Self-awareness is the cornerstone to a successful relationship.
Whether it’s romantic or with friends and family, self-awareness is essential to healthy relationships with others.
Being self-aware allows you to understand yourself and others better, and to show up as the best version of yourself!
Here are 8 signs that you might lack self-awareness and need to work on cultivating it!
1) You play the victim card
It’s a sign that you might like self-awareness if you find yourself regularly feeling like a victim.
Now, there will be times when you actually are a victim, but there will be many times that you are not.
You see, part of being human is making mistakes and getting things wrong, and there will be times that you need to apologize to someone for your actions.
People who realize they’re not consistently the victim show high levels of self-awareness.
On the other hand, people who lack self-awareness are more than likely to say they feel victimized and not to see any of their wrongdoings.
You could say that people who like self-awareness are blind to their shortcomings.
2) You find it hard to apologize
Going hand-in-hand with not playing the victim is having the ability to apologize.
Now, let’s be honest: apologizing is uncomfortable.
Simply put, having to say you’ve got something really wrong and messed up is a blow to your ego.
It always makes me squirm!
However, it’s necessary to do this when an apology is required.
If you find it hard to look at another person and tell them you’re sincerely sorry, it could be a sign that you lack self-awareness.
Now, this used to be me:
I found it almost impossible to apologize to my boyfriend when I really needed to.
Rather than saying I’m sorry I did something, I would say that I was sorry I’d caused him to feel like I had done something wrong.
I shifted the responsibility away from me and on to him.
Can you see the difference? Giving a sincere apology is all in the subtleties!
A sincere apology is a case of saying “I’m sorry” and really meaning it. It’s saying that you’ll try better next time, and not blaming the other person.
In my experience, the reason I struggled to apologize was because I thought I had done nothing wrong in the first place.
In other words, I lacked the self-awareness to be able to see that actually I had done something wrong.
Now that I’m able to apologize in a sincere way and take full responsibility for my actions, our relationship has gotten much better.
This is the power of self-awareness!
3) You can create a lot of drama
People who create drama lack self-awareness.
Life is not supposed to be one drama after another, like we see in sitcoms.
In fact, a life well-lived should be, well, pretty drama-free.
Of course, there are dramas that are unavoidable that we can find ourselves getting sucked into, but we don’t need to go through life starting more dramas.
It’s a sign that you might be lacking in self-awareness if you find that you keep starting dramas – or you’re even told by others that you’re starting dramas.
In this case, I suggest that you sit down with a notebook and pen, and list all of the recent dramas that you’ve experienced lately.
Now, to help you gain more self-awareness, be honest about your role in the situations.
Ask yourself: how did I impact the situation and could I have done something differently?
Don’t feel bad if doing this highlights that you have been at the center of dramas… Instead, just commit to bring in more self-awareness in going forward.
4) You talk too much
Expressing yourself through words should be celebrated – but there is such a thing as talking too much.
Now, what is too much to one person will be different to the next…
…Although, it can be agreed that we don’t need to speak every minute of every hour throughout the day.
I am someone that loves to talk. It’s a joke with all of my friends and family that I just don’t run out of words.
Truth is, my words are endless.
Now, that doesn’t mean that I don’t have self awareness because I talk a lot.
However, if I was unaware that I was talking a lot and I just continued to do it, it would be a case of having a lack of self-awareness.
You see, having a lack of awareness means being oblivious to the impact your actions have.
If you’re lucky enough, your friends and family will kindly tell you that you have a tendency to speak a bit too much at times, and then you’ll be able to make a conscious decision to be more mindful.
Maybe this means more active listening and less time spent thinking about what you are going to say next. It could also mean not responding to something someone says with a comment about how it relates to you.
Instead, being aware in a conversation means asking another person more about what they’re talking about.
5) You have a fixed mindset
Having a fixed mindset is a sure sign that you lack self-awareness.
