It is often easier to follow other people. It is often easier to copy attitudes, behaviors, emotions, and thought processes that we see in other people by observance or by everyday interaction. Observance and interaction with other people in various relationships and situations is good. But mindlessly following what they do is not. That is where self awareness comes into play.
Self awareness is both a psychological and philosophical term that means we have the ability to recognize who we are as an individual separate from other people. In other words, we are able to introspectively look at ourselves and have a clear perception of our own attitudes, thought processes, emotions, beliefs, knowledge, and areas of strength and weakness. When we are aware of ourselves, we are clear on what is inside of us as human beings, not just physically, but mentally, spiritually, social, and emotionally.
So often, we tend to focus on learning from other people. That is a sure way to failure. Because we are all created differently and uniquely, we are all made to do different things in different ways and some similar things in different ways. When we take the time to focus on ourselves, who we are, what our purpose is, what our core values are, and what difference we will make in the world, then we have come to a clear line of self awareness.
In many psychology courses, self awareness is likened to looking through a mirror. The mirror test is an experiment developed by psychologist, Gordon G. Gallup, Jr., in 1970. When we look in a mirror, who do we see? We see ourselves. Seeing ourselves as we are is the main indicator of self awareness in animals and in small children. When we begin to see ourselves and pay attention to what we are looking at, we will discover certain behaviors, attitudes, emotions, and beliefs that we should correct in our lives.
I think 1 Corinthians 13:12 is an appropriate verse for this subject. It reads: “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” When we focus on who we really are on the inside, coming face to face with ourselves, we are better able to make the necessary changes that we ought to make in life.
All of us can improve. All of us can get better. All of us our works in progress. Our self awareness is heightened the more we see our real selves, change the things that are not working, keep the things that are working, and commit to being the best person we can be inside and out.