5 Signs You Lack Self-Awareness or Have Low Self-Awareness!
You may not be as self-aware as you think you are!
In almost all aspects of our lives, from dating to work to business, we must be self-aware to navigate our relationships successfully. And to do so, it is crucial to assess your level of self-awareness. Because if you lack self-awareness or are low on self-awareness, it is unlikely that you will have much emotional maturity to deal with relationships at work or in your personal life. And the risks of dealing with a person who lacks self-awareness and is low on emotional maturity should be obvious enough.
What is self-awareness?
Self-awareness involves being in touch with your innermost feelings, behaviours, thoughts and actions. Self-awareness is your ability to understand yourself by being aware of your personality traits like strengths, weaknesses, conflicts, dissonances, and emotions that do not align with your fundamental self. And once you are aware of yourself, you can easily regulate your emotions and become more effective as an individual.
Why is it important to be self-aware?
Self-awareness is an important skill that helps you better understand your solidity and shortcomings and allows you to work upon them, thus making you a better human and an effective leader. It will help you to better react to people and situations and consequently help you make better decisions. High self-awareness enhances your ability to bring about positive changes in your life and helps you become aware of your relationships with yourself.
A self-aware person is more tuned to forge meaningful relationships at work and in personal life. When you are self-aware, you are fully conscious of your strengths and weaknesses and can apply this knowledge to set meaningful goals for yourself, be an effective executive and overcome your assumptions and biases. Being self-aware will also help you regulate your emotions and thoughts- a person who can regulate their emotions can also well regulate the emotions of others. Therefore, self-awareness leads to high emotional intelligence, and it ultimately increases your chances of understanding and getting what you want or need in life.
Unfortunately, being self-aware is more challenging than it sounds. In my experience, 90% of people label themselves as self-aware, but, in reality, only 5% of people actually are. So why such a huge gap? Our culture, biases and emotions are more powerful forces than we think and are a major cause of low self-awareness in people. Also, we as humans are wired to lack self-awareness, and it is unfortunate to see many people leading a confused life and doing nothing about it! And those people who lack self-awareness are the ones who are emotionally weak personalities.
Having said so, being self-aware is a journey that you take. You can’t just get up one day and expect to become self-aware. But it is a skill you can develop, and understanding what it looks like is extremely important.
How to become self-aware?
Self-awareness is your ability to monitor and regulate your emotions, thoughts and actions. And to become self-aware, you need to closely monitor and keep a tap on your feelings, thoughts and actions. You need to understand your triggers, frustrations and motivators. Here are a few tips to become self-aware:
- Keep an open mind and be in touch with your innermost feelings, conflicts, desires and actions. It will help you regulate your emotions and make you understand others’ emotions as well.
- Be mindful of your strengths, resilience and weaknesses. Once you become conscious of your strengths and weaknesses and work from that space, you become more cognizant of your actions and decisions.
- Know your emotional triggers and vulnerabilities. Once you know your emotions, you are less likely to deny or repress them. In fact, you become more mindful of processing them before you communicate with others.
- Be open to feedback. When you are open to honest feedback from others, you realize a lot of things you never knew about yourself. Seeking constructive feedback from others helps you break your own biases, and misconceptions and open up blind spots you have towards yourself.
- Consider the impact of your actions on others. Do not just act without thinking and only focus on your own needs. When you are considerate, compassionate and empathetic about others, you become more self-aware of your inner feelings as well. Showing empathy and compassion to others makes you sensitive towards others and makes you more self-aware.
- Trust your intuition. As you start trusting your intuitions, you rely more on your judgements and inner feelings. As a result, you understand yourself more and become more self-aware.
- Spend time with yourself. When you start spending more time with yourself, you reflect more often. You start processing your emotions, conflicts, dilemmas and circumstances. And in the process, you start healing your wounded inner child and become more self-aware.
How to know if I am self-aware?
When you are self-aware you are clearly able to distinguish, notice and name your feelings, thoughts and actions. A self-aware person essentially can answer these three questions:
- What am I thinking?
- What am I feeling?
- What am I doing?
Once you clearly can distinguish between the above three, you work towards achieving a consonance so that there is no incongruity among the three. An important sign of self-aware people is that they are emotionally mature individuals, not in conflict with themselves and with others, and are effective people leaders. These people set good examples in life and at work situations.
