5 min readPublished On: May 2, 2023Categories: Self-Awareness

As a life coach, I’ve seen first-hand the transformative power of self-awareness in my clients’ lives. Over time, I’ve watched them emerge lighter and happier as they become more in-tune with themselves, their values and beliefs, and everything which is going on around them.  I’ve also been through the transformative process myself; take me back 8-10 years or so and I wouldn’t recognise myself.

Once, stuck in my head, stressed and irritable I thought it was just normal to feel this way.  I didn’t really even consider myself, or knew that ‘self’ existed, which is so weird now that I look back. I had no idea that I could control what I was thinking or why I was feeling certain ways.  I just put my head down and got on with it.  

Self-awareness is the main component of emotional intelligence.  It gives you the ability to understand yourself; your thoughts, feelings, how you behave and how this behaviour impacts you and those around you. It’s the ability to see yourself from the eyes of others.  People with strong self-awareness are honest with themselves, and others. This increased level of self-knowledge leads to greater happiness, fulfilment and stronger relationships.

When we are more self-aware we are better at understanding ourselves. We are then able to identify changes we want to make and recognise our strengths so we can build on them. Self-awareness is often a first step to goal setting. This includes admitting when you don’t have the answer and owning up to mistakes

The beauty of increasing self-awareness is that you can’t go back.  Once you have it, it’s there to stay and it’s a beautiful thing, it will have many positive effects on every aspect of your life

Here are 10 ways being self-aware can improve your life and relationships.

1. You Understand Your Emotions

Being self-aware means you are in tune with your emotions. You understand what triggers certain emotions and how to manage them. For example, if you have a tendency to feel upset or angry when someone criticises you, being self-aware allows you to recognise that trigger and find healthy ways to respond. This can prevent unnecessary conflict and improve your relationships.

2. You Are More Confident

Self-awareness helps you understand your strengths and weaknesses. Knowing your strengths gives you confidence in your abilities, while acknowledging your weaknesses helps you identify areas where you can improve. This awareness can help you take on new challenges with confidence and improve your self-esteem.  Being self-aware also separates the real from the perceived. If you truly understand what’s real, instead of believing false things about yourself (limiting beliefs), you will have a much better chance at being confident.

3. You Communicate More Effectively

When you are self-aware, you are better able to express yourself and communicate your thoughts and feelings. You can clearly articulate your needs and boundaries, which can prevent misunderstandings and conflicts in your relationships. To be a good communicator, you also need to be aware of how much or how little you are listening. Good self-awareness means knowing when you’re doing too much talking. Effective communication is a cornerstone of healthy relationships.

4. You Have Better Relationships

Self-awareness can improve your relationships in many ways. For example, when you understand your emotions, you can communicate them effectively to your partner. This can help build intimacy and trust in your relationship. Self-awareness also allows you to be more empathetic and understanding towards others, which can strengthen your relationships.

5. You Make Better Decisions

Being self-aware helps you make better decisions because you understand your values and priorities. You can weigh the pros and cons of a decision and make choices that align with your goals and values. It’s about being true to yourself and making the right decisions for you. This can lead to greater fulfilment and satisfaction in your life.

6. You Are More Resilient

Self-awareness helps you develop resilience because you are better able to cope with challenges and setbacks. When you understand your emotions and how to regulate them, you can bounce back from difficult situations more easily. This can help you overcome obstacles and achieve your goals.

7. You Have Better Boundaries

Self-awareness helps you understand your boundaries and communicate them effectively to others. This can prevent you from being taken advantage of and can help you maintain healthy relationships. When you have clear boundaries, you can also avoid overcommitting and burnout.

8. You Are More Open-Minded

Self-awareness helps you see things from different perspectives and be more open-minded. When you understand your biases and beliefs, you can challenge them and be more receptive to new ideas and experiences. This can lead to personal growth and greater creativity.

9. You Are More Authentic

When you are self-aware, you are more authentic because you understand your values, beliefs, and priorities. You are able to express yourself honestly and authentically, which can improve your relationships and bring you closer to others who share your values.  

10. You Are Happier

Finally, being self-aware can lead to greater happiness and fulfilment in your life. When you understand yourself and your needs, you can make choices that align with your goals and values. This can lead to greater satisfaction and a sense of purpose in your life.

So you can see, there are huge benefits for being self-aware. By understanding your thoughts, feelings, actions and behaviours you can improve your life and relationships in many ways.  

Self-awareness is an incredibly powerful tool but becoming self-aware is not an overnight fix, nor is it a destination.  It’s a journey of self-discovery and it will take time and commitment.  Start by listening to what you tell yourself so you can assess your self-talk, keep a journal on thoughts and feelings, meditate, practice mindfulness, get out in nature (without distraction).  Sit quietly with yourself, trying to understand your thoughts, feelings, emotions and behaviours. Take one day at a time and remember what Plutarch said:

‘What we change inwardly will change outer reality.’