Which one are you? One or the other? Both? Neither? I’ve come across a lot of people recently who don’t seem to be very self-aware. Maybe that’s just LA. Nevertheless, most people have some sort of self-conscious compartment. There’s definitely a difference between the two. Just because you’re self-conscious doesn’t mean you’re self-aware and vice versa. I wonder if it’s possible for a person to be self-aware if they are unimaginably self-conscious? Or maybe they are excruciatingly self-aware. I wonder where the two collide or if they are completely separate.
Google’s dictionary states self-awareness as having “conscious knowledge of one’s own character and feelings.” I believe I have knowledge of my own character, although it continues to shift. I’m not so sure how much knowledge I have of my own feelings though. Read below for a more in-depth look.
According to Mark Manson, there are three levels of self-awareness:
Basically what I understood from his article is that there are layers to self-awareness, the first being surface-level. Are you aware of your daily actions/distractions? Second being, are you aware of your feelings (and the distractions you use to escape those feelings). Third, are you aware of your “blind spots” essentially your subconscious feelings. I never realized self-awareness could go so deep, but it makes so much sense.
On the scale of self-awareness, how aware would you say you are? I think I’m only skin deep, or rather surface-level. I always thought I was painfully self-aware, but turns out that’s only pertaining to my every day actions/distractions. In fact, I actively avoid my emotions and subconscious feelings — subconscious feelings are unbelievably hard to address. This whole time I’ve been thinking I am incredibly self-aware and know everything about myself, what I’m doing and feeling at every moment. Actually, I believe I’m aware of those emotions, but I usually don’t want to deal with them. So maybe in reality my self-awareness goes to the second level, but I only deal with the first level and try to control that. This is a good mental exercise for me and could be for you too, especially if you’re confused about your life, where you’re going, who you are, who you’re supposed to be, whatever. Younger people tend to lack clarity compared to older people, that said, everyone’s journey is unique so it all depends on the person. Humans are never done learning so even if you are 50 years old and feel like you’ve got it together, it’s always good to check-in and reflect. We do routine check-ups on our bodies, cars, electronics, etc., yet we forget to check up on our mental health.
Google’s dictionary describes self-consciousness as “feeling undue awareness of oneself, one’s appearance, or one’s actions” with the synonyms: embarrassed, uncomfortable, uneasy, nervous. Self-awareness and self-consciousness are more similar after all, but self-consciousness is associated with negative feelings towards oneself. With self-awareness you realize certain traits, aspects, feelings are there, but you’re not feeling bad about them. With self-consciousness, not only are you aware, but you’re ashamed of whatever it is. As I get older, I feel I’ve become less self-conscious and more self-aware. I think being self-aware is a good thing, but also one can over-think their actions if they’re too self-aware (just my personal opinion). After digesting all of this, do you feel like you are one or the other or both? Or neither? Not sure if I’ve met someone who is neither, but if someone is, maybe they are delightfully unaware — literally.
^^ Blu Jay