What does self awareness mean?
For way too many it is the Ark of the Covenant. The Crown Jewels. The Holy Grail. It is that unobtainable thing that they’re simply left to marvel over, but never possess.
What they might not realize is that it’s not a mythical concept. It’s something that everyone can have, and use as a tool to improve their mental health.
Just like with Alcoholics Anonymous, the first step to recovering from a negative mental health episode, is to admit you are unwell. If you cannot recognize when you’re unstable, the likelihood of getting effective, long-lasting treatment is relatively low.
That is why self-awareness is so important. When we’re depressed or manic, we need to take a daily emotional inventory of our feelings, and reflect on them.
Sometimes, we’re so inside our own heads that we can’t even see that we have a problem.
That’s why I was so glad that Christina agreed to write this post for me. I love her work on mental health and relationships, so I’m excited to share this with you.
Keep reading to find out how being a little more self aware can improve your relationships with those close to you.
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What’s self awareness?
There is a saying that goes something like this: “If you don’t love yourself, you can’t possibly love another.”
I am a firm believer in this quote! But how do we love ourselves?
Through the process of self awareness, we find out:
- what makes us behave the way we do
- why we choose to be with people who are not good for us
- what limiting beliefs we have that stop us from having what we want, need and deserve.
By getting to know ourselves, we cultivate self esteem, self love and self empowerment. As a result, we begin to believe we can achieve our deepest desires and dreams. In every situation.
We are always learning how to relate to others, so relationships are an area that basically covers our everyday life. How we relate to ourselves is the foundation of how we will relate to everyone else, professionally and personally. So self awareness is an extremely important journey that only the brave dare to explore!
It takes courage to look at yourself in the mirror, accept your shortcomings and decide to work on them. It’s not for everyone. If you are a person who is interested in self improvement, you are in the right place. My own journey of self discovery is what brought me to my profession of relationship coaching and I absolutely love it!
However, due to some hurdles along the way, it took me forever to finally take the action I needed to set up my coaching business. My greatest learning experiences and challenges have resulted from my relationships.
My romantic relationships were mostly toxic. Through self discovery, I learned how to honor myself and how to choose people who were good for me rather than bad. But I had to do a little soul searching before I could take the action.
I had to get to know myself. Create intimacy by spending time alone working on myself.
So how does this process of learning more about ourselves work?
How do you learn more yourself in relationship coaching?
- By discussing/talking and searching for your limiting beliefs.
- Working on removing those limiting beliefs.
- Finding out what is underneath your limitations. Is this really you? Who is the real you? Keep in mind this can be an ongoing journey of gaining self awareness! There is no destination.
- Finding out your needs and wants and how to get them. When you know your needs and wants, you honor yourself and am more authentic with yourself and others. This provides for more authentic and fulfilling relationships.
- When you focus on yourself, you get to find out what you really like doing, hobbies, careers, self care/self love practices. It’s answering questions such as: What does self love & self care mean to you? What does healthy fun look like for you?
- Believing that you can have the type of relationships you want that are easygoing, fun, loving, fulfilling, caring, healthy and stable.
- Finding out who you are outside your relationships.
- Knowing that you are enough!
- You learn to set boundaries.
Remember that the most important relationship you have is with yourself and it affects all other relationships. Through relationship coaching you can better understand yourself and learn skills and strategies that enable you to improve how you relate to yourself and others.
What strategies do you need to learn?
You also learn strategies and tools that help you deal with various difficult people in your life that you may not be able to avoid. Family members, for instance, are often where the most adversity lies for a lot of people.
Knowing our childhood wounds is a great place to start. Bringing repressed feelings to the surface so they may be released is a great way to heal yourself so that you don’t transfer insecurities onto your partner. This is something that happens to everyone. All of us have unresolved childhood wounds that we carry with us well into adulthood, not knowing that this is often the reason for unresolved arguments in romantic relationships.
The truth is that all of us are coming from some past wound that we haven’t dealt with. If everyone looked at themselves a little more, we would be able to have a little more peace for ourselves.
When you are able to look at your faults, you are able to change them. The first step is always awareness. We can work with awareness. The second step is acceptance. We must learn to accept ourselves as we are in the present moment. This is where limiting beliefs come in. A lot of what we believe about ourselves and others is really untrue. It can limit us more than we know. The third step is action. Without action nothing really happens. Everything remains just a dream in our minds.
Action is key! Especially in coaching, action is everything.
A recap on what you need to practice during your journey of self awareness
I like to call them the three A’s! Each section can take time, but the amount of time spent on each depends highly on the person.
Only through self awareness can we have the capacity to change. When it comes to romantic relationships we must, if we want a long lasting, intimate, loving, caring and healthy relationship. If we want to be able to see ourselves and work together for the better of the relationship.
Emotional maturity is what comes to mind when I think of healthy relationships. The capacity to admit faults, forgive,and work at a common vision. Also, to not take things too personally, because another person’s behavior has really nothing to do with us and everything to do with them.
Learning effective communication is also a large part of healthy relationships, however, that takes a little practice. A lot of people come to me with communication issues and most sessions are devoted entirely on learning effective communication! But there’s enough content there to cover another whole article. For now, I’ll just give you some tips.
When you communicate in romantic relationships, make sure you begin every sentence with “I” and not “you.” You denotes blame and I is taking responsibility for yourself. When you talk about yourself there is no blame.
We can start each sentence by saying: “When you do this… I feel like this… Because I need to feel this…” So, you’re giving the other person information about yourself on how you like to be treated.
What does self awareness mean?
There is so much more material to cover when it comes to relationships, but I’ll leave you with just a few ideas to recap on. When it comes to improving the quality of your relationships, your communication and how you overall relate to others is the foundation of your work. Investing in personal growth by self discovery is the most authentic journey of all leading to better quality relationships.
I believe that life is about returning to your authentic self, where people and situations are put before you to learn and grow. If you don’t learn the lesson, it will persist, which is why we find ourselves in recurring patterns of the same situation with the same type of people.
If we want to attract change, we must be willing to try something we’ve never tried before.
Are you struggling with feeling self aware? Let us know in the comments, and make sure to share this post if you found it helpful!
It takes courage, strength, and a whole lot of support to find true self awareness.
By: Christina Kyranis CPC / Relationship Coach & Blogger
About the Author
I will always be interested in self improvement and growth, for without them my soul will spiritually die.
Mine is a journey of continually realizing my true self.
My purpose is to help you reach the truest version of yourself.
“Success in any endeavor depends on the degree to which it is an expression of your true self.” -Ralph Marston
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Thanks again for this outstanding post, Christina! Please make sure to follow her on the links above. You can subscribe to my blog, Diffusing the Tension, below.