You see, when someone is stuck in their ways and believes their way of saying the world is the only way, it means they’re closed off to the reality of situations…
…And they don’t allow themselves to understand other people as well as they could.
If you find yourself being quite rigid and fixed in the way you see things, it could be a sign that you need to work on developing more self-awareness.
It’s important to remember that all of our experiences to date have shaped how we see the world, and we can’t change what we’ve lived through.
However, we can make a conscious effort to try and connect with how other people see the world in order to be self-aware.
What does this mean in practical terms?
Next time you find yourself thinking that you can’t understand someone’s perspective, take a second to step back and think about the perspective you’re bringing.
In other words, think about how your experiences are shaping how you’re understanding what another person is saying.
This is self awareness 101!
6) You get defensive when you get feedback
People who lack self-awareness are not able to take feedback well… Or allow it at all!
You see, people without self-awareness aren’t able to see that they have any faults so when feedback abouts them comes in, they instantly jump to feeling attacked.
Truth is, people who lack self-awareness are blind to their weaknesses.
And, when people highlight their blind spots, they jump to defense.
They feel as though they need to justify and explain why this isn’t the case, as opposed to listening and taking feedback on board.
You could say that people who lack self-awareness actually shut themselves off from learning and growing because they don’t allow for any feedback.
On the other hand, people with self-awareness are able to thank another person for highlighting something about them that they hadn’t considered before.
Simply put, self-aware people are able to grow from situations.
7) Your habits make you feel bad
We live in a culture of distractions.
If we’re not scrolling through our phones and looking at other people’s lives, we have the TV, alcohol and all manner of distractions at our disposal.
Now, if you lack self-awareness you might not be aware about how your habits and things you do make you feel.
In the past when I lacked self-awareness, I found myself numbing myself with alcohol on, almost, a daily basis.
You see, I thought it allowed me to unwind and it marked the change from day into night…
…But, all it was doing was making me feel groggy and disappointed with myself.
It was actually damaging my physical and mental health, and affecting how I performed on a daily basis.
However, because I was self-aware, I wasn’t actually able to connect with the fact that alcohol was doing this to me.
I thought I was just a negative person who had a tendency to be a bit groggy and snappy.
Truth is, it wasn’t until I stopped that I realized how bad the habit was for me and how it was impacting different areas of my life!
8) You struggle to be successful
Now, it can be said that what success looks like to one person will be different to the next.
Maybe it means being financially stress-free, maybe it means having numerous houses in different countries, maybe it means being at the top of your game in your industry and recognized with awards…
…It could mean a bunch of different things to you!
Whatever ‘success’ does look like for you, if you’ve found it hard to achieve it yet you’ve been consistently trying to work towards it for years, it could be a sign that you lack self-awareness.
Let me explain:
There might be a chance that you lack the awareness to see where you’re going wrong and how you could do things a little bit differently.
This goes back to the fixed mindset I spoke about earlier; you might be a little bit stuck in your ways and unable to see that there’s a different way to do things.
In order to work out if this might be the case for you, take an honest look at your approach and think about what has and hasn’t been working for you.
In my experience, I find it helpful to journal my thoughts for the maximum amount of clarity.
For example, you could make a list of which actions have worked and which haven’t to help redirect your efforts.
What’s more, part of being self-aware is being able to accept that you could’ve done things differently and learning from situations…
…It’s not about beating yourself up and feeling bad about your weaknesses, but finding the growth in situations!
As if that’s not enough, you could take the time to look at your values and what is really important to you to help you decide where you want to put your energy.
I found this free checklist by Jeanette Brown incredibly helpful when it came to looking closely at what my values are today.
Truth is, I discovered a lot about myself through going through the checklist.
You see, I thought my values were the values I used to have…
…But, naturally, as I had grown and changed, they had evolved into a new set of values!
I learned a lot about myself through this process.
In my opinion, it pays to take the time to become more self-aware and understand yourself better.
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