A Coaching Power Tool created by Rajesh Udhoji
(Executive Coach, INDIA)
We primarily grow as human beings by discovering new truths about ourselves and our reality. Steve Pavlina
Self Awareness has been the subject of debate for last couple of decades. Many researchers have studied the subject in detail and have tried to arrive at the importance of “Self Awareness” in psychological context as well as in the context of defining success. The question as to How successful an individual is? has always been fascinating and equally challenging.
The word “success” and “Self awareness” is generally used very casually without getting in to the real meaning of it. For example, in the childhood, when the child goes to the school, success means his / her scholastic rating. Most of the upbringing in school is based on “How better the child will score?” rather than “what knowledge the child can acquire?” The child therefore puts in all out efforts to score, more driven by the expectations and being ignorant of the importance of acquiring knowledge and building strong foundation for future.
As the child grows and gets manipulated by the experiences during the journey from adolescence to an adult, it tries to identify himself / herself with the environment around and the comparisons with the external world. The real struggle of life begins and the child finds himself / herself inadequate to meet the challenging needs since the conditioning was to look for time bound “success”. When you find yourself successful within the framework of your own expectations, you say you are “self aware”. So if the child scores good grades, is the child is “aware”? Does memorizing the subject and scoring good grades in the exam mean “self awareness?” Does, beating the competition and getting a large business for the organization you are working for mean “self awareness?”
Self Awareness Defined
A man is but the product of his thoughts; what he thinks, he becomes. Mahatma Gandhi
Self–‐awareness, is described as “the capacity to perceive the self in relatively objective terms whilst maintaining a sense of subjectivity” (Prigatano and Schacter 1991, 13). Therefore, self–‐ awareness involves an interaction between thoughts and feelings. It is this subjective or affective component that distinguishes self–‐awareness from self–‐knowledge. In addition to an appreciation of one’s present state (and how it differs from the pre–‐morbid state), self–‐ awareness involves the ability to determine one’s future state, or set realistic goals for the future.
Self–‐awareness may also be called ‘metacognition’, which refers to a person’s ability to be aware of his or her own cognitive functions, or ‘knowing about knowing’. Metacognitive functions include the ability to self–‐monitor and self–‐correct behavior, and are among the highest cognitive functions. Self–‐awareness is broader construct however, since it relates not only to awareness of cognitive abilities, but physical, social, and communicative functions as well.
Carl Jung has defined self awareness as “the state of perceived mind against the reality”
Because we don’t know what is really important to us, everything seems important. Because everything seems important, We have to do everything. Other people, unfortunately, see us as doing everything, so they expect us to do everything. Doing everything keeps us so busy, We don’t have time to think about, what is really important to us. Anonymous
Ignorance is the state of being ignorant, lack of knowledge, learning, information, etc. Ignorance is
- Lacking in knowledge or training; unlearned: an ignorant man.
- Lacking knowledge or information as to a particular subject or fact: ignorant of quantum physics.
- Uninformed; unaware.
- due to or showing lack of knowledge or training: an ignorant statement.
There are various research studies done on Ignorance. It is said that in your state of awakening, more than 90% of knowledge and information does not enter you or rather you are ignorant of it and only 10% is acknowledged. This 10% also is then reviewed and evaluated by you within an umbrella of your own self images, beliefs and values and are interpreted to suit once need of the time. We still feel that we are aware of all and everything happening around us.
How ignorant we are?
The question therefore is, can I acknowledge of me being ignorant and improve the area of consciousness in me? Since only then I will be in a position to discover myself and be in the moment, in the here and now (Ekhardt Tolle in the Power of Now)
Why is self-awareness so important?