Self Awareness

By Melissa Korkes - 12/05/2023


How well do you know yourself?

Who are the people you know the best? Your spouse? Your best friend? Your sister?

As you think about your most intimate relationships, do you think about the relationship you have with yourself? Chances are, you don’t. The level of emotional self-awareness necessary to truly know, and love, yourself is among our most difficult journeys.

Yet, it is so easy to have everyone else in our lives “figured out.” We know why they do what they do, we read their minds, and know what buttons (not) to press.

But how well do you have yourself figured out? Do you know why you feel what you feel or do what you do?

Emotional self-awareness is a remarkable and rare skill. Yet it is foundational to healthy relationships and to our own happiness.

According to Oxford Language, self-awareness is defined as the “conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires.” Simply put, those who are highly self-aware can interpret their actions, feelings, and thoughts objectively.

The tricky thing about emotional self-awareness is that most of us are on autopilot and don’t even know it. In response to early life experiences we absorb and lock in our thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors without much consideration. That means developing emotional self-awareness starts with a commitment to doing the tough inner work. And that means meeting the protective parts of us that so masterfully use distractions to keep us out of emotional pain.

Once we slow down enough to reflect and acknowledge the multitude of detours we take in a day to avoid having to look inward, we can begin to recognize the ways we are blocking access to our own emotional self-awareness.

It is only through stillness that clarity is possible.

If you can brave this part, you can build a sound foundation to design your life around what brings you the most meaning and purpose in life. You can look at yourself with honesty and not fear what looks back at you. You can only be capable of truly extending empathy and building deep intimacy with others when you have learned to love what you once feared in yourself.

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