To understand why self-awareness is important, we must first understand what self-awareness is. And who better to learn this from than the self-awareness expert herself – Dr. Tasha Eurich?
Tasha is an organizational psychologist, researcher, and bestselling author of Insight: The Surprising Truth About How Others See Us, How We See Ourselves, and Why the Answers Matter More Than We Think.
And she’s the creator of The Insight Quiz – a 5-minute survey that lets you know how self-aware you are by quizzing you and a friend who knows you well.
Because according to Tasha, “our opinions of ourselves usually don’t give us the full story”.
So, What is Self-Awareness?
In a research study showing that 85% of people are self-unaware, Tasha and her team of researchers found there are two types of self-awareness: internal and external.
Internal self-awareness is the state of how we see our values, aspirations, passions, thoughts, strengths and weaknesses, behaviours, impact on others, and how we fit in our environment.
On the other hand, external self-awareness is the understanding of how other people see us with respect to the same elements mentioned above – values, behaviours, strengths and weaknesses, passions, etc.
And that’s why Tasha’s Insight Quiz requires you and a friend to answer 14 questions each to rate your self-awareness. Because as she says, “true self-awareness isn’t only about introspection.”
True self-awareness is a combination of how we see ourselves and how others see us.
And now that you understand what self-awareness is, let’s explore why self-awareness is important.
10 Reasons Why Self-Awareness is Important
The same research that found only 15% of people are self-aware also found self-awareness a catalyst for the following:
- Higher Job Satisfaction
- Improved relationships
- Personal control
- Social know-how
- Overall happiness
- Reduced Anxiety, Stress, and Depression
- Improved empathy skills
- Becoming more effective
- More consideration
- Better accepting of criticism
And these10 benefits of self-awareness are 10 of the many reasons why self-awareness is important.
So when you’re lucky enough to be part of the 15% of people that are self-aware, you’re able to enjoy these benefits of self-awareness.
1. Higher Job Satisfaction
A 2022 study by Virtual Vocations found that only 16% of employed workers are “very satisfied” with their job. 65% are looking for a new job and 47% are simply glad to be employed.
This shows that the majority of people are in a job they don’t like and the only reason they’re sticking it out is that they need the job. Yet, research proves that highly self-aware people exhibit higher job satisfaction levels.
So if you’re stuck in a job you hate, developing self-awareness can help you understand what you hate about your job and what type of job suits you best.
2. Better Relationships
When you’re self-aware, you know exactly what you want in a relationship. You understand what you bring to the table and the kind of partner you need.
And this not only works with romantic relationships but also work relationships, sibling relationships, and even friendships.
So if you’re struggling in your relationship and are willing to do anything to improve it or be in a more satisfying relationship, the solution is to become self-aware.
And based on how beneficial strong relationships are, this has to be the best reason why self-awareness is important. Don’t you agree?
3. High Personal Control
Personal Control is a psychological term referring to the perceived ability to significantly alter events.
So if you have high Personal Control, it means you believe you’re capable of changing the course of events. And it means you believe that you can decide what events happen to you; either good or bad.
On the other hand, having low Personal Control means you lack this belief in controlling events.
High Personal Control is better than Low Personal Control as it determines your capabilities of survival when faced with bad events.
It determines if:
a) You fall under the pressure of a bad event, or
b) You stand strong and change the bad into something good
And through self-awareness, you can have high Personal Control and become part of standing strong and focusing on the positives.
4. Social Control
How well do you regulate yourself with respect to group or societal rules, values and morals? And do you ever wish you conformed more to social norms, rules, and beliefs? At least the ones you believe in?
According to Tasha Eurich, self-aware people also possess social control. They are able to maintain a lifestyle that adheres to social norms and customs and they are more likely to fit into different groups in society.
So improving self-awareness will also give you more social control.
You May Also Like: 10 Essential Habits of Self-Aware People
5. Overall Happiness
Everyone wants to be happy. And many people are on a constant search for true happiness.
