Self-awareness is one of the most important abilities that a person can practice and develop. Being self-aware can change how you make decisions and how you approach situations. Self-awareness means that you have a clear perception of your strengths and weaknesses, beliefs and motivations, as well as your personality, thoughts, and emotions.

What is Self-awareness and Why Does It Matter?

Self-awareness is something you can teach yourself through practice and will continue to develop throughout your life. You are learning to become more conscious of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. You will also better understand what areas you may want to improve on.

How It Started

The topic has been studied immensely over the past century in philosophy and psychology. It began when people were told to focus their attention on themselves specifically focusing on assessing their behavior and associating it with their beliefs and inner principles.

Self-awareness will lead to self-control. One of the definitions of self-awareness is having the ability to observe our actions, emotions, and thoughts as they arise. People will practice becoming more self-aware to better their mental health and their ability to handle various situations in a manner that is true to who they are.

When Becoming Self-Aware

It is important to not judge yourself as you are digging deep to understand any behaviors that are not in line with your beliefs and inner principles. Only we can truly know what is happening inside ourselves as we become more aware of what is happening in our inner world. Accept that whatever is happening is only a part of being human – no one is perfect.

To start developing self-awareness, identify your principles and the values that are important to you. This will help you to identify if your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are in line with who you truly are and how you feel.

The Two Parts to Self-Awareness

Self-awareness can be split into two parts, internal states, and external states. Internal self-awareness is how we understand our emotions, reactions, passions, and our own values. External self-awareness is understanding how those around us see us. Individuals with high self-awareness have a balance between external and internal self-awareness.

Why Does Self-Awareness Matter?

Self-awareness is an important area for the foundation of our emotional intelligence. People who are self-aware have the ability to monitor their thoughts and emotions as they arise. This can lead to a better understanding of one’s self in order to be happy and at peace with who they are.

In a world with so many false expectations created by media and influencers, people (especially children at an early age) begin to criticize themselves and forget they are individually unique.

Practicing mindfulness also gives people the ability to have more control over their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. When becoming more self-aware you can identify negative thoughts and emotions.

When you identify negative thoughts and emotions, you can begin to work with them in a way that eliminates them. Or, you will understand that they are just feelings that should not control you. The same is true for behaviors that are not in line with your principles and values.


Self-awareness is also beneficial in your work life and job satisfaction. If you are in a management role, self-awareness can change you from being a manager to a leader. A leader that is self-aware tends to have a strong character that individuals will look up to. Coworkers will be more likely to trust you as you are able to lead them with authenticity and purpose. Being self-aware also gives you the ability to recognize and work on any areas which you believe need improvement. You are also able to understand what you require from others to make your team more successful.


Lastly, being self-aware can benefit your relationships with others. By being self-aware, you have better perspectives on different situations. This will not only change your emotions, but it will also affect the emotional quality of your relationships in a positive manner. When you are more self-aware, you are opening up to better opportunities in your life.

Additional Reading: What is ’emotional intelligence?’ How to improve your EQ

SAGE Counseling Omaha

At SAGE Counseling Omaha, our primary focus is on helping you to get the support and treatment that you need as you move forward. We all experience challenges that are often too difficult to work through on our own, and we are here to support you during these tough times.

When you connect with our compassionate counseling team, you can rest assured that you will receive the individualized care that you need. Contact us today. For approved clients, we are able to utilize telehealth services through our HIPAA-compliant virtual software.