9/15/17 - Awareness: The Good, the Bad, & Mostly the Bad
Awareness is a field of vision. Self-awareness is about having an accurate view of the self. While we all have blind spots, those with greater awareness simply have a clearer, more complete field of vision.
While blind spots are common, they are at odds with our ability to have complete understanding. What is more is that blind spots are often not just areas that we can’t see, but they are areas that we don’t know that we can’t see. These are silent killers of our awareness.
Anyone who has spent time in a public place might agree that we are often running low on self-awareness and I’d agree. In fact, when I look at what it would mean to be self-aware it makes perfect sense that it’s a rare quality. Think about it. By definition, it requires full vision. Inside of this complete view of the self would, then, naturally be a remarkable amount of information. There would be little stats, habits, and data points about ourselves. There would be positive attributes and tendencies. The kicker is, though, that this field of vision would also be forced to see the negative attributes, too. To be self-aware and to avoid our ugly qualities is an oxymoron.
People that smell horrible almost always don’t know they smell horrible. It’s a blind spot. This is true in the same way that people who avoid responsibility or have a glaring skill-set deficiency may not know it.
This is where self-awareness pays. Self-awareness is a valuable asset because, like in life, the more you can see the more your can take in, act upon, and learn from. Self-aware people are able to improve themselves, interact with others more accurately, and contribute more effectively to their communities. Being self-aware means being better equipped for life.
While that sounds all fine and well, we can’t just order up a couple cases of self-awareness on Amazon and tap into the goodness, can we? The hard thing about self-awareness is the inherent responsibility to see a more full picture of yourself. This means you need to know about the parts of you that don’t make the highlight reel. If you’re willing to do that last sentence, keep in mind that what I mean is much bigger than the awful things you know about. You’ll need to be willing to learn about parts of you that are worse than you imagine, too. To become more self-aware than you are now, you’ll, by definition, need to meet parts of you for the first time. Growing this field of vision that I’m talking about will most likely be limited by your ability to see the uncomfortable, negative aspects of self. I suggest you start there.