Who Am I? – why is self awareness so important

Joharis Window

We usually identify our existence with our position in society, our friends and family, the needs and desires of ourselves, and the emotional and intellectual expressions of our mind. For example: We might say ‘I am father, a husband and a brother’. We tend to go through life just existing, we rarely take the time to contemplate the real nature of our existence; to ask the question, “Who am I?”

Self-awareness is about learning to better understand why you feel what you feel and why you behave in a particular way, it is about understanding who you are and what makes you tick. Once you begin to understand this concept you then have the opportunity and freedom to change things about yourself enabling you to create a personal and professional relationships that you want. It is not possible to change and become self-accepting if you don’t know who you are. Having clarity about who you are and what you want can be empowering, giving you the confidence to make changes.

Having a clear understanding of your thought and behaviour patterns helps you understand other people. This ability to empathise facilitates better personal and professional relationships.

Self-awareness is important because when we have a better understanding of ourselves, we are able to experience ourselves as unique and separate individuals. We are then empowered to make changes and to build on our areas of strength as well as identify areas where we would like to make improvements. Self-awareness is often a first step to goal setting. Self-awareness is being conscious of what you’re good at while acknowledging what you still have yet to learn.

One of the best ways of getting people to understand themselves is by using Insights Discovery, the first workshop session is labelled ‘Beginning the Journey’ and that’s what it is. It is a journey of self-discovery. By using the Jungian psychology of preferences introversion, extroversion, thinking and feeling –the Insights Discovery model using four colour energies – Fiery red, Sunshine Yellow, Earth green and Cool blue, it enable people to really understand themselves. Insights allows you to understand their strengths, weaknesses and blindspots.

In today’s world, it is important to understand who we are, understand our strengths, weaknesses and probably most importantly our blind spots.  Whether you see your blind spots or not, other people clearly see them, if you try to hide your weaknesses you may end up highlighting them and creating a perception of lack of self-awareness. By generating an Insights Discovery profile, learning about yourself your weaknesses and blind spots enables you to be conscious of them and develop yourself.

The Johari Window is a really useful tool in self- awareness and discovery, it can be looked at from many angles and provides four basic forms of the Self (the Known, Hidden, Blind, and Unknown Self).

The Known Self is what you and others see in you. This is the part that you are able to discuss freely with others. Most of the time you agree with this view you have and others have of you.

The Hidden Self is what you see in yourself but others don’t. In this part you hide things that are very private about yourself. You do not want this information to be disclosed for the reason of protection. It could also be that you may be ashamed of these areas and feel a vulnerability to having your faults and weaknesses exposed. This area equally applies to your good qualities that you don’t want to advertise to the world due to modesty.

The Blind Self is what you don’t see in yourself but others see in you. You might see yourself as an open-minded person when, in reality, people around you don’t agree. This area also works the other way. You might see yourself as a “dumb” person while others might consider you incredibly bright. Sometimes those around you might not tell you what they see because they fear offending you. It is in this area that people sometimes detect that what you say and what you do don’t match and sometimes body-language shows this mismatch.

The Unknown Self is the self that you cannot see, others can’t see it either. In this category there might be good and bad things that are out of the awareness of others and you. This might refer to untapped potential talents and skills that have yet to be explored by you, your friends, colleagues or managers.

To learn more about how Insights Discovery can help you, your team or organisation develop themselves or their teams contact us to see how we can help you. We offer workshops half day, full day or two days. Contact us today on 023 92 160840 or 07811 946315.

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