although we would like to possess the habits that help us interact effectively with and manage others, we can probably all identify at least one of our habits that decreases our effectiveness.  For example, if you are a manager who never consults your staff before making decisions, that habit may interfere with your ability to build your staff members’ commitment to the decisions and their decision-making skills as well. Maslow and other scholars have identified a variety of psychological needs that drive our behaviours such as needs for esteem, affection, belongingness, achievement, self-actualization, power and control.  One of the advantages of knowing which needs exert the strongest influence on our own behaviours is the ability to understand how they affect our interpersonal relationships.  For instance, most of us have probably known people who have a high need for status.  They’re attracted to high status occupations, and they seek high status positions within their organizations.  Such people also want the things that symbolize their status.  They insist that they be shown respect, and they want privileges and perks that people of lower status can’t have.  Sometimes these people fight for things that others see as inconsequential–like a bigger office.  Needs cause motivation; and when needs aren’t satisfied, they can cause frustration, conflict and stress. Emotional self-awareness has become a hot topic of discussion recently because it’s one of the five facets of emotional intelligence.  Understanding your own feelings, what causes them, and how they impact your thoughts and actions is emotional self-awareness.