Self-awareness and self-development: Two of the same?
Self-awareness and self-development are both parts of the same package. As we learn more about ourselves, we are slowly tearing back layers of mental barriers that we’ve attributed to the experience we call life.
Our limitations are our own making. Looking at those who we believe to be successful in society, they are extremely self-aware. They have developed a true (authentic or congruent) image of themselves: their strengths, weaknesses, areas of improvement and most of all who they can become (their true potential).
They go on to escape their comfort zone, take full advantage of opportunities. Consequently, their confidence grows over time, each small success furthering their ambition, drive, and aim but also affirming to their belief that it is possible to achieve their goals.
It could be that experiences also allow us to break down these mental blocks and barriers, further strengthening our ability to shake our belief system and re-build ourselves into the new image we have developed.
Could your self-awareness aid self-development?
You can fool yourself into thinking that you undoubtedly know yourself, but it would be naive to believe that you have a true understanding of what you want in life, not to mention the intent and cause of all your behaviour and actions.
Identifying what you want to achieve and how you’re going to get there is what I would describe as self-awareness. You are aware of your limitations, though you are not bound by them. You know that you have potential to grow. As we develop our awareness of our own wants, wishes, desires, we discover what it would take to make us feel fulfilled within our lives.
How can you further your understanding of yourself? Your own personality, your traits and who you are?
The 'Johari Window' remains an excellent tool for self-awareness and self-development, taught widely in Western culture within psychology and management and leadership (please see an example of Johari Window by searching the internet for images).
An exercise in self-development, each participant describes their own traits from those within a set of adjectives. Then, those around them (their most familiar peers, or others within the group setting) would describe them too, using the same set of adjectives.
The words used by both parties to describe the individual would be placed upon the “Arena”. Those that only the individual participant used to describe themselves would be placed within an area called “Façade”. The peers' observations that the participant did not recognise would be in the adjacent area called “Blind Spot”. Finally, there is the “Unknown”, which represents the characteristics, talents or abilities that nobody may be aware of. By doing this, the individual can better understand their relationship with themselves and others.
How do you think self-awareness affects your progression in your career, your relationships with others and your personal life? By being open to new experiences and embracing opportunities, it is possible to discover parts of yourself you never knew existed.
Working with a hypnotherapist can encourage you to change for the better, to help you realise your goals and dreams.
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About Stuart Downing
Stuart Downing, DMH DHyp, DNLP, EMDR Dip, MNACP, working from clinics in Warwickshire, Birmingham and Harley Street, London.
Extensive client experience of successfully treating addictions - drug, alcohol, gambling and the associated anxiety and stress which is often present.