What are the signs of a self-aware person?
There are a few habits and practices that indicate that a person is self-aware such as:
- They are emotionally mature individuals
- They are open to feedback and seek them more often.
- They are easy to work with and are supportive rather than being a bully.
- They are inherent listeners and listen more than they talk.
- They are always working on opening their blind spots.
- They spend some quality alone me-time daily as a habit.
- They accept their mistakes and learn from them.
- They are aware of their relationship with themselves.
- They know their strengths and weaknesses pretty well.
- They are always working towards breaking their cognitive biases.
- They are respectful of other people’s opinions and perspectives.
- They can handle criticism constructively and without being defensive.
5 Signs that you lack self-awareness or have low self-awareness
You may not be as self-aware as you think you are. There are a couple of typical signs that can help you decide if you are a very self-aware person or if it is something you need to work on. I think this is something that everybody, including you, can work upon. So, as you go through the signs that I have listed down to indicate you lack self-awareness and hint that you are low on self-awareness, ask yourself if any of these things typically happen to you?
- You are constantly defensive
Years ago, this was something I was struggling with all the time. For example, I always defended myself when people gave me feedback or critiqued me. And instead of hearing what they were really trying to say, all I heard was that they were really attacking me. And instead, I used to get defensive and say: you know you are crazy and don’t understand my situation. I am fine, and everything is good. I also used to shut people down when they questioned my decisions or beliefs before even listening to them. I was very defensive about everything. And that was because I lacked self-awareness.
Many people disagree with your point of view, but not even hearing them out and where they are coming from is a sign you lack self-awareness. So, if you find that you constantly have to defend yourself and your position, that might be because you are not very self-aware.
2. You are constantly micromanaging
Another good example of people who lack self-awareness is people who are constantly micromanaging. This example is typically more evident when you are a manager or a leader, or someone responsible for other people and when you are constantly micromanaging your team. So, if you are someone constantly hovering over your team, asking them what they are doing, what is going on, what they are working on and for many hours they are working on, it is a strong trait that you lack self-awareness. If you are constantly feeling that you are somebody else’s shadow, then you as a manager or a leader, might not be that self-aware, and it is something you need to work on.
3. You have a reputation for being a bully
Has anyone ever labelled you as a bully? Have you eavesdropped on people talking about you as: hey, that man or woman is such a bully. They may not say it on your face, but they are talking about you being a bully at your back. It means you have a reputation for being overpowering, a bully or steam roller, and that can be another good indicator that you might lack self-awareness or have low self-awareness.
Apart from this, if you find it difficult to empathize with others, it is a good indication that you are low on self-awareness. It is because empathy emanates from employing your own experiences and feelings to comprehend where others are coming from, it may be hard to feel empathy if you lack self-awareness. And self-awareness is an important skill you need to practice.
4. You are constantly making excuses
Do you find that you are constantly in a position of not just being defensive but of having to explain why something did not go according to the plan? I have certainly worked with people like this, In fact, I have likely been this person myself during the course of my career when I had jobs working for others, where people will ask me for stuff, and I would say: oh, you know, I could not do it as this happened or that happened, or the dog ate my homework. I would come up with the most typical and classic excuses. So, if you are in a habit of constantly making excuses for your failures or shortcomings, like why things are not getting done or why the quality of work is always substandard, or why your work is running late, you lack self-awareness.
5. You are not aware of your emotions
If you are someone, who is not fully aware of your own feeling, thoughts and actions, you will find it difficult to regulate your emotions and the emotions of others too. It indicates you have low emotional intelligence, and people who are low on emotional intelligence are low on self-awareness. So, if you find it difficult to comprehend and describe your feelings and emotions to other people, it may be a sign that you lack self-awareness.
Okay, so now many of you might say: oh, it never really happens to me. Be honest with yourselves and admit if that has really ever happened to you. It happened to me plenty of times, and I am sure it might have happened to you as well. And if it has, I think you will greatly benefit from this idea of incorporating more self-awareness into your daily lives. The most important thing is, to be honest with yourself. That way, you can practice self-awareness, work on your weaknesses and become a better person.
So, do you think you are ready to lead yourself and embark on a journey to be more self-aware?
Hope you liked this article on signs you lack self-awareness. If you find this post meaningful, share this article with your friends and family. Also, check out our YouTube Studio for some inspiring and life-changing videos!