Self-Awareness: The Key to Self-Mastery

Emotionally Resilient Living - Self-Awareness

I AM are two of the most powerful words in the human language because what you put after them will inevitably shape your reality. The problem is that the words we use to define ourselves are often based on society’s labels rather than authentic self-awareness.

This tendency is made all the easier because there seems to be an endless supply of labels to contend with; rich or poor, pretty or plain, professional or homemaker, success or failure, married or single, shy or outgoing, and on it goes.

Throw race, sexual preference, ethnic background and religion into the mix and that opens the door to a whole range of other descriptions.

Take a moment to try describing yourself without mentioning any labels or external things that are in your life, your friends, family, career, ethnic background, etc. Concentrate only on yourself, how you feel and behave, perhaps recognizing some of your strengths and weaknesses.

It’s not easy, is it?

The key to self-mastery, becoming the best version of you possible, is to first accept that you are so much more than convenient labels or the opinion of others.

But as you probably experienced if you attempted the little challenge above, finding the words to describe who you are on the deepest level isn’t easy. It requires the willingness to make developing self-awareness a priority in your life.

Self-awareness is part emotional intelligence, part perceptiveness, part critical thinking. Yes, it means knowing your weaknesses, but it is also knowing your strengths and what motivates you. ~Neil Blumenthal

The Complex Nature of Self-Awareness

Take a moment to consider the following graph and you’ll see that self-awareness is actually an umbrella term that covers many different areas, all of which underscore the various concepts and behaviors that combine to make you who you are.

Self Awareness Graph


While becoming more self-aware isn’t a magic bullet to finally decide what you want to be, do, and have in life, it does represent a big step in the right direction.

  • The more you know about yourself, the better you are at adapting life changes that suit your needs and the better you’ll understand why you do the things you do.
  • The more you understand about yourself, the easier it will be to have compassion for others, and the stronger your relationships will be.
  • The more you know about your existing habits, the easier it is to improve on them or create new and better habits.

So many issues we face in our lives, from stress, relationship problems, worry, negative internal beliefs, our moods and emotions, our behavior can all be seen and understood more clearly by becoming more self-aware.

The Challenge of Self-Mastery

Meaningful change begins by mustering the courage to be objective and brutally honest with ourselves. There can be no growth until we stop making excuses or denying our wants and needs.

Important first steps include clarifying your core values and learning to identify the stories you tell yourself and others about who you are, where you’re coming from and where you’re going.

It’s impossible to underestimate the value of journaling in this process. It is a practice I highly recommend for increased awareness, growth and especially for healing.

If you truly desire to become the best possible version of yourself and create the life of your dreams, then you must be willing to do the hard stuff.

That means making tough decisions, having those difficult conversations, owning your mistakes, and doing what you need to do when you need to do it, even when that’s the last thing you feel like doing.

This is the path to self-mastery.

If you want to master something you have to practice, and that means working through the early stages as a beginner in whatever it is you want to do, even if you suck at it.

You’ll make mistakes, and may even be terrible at some things, but that is okay because you will learn and improve if you persevere.

It takes time to be master anything. If you can learn to enjoy the process, the sky’s the limit!

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