Some of us believe that a better job, spouse, house, car or family is the key to the happiness we seek. Not knowing that true happiness lies in the knowledge, acceptance, forgiveness and love of ourselves.
And knowledge of ourselves is the result of true self-awareness.
So to achieve overall happiness, we must first be self-aware. And this is another reason why self-awareness is important.
6. Reduced Anxiety, Stress, and Depression
There are many ways to reduce anxiety, stress and depression. One of these ways is through brain training – a concept well-taught to HSPs by Julie Bjelland, a Psychotherapist specializing in High Sensitivity.
Another way is what we’re talking about today – self-awareness.
You see, the many reasons why we suffer from anxiety, stress, and depression all stem from our views of ourselves and the world around us. And this is especially true if you are a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP).
So if we seek to reduce anxiety, stress, and depression, we must first embark on a self-awareness journey. Because when we have learned to be self-aware, we can overcome these three.
7. Improved Empathy Skills
All empaths are Highly Sensitive People, but not all highly sensitive people are empaths. So while many HSPs possess great empathy skills by default, not all do.
And that’s one of the reasons why self-awareness is important.
By being aware of how we see ourselves and how other people see us, we are better able to understand and sympathize with other people’s feelings. And this is what empathy is.
So if you’d like to show more empathy in your relationship, at work, community and generally in life, self-awareness will get you there.
Struggling to love yourself? Grab our 40-Day Guidebook on Self-Love
8. Becoming More Effective
Imagine being a more effective leader, parent, partner, sibling, friend and other titles you’ve acquired. How would that change your life?
As we mentioned earlier, Tasha Eurich and her research team found there are two types of self-awareness – internal and external.
Internal self-awareness is responsible for the majority of reasons on this list. It’s responsible for higher job satisfaction, improved relationships, happiness, personal and social control, and reduced anxiety, stress and depression.
Becoming more effective is the result of the latter – external happiness.
Because when you know how other people see you, it becomes easier to tweak your approach to leadership, parenting, and relationships in a way that satisfies others.
And this satisfaction makes you more effective at doing what you do, which is another great reason why self-awareness is important.
9. More Consideration
If you’re an HSP that struggles to take other people’s perspectives and prefers to rely on your own, there’s a chance you lack external self-awareness. And there’s a chance you lack the effectiveness we mentioned above.
This means that while you may be great at identifying exactly what your thoughts, emotions, actions, strengths, weaknesses and values are, you need to gain knowledge of what others see in regard to those same factors.
And this then means there’s a mismatch in what you see and what others see – a situation that could unknowingly complicate your life.
So to possess the ability to take other people’s perspectives and in turn improve all aspects of your life, consider learning how to develop true self-awareness.
10 Better Accepting of Criticism
As Highly Sensitive People (HSPs), we’re innately terrible at taking criticism. And that’s why it’s one of the questions in this free HSP quiz designed to help you know how you score on the sensitivity scale.
However, the fact that we’re genetically predisposed to the negative effects of criticism does not mean we are doomed. There are ways to help us learn how to better accept criticism and become immune to its negative effects.
And one of these ways is through self-awareness.
Because when we know and understand ourselves through our eyes and those of others, we become well-rounded.
And this balance improves our confidence in ourselves and allows us to take criticism in the way it’s intended – as a way of rectifying flaws and becoming better versions of ourselves.
So if you struggle to accept criticism, and many HSPs do, start with developing self-awareness.
In the End
Like with any list of things, these 10 reasons why self-awareness is important are not finite. There are many other reasons why you should embark on a journey to develop self-awareness.
And our aim in sharing these self-awareness benefits is to motivate you to develop self-awareness so you can learn to love yourself when you don’t know how.
Because increased self-love is another reason why self-awareness is important; even though it didn’t make the list.And we hope our 40-day guide to Self-Love can help you learn more about how to love yourself when you don’t know how.
with love and kindness,