Healing & Well-Being

What Is Self Awareness

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6
min
Date Published:
July 1, 2021

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Summary

Self-awareness is a form of self-reflection where we clearly examine our state of being, our feelings, and the appropriateness of actions or behavior in our daily life. The philosopher Socrates famously said, “To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.” 

Shakespeare also said, "To thine own self be true." 

When we become self-aware, we become mindful of our own emotions. You can do a daily check-in on your well-being throughout the day. Having a sense of self-awareness can help you in your daily life and social situations.

When we increase our level of self-awareness, we give ourselves honest feedback about our emotional state. Likewise, when we learn to practice mindfulness, we become more in touch with our emotions. This can help us live more virtuous lives, improve self-esteem, and help with decision-making.

The Scriptures have much to say on the subject of self-awareness. Corinthians 13:5 tells us to “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? — unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”

This article will discuss why you should build self-awareness and how having a better understanding of your emotional state can benefit your spiritual growth.

Why is self-awareness so important?

Proverbs 20:5 says, “the purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.” Developing self-awareness is vital toward building a relationship with ourselves and with God. 

There are three levels of self-awareness: 

  1. Awareness of our physical bodies (including the level of comfort or pain)
  2. Social self-awareness (how we act in relation to others) 
  3. Introspective self-awareness (where we reflect upon our actions). 

Learning to recognize and manage our own emotions can help develop our emotional intelligence. 

In our second year of life, humans become reflectively self-aware. Self-awareness is closely related to self-acceptance and emotional intelligence. Therefore, increasing your self-awareness will improve your emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence helps us navigate difficult periods in our lives and persist despite frustrations. We become better at regulating our emotions and tend to judge ourselves (and others) less harshly. As a result, our self-esteem will improve.

Greater self-knowledge can strengthen our relationship with Jesus Christ and help us follow His commands. These book summaries by prominent Christian writers can provide insight into how we can build self-knowledge as we grow in our faith.

Self-awareness helps us relate better with others and live virtuous lives. Scripture tells us in Peter 1:5-7, “For this reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.”

Knowledge of ourselves, our place in the world, and our relationship with others can help us become the person God intended us to be. We are all part of God’s ultimate design. We are all made in God’s image. Self-awareness can help us avoid judging ourselves too harshly while simultaneously helping us build loving relationships with ourselves, those around us, and God.

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What are the benefits of self-awareness?

There are numerous benefits of self-awareness. The more self-aware we are, the better we're able to regulate our emotions. When we understand our own strengths and weaknesses, we can adapt our behavior accordingly. 

Having self-knowledge and self-reflection helps us understand the impact of our actions on others. It teaches us to correct our behavior, show more kindness to others, and live a virtuous life. It can also teach us to become better at spiritual discernment in our daily lives. 

Christians understand that we are all sinners, according to the Scriptures. 

Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” This piece of Scripture is one of the key statements in the New Testament. It explains that the concept of salvation by faith alone can be achieved through the grace of God. Thus, for Christians, acknowledging that we are all sinners in need of salvation is a key part of self-awareness.

Self-knowledge and acknowledging our sins can bring us closer to Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. It can also give us a greater sense of personal focus and serenity about our place in the world.

Self-awareness gives us the potential to become closer to God and become the best versions of ourselves, as God intended. 

When you build self-awareness, you will have higher levels of creativity and self-esteem, along with greater self-acceptance. Self-aware people are more likely to become better leaders, both in the workplace and in a spiritual sense. They’re also more likely to instill trust and cooperation in followers.

The goal of self-awareness should be greater self-acceptance and less harsh self-judgment. 

Jesus says, in Matthew 7:1-2, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

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Ways to increase self-awareness

There are many ways to increase your self-awareness. You can start by practicing mindfulness in your daily prayers. Consider learning how to meditate and allocate some time in your busy day for this. There are tons of Bible meditations that can provide guidance.

Many Christians start their journey of self-knowledge with daily reflections and journaling. In this way, we can ponder on our relationships with ourselves and with God. When we work on our internal self-awareness, we can awaken a Christ-consciousness within and become closer to God.

Conducting a self-assessment and learning to practice mindfulness can help us live more virtuous lives.

Woman sitting in sand dunes in quiet reflection.


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Know Yourself

Self-awareness or self-consciousness is closely related to emotional intelligence. We need to consider it a journey, not a destination. 

Your self-awareness skills should include developing a Christ-consciousness. Our self-concept should be closely tied to improving our relationship with Jesus Christ. This can help us live a more virtuous life and treat other human beings as we expect to be treated.

Greater self-awareness can teach us to regulate our emotions better, manage our moods, and live happier lives. We will also have greater self-confidence.

It’s important to remember when reflecting upon our actions that we don’t shouldn’t judge ourselves too harshly. We are all made in God’s image. He wants us to accept ourselves as we are — imperfect and full of sin but capable of repentance and redemption.

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