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A Beginner's Guide to Self-Awareness

Self-awareness has 2 components

  • Internal self-awareness: the ability to introspect and recognize your authentic self;
  • External self-awareness: the ability to recognize how you fit in with the rest of the world. 

The 2 are independent, meaning you can have one without the other. To be truly, fully self-aware, though, you need both components.

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A Beginner's Guide to Self-Awareness

A Beginner's Guide to Self-Awareness

https://www.thecut.com/2017/10/how-to-be-more-self-aware.html

thecut.com

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Key Ideas

Self-awareness has 2 components

  • Internal self-awareness: the ability to introspect and recognize your authentic self;
  • External self-awareness: the ability to recognize how you fit in with the rest of the world. 

The 2 are independent, meaning you can have one without the other. To be truly, fully self-aware, though, you need both components.

The “bias blind spot"

It relates to our tendency to recognize cognitive biases in others, without noticing them in ourselves. In other words, our brain isn’t built to easily spot our own lack of self-awareness.  

Self-awareness and leadership

After examined the traits that contribute to the effectiveness of successful leaders, researchers concluded that a high level of self-awareness was the strongest predictor of success: when leaders are self-aware, they know how to hire subordinates who are strong in the areas where they themselves are weak.

7 pillars of self-knowledge for introspection

  • personality
  • values
  • passions
  • aspirations
  • strengths
  • weaknesses
  • the environment most conducive to your well-being. 

They act as a framework, because introspection is key to building internal self-awareness, but aimless wandering through your own psyche probably won’t get you very far. 

"Why" is the wrong question to ask

When introspecting, it’s common for people to ask “why”. But the question ‘why’ sucks us into an unproductive, paralyzed state. It gets us into this victim mentality.” And no matter how confident we are about the answer to “why,” we’re almost always wrong.

Accepting and integrating feedback

You need to get feedback from people you trust, people who want you to be successful but are also going to tell you the truth, to ensure you aren’t only getting one view. Getting a second, or third, opinion can help. In the end, though, it’s on you to synthesize all those opinions into a cohesive self-portrait — and then get acquainted with the result.

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Expand your emotional vocabulary

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Practice saying 'no' to yourself

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Self-Reliance

It's "a reliance on internal resources to provide life with coherence (meaning) and fulfillment” (Baumeister, 1987: 171)."

Ralph Waldo Emerson and Self-Reliance

Self-Reliance is the topic (and title) of an 1841 essay from US philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson.

He argues strongly that self-reliance, self-trust, and individualism, amongst other things, are ways that we can avoid the conformity imposed upon us.

Examples of Self-Reliance
  • Thinking independently: The ability to think autonomously goes hand in hand with trusting your own instinct.
  • Embracing your individuality.
  • Striving towards your own goals, bravely.

It’s important to remember that self-reliance is not about cutting yourself off from everybody.

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