On the importance of self awareness

Happy 2023 everyone! I hope you won’t get trapped into the deceiving business of “new year new me” narrative, setting unrealistic goals with weight loss and killing at the gym every day, reading 100 books or working unsocial hours to get promoted. I’m back with another of my unsolicited opinion posts (which will be more frequent going forward, stay tuned) on self awareness or awareness in general. DISCLAIMER: This is an opinion article, it’s based on my personal experience. Feel free to disagree but please, don’t take it personally as it IS NOT a personal attack on anyone. Everyone has personal circumstances and come from different life situations. I also have mine and this is a space I created to share it. Enjoy reading

I believe that awareness, as the ability to read themselves and emotional intelligence, the ability to read the situation are the most underrated skills of the century. The ability to be objective, within reason because we’re all human beings, see your circumstances and those of others from a third person perspective and don’t use your personal opinions to evaluate others don’t come naturally. We’re all clouded and our judgement is affected by society stereotypes, feelings, emotions, experience and personal circumstances. It takes practice and time to become an observer. In fact, emotional intelligence is a skill.

My background in science and the years I spent in school learning and mastering the scientific method turned in handy. As a scientist, I need to plan experiments to prove/disprove hypotheses. All my findings, conclusions and statements usually comes with solid data to back them up. This isn’t only me, this is the entire world of science. With time and practice, I learned how to translate and apply this methodic way to read myself and my behaviour (as well as those of others). Why did I react to that situation? What did that specific situation teach me? Why did that person behave or react that way? What’s their personal situation? What’s my personal situation? Awareness isn’t only about yourself. It’s about you, your assumptions, how you interact with others and the assumptions of others. Everyone has problems, everyone has personal situations. But not everyone deals with them in the same way. Similarly as the same problem can have different solutions, and we can answer the same question differently by delivering the same message.

Absolutely anybody: you are so confident, you have it all together.

Me: Just because I carry it so well, it doesn’t mean I don’t have problems!

If you aren’t a scientist there’s nothing to worry about. Learning and mastering my mental health problems had probably the greatest impact on developing my high sense of awareness. I have a love/hate relationship with my mental health problems. I hate feeling different, misunderstood, like I don’t belong to anything. I hate it for affecting my ability to work and disrupting my personal life on a daily basis. I hate my social anxiety and how badly affects my personal relationships. But there’s something that I’ve learnt from my journey of healing childhood/teens trauma and unlearning old patterns and behaviours: seeing myself as an observer of my own life. I’m not my thoughts and my feelings, I’m the person who observes those thoughts and feelings. It took me years and years of therapy, meditation, antidepressants and reversing the script of my life to be able to see myself and the observer.

I’m not my thoughts, I’m the person who observes those thoughts.

Calm app
Baumaris Castle

The idea behind this post started from a conversation I had with my friend Claryn, a professional coach for women. She asked what motivates people to go into therapy or hire a coach for professional/personal development. I offered my personal opinion and said that the first step is awareness and the willingness to change. Acknowledging your blind spots and looking for professional help to overcome and solve your problems is something that comes from the inside. If a person lives in denial, thinking that there’s nothing wrong with them, that everyone/everything else is the problem but themselves, then there’s no therapy or coaching that can help.

Difference between ego and higher self

I’m not always able to recognise my unhelpful thinking and behaviour but I’m glad I have friends in life and mentors at work that provide feedback, hold me accountable and challenge my way of doing on a daily basis. I’ve been embracing this journey of transformation from years and it’s a never ending learning task. It’s personal development and growth never stops because every stage of life requires a different version of yourself. I appreciate all their input and the time they take to sit down with me and help me recognise my issue. It’s something I don’t take for granted. And to finish off: if I can give a piece of advice based on my personal experience: the best new year resolution you can make for 2023 is to start therapy right now, even if you don’t have mental health problems. You’ll be surprised about the magic of unlocking your full potential just because you know who you are and start shaping your own identity.

To conclude this article, I want to share some podcasts, books, articles that helped me become the best version of myself

Career confessions by Andrea Martin

Gal chat with engineer gals by Maritza Bravo

Diary of a CEO by Steven Bartlett

All Along you were blooming by Morgan Nichols

Understanding locus of control

The physics of Sorrow by Georgi Gospodinov

Instagram account which is a source of daily inspiration Morgan Nichols, My easy therapy and therapy with Maggie lpc

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