Self-awareness is a fundamental key to success and the attainment of human accomplishments in every area of life. This understanding should be as easy as breeze if we apply our abilities to thinking as right as we should. The reason is simple, If you do not know what you have been given by the Maker who made you, then how do you apply what you do not know? It is absolutely essential for you to know. Without it, you cannot be the purpose for which you are made. This is non-negotiable.
The majority of humans do accomplish less and live far less human than they should live because they are unaware, if not ignorant of who they are. They are more preoccupied by what happens to others. They focus on the external things and play without, in the absence of adequate knowledge of what is within. This is why people are certified and have gone through formal schools and educational systems but are not truly educated because the first and main duty of education, from its source, “educe” is to know what is within and develop same for service to mankind. Without this, man is less of himself.
How do I become self-aware is like asking “how do I know who I am?” It was Socrates who said “Man, know thyself,” and this admonition is one of the greatest that a man can offer to another man. It’s like the voice of the Infinite Intelligence to the lesser one. As noted earlier, let it be reiterated that it is imperative that man must stand and live according to his nature. And how can you do this without looking at yourself? How can you do this without finding yourself?
Socrates lived a life of endless self-questioning because of his belief that he knows nothing, and that he knows he knows nothing. This position of being foolish and claiming ignorance is the humble place to be in order to manifest and actualize the self. It takes the wise to play the fool. No foolish
man can act wise unless in error, and the wise learn from the foolishness of the foolish.
It is central to man to know himself because it should guide him to engage with others, because though humans are fundamentally the same everywhere, each person has their idiosyncrasies. Each person is wired differently. The fingerprints let us know this much. Yes, human emotions are not different and the human makeup, despite individual uniqueness, is basically the same, physically and otherwise. But how we train them makes the difference.
With regards to emotions and emotional energies, everyone can be angry or prone to anger, but what is responsible for triggering this emotion in one person is different from another person. The degree or extent it can get to or linger is also not the same. The same applies to every other emotion and mental faculties of man.
The strength of emotional intelligence bears two sides to one coin: self-awareness and the awareness of others. Having a good grasp of these means that you are, or you can become a great manager of human relationships. Where this is possible, peace and every success is a guarantee. But being aware of yourself precedes being aware of others. Permit me to add one very instructive scripture that fundamentally guides me in my relationships and the question of judgement and evaluation of the
action of others.
“Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.”
Carl Gustav Jung said that men are quick to judge others because they do not think. A man who acknowledges that he is a man, prone to errors, is careful how he judges the actions of other men. Accurate thinking and application of self-consciousness permit this. Such a man uses calm and silence more than words that are emotionally damaging.
Now, how do I know who I am? This is the thought that is central to finding oneself. When we embark on the journey of self consciousness, we are seeking to discover the person that we are, intrinsically. This journey is as
difficult as it is easy. What tools do I need to monitor myself and how do I use this tool?
Observation is one essential ability that is freely given to man but is grossly under-utilised. And when men would even use it, they use it more to monitor others than they use it to monitor themselves. That is what it means to be a busybody in the affairs of others. If you are busy and preoccupied with finding yourself, you will earn uncommon competence because you are focused on yourself. This is what helps you to see others clearly and better.
Do you observe how you react to events that tend towards anger? Do you react or respond? If you respond, it does mean that you are not hasty. It means that you do process information well enough before you answer. The benefit is that it may be difficult to get you easily angered.
Observe your thoughts. Observe your words which are the expressions of your thoughts. Observe your actions. Is there an alignment? Put a rein on your negative thoughts by using your imagination and visualisation that if such a negative vibration finds its way out of you through words and actions, the consequences will be grave.
During this process of thoughts observation, you must have serious and curious conversations with yourself. You must engage in introspection. You must reflect on events of the day. It is meditation.
You must search yourself consistently because you are who you are within yourself; not outside. Observe your beliefs. Sometimes your beliefs are contrary to your actions and you are unkind to yourself to accept that you may be playing double standards to yourself. You just may be hypocritical,
but you refuse to admit. Are you true to your professions? Ask yourself this always. It would help you to engage with yourself and question your actions.
Accepting who you have discovered yourself to be is great fortune. It should let you know how you want to go, whether you want to continue in that path, or you want to make a shift. This is especially important because of what you envision and make a life goal or purpose.
What actions can cripple your good ambitions? Those actions proceed from your thoughts. What actions can energise and help you manifest your good intentions? They also are fruit of your imagination. If your imaginations are vain and perhaps, what you think of is how you can be vengeful on others for the wrong they have done to you, you are trying to take upon yourself a role that is not yours.
Do you observe these things? If you do, you are walking in the realm of self-awareness. This knowledge equally requires action. Same applies to your gifts and talents. If you observe yourself well enough, you would arrive at the point of knowing them. Have you heard about the term SWOT?
SWOT means strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Your gifts and talents are potential strengths. If you know them and you begin to develop them through acquiring essential and otherwise skills, they will become relevant to you and your space because you will serve others with them.
Continuous service will earn you proficiency and excellence. Your strength then becomes something that creates opportunities for you. Your weakness on the other hand, limits you. It becomes a threat to you. This awareness helps you to focus on what is positive to you. Make conscious efforts to find your SWOT. It is the process of self-discovery and self awareness.
Sometimes you are hasty. You are human. That is a given. You can make mistakes. Do not beat yourself up. When you are caught in haste and you find yourself attempting to say or even uttering something wrong, you must learn to listen to yourself. Do you hear yourself? Do you hear or filter
your thoughts? These are critical because what you hear determines how you would act. Your actions become your habits and habits, character.
Every action has its rewards and consequences. Knowing these things is not rocket science. It is actually a no-brainer if we learn to observe ourselves always. It is one great part of emotional intelligence that should guide you to working with others and being at peace always.
Not everything matters. Not everything demands your attention. Knowing what matters is huge self awareness. It is great strength that should lead you to your life purpose.
Author: Joseph Ayeni