The definition if self-awareness is "conscious knowledge of one's own character, feelings, motives and desires". For me, the key here is conscious. So many of us are not living in the present moment.
We've found ways to self-soothe/medicate, otherwise known as checking out. Your vice could be watching endless hours of TV, scrolling social media, staying at work late, etc. All of these are ways in which we check out or operate on auto-pilot. Not to say you're doing it purposefully, it's just simply become a habit.
I cannot begin to count how many times I've seen a family out for a meal, all eating at the same table and every single person has one hand on their food/silverware and the other on their phone. It has become "normal" to not socialize with loved ones sitting right next to you. Being self-aware and present can help you break these habits.
How about this, have you ever noticed you've ended up in the same situation or relationship yet again? You've started a new job or new friendship/relationship and at first it's great and then...deja vu! Self-awareness would call to your attention that the situation is not the problem, you are. You keep repeating old habits and patterns that lead you down that same old path. Until you become conscious and present, history will continue to repeat itself.
It would be so much easier if we could simply point the blame to someone else. But how would that help us? We would continue to live an unhappy, unfulfilled life on auto pilot.
Believe me, I know this all too well. I lived that life for years. My breakdown came after the loss of two loved ones. I am so grateful for them, the love and compassion they showed me while they were here and the lessons their deaths taught me. That breakdown led me to my breakthrough when I woke up to the harsh reality that I was not living my life. I was not present, I was unfulfilled and definitely unhappy.
My practice of self-awareness has grown significantly over the years as I've healed old wounds, faced and forgiven traumas, worked with coaches and healers and learned to listen to my inner voice.
But, it all started with ME.
Me committing to being present.
Me committing to being honest with myself.
Me committing to doing the hard inner work.
I had to first decide that auto pilot was no longer an option. Living an unfulfilled life was no longer acceptable. It was time to wake up, be conscious and live intentionally. Self-awareness was key in radically transforming my life. It helped me remain accountable to me and the commitments I had made to myself.
Some may think it's easier to blame someone else, but I think it's easier when you know there is only one person with the power, and that person is YOU.
Here's to another week of living your life by design, not by default!