I don't know anything about self awareness.
And I've never read anything about self awareness.
So of course I'm perfectly suited to write about self awareness...
I don't know a damn thing about self awareness.
But there's one thing I know about self awareness.
I know that we live in a time and society where it's gotten almost impossible to be self aware.
Simply because everything we do, every decision we make is basically controlled by other people.
Which makes it almost impossible to become self aware.
To understand yourself.
And ultimately the world around you.
We live in a time where everything is working against self awareness.
We're almost exclusively driven extrinsically.
We do what we're told to do.
We do what our bosses tell us.
What our parents tell us.
What society tells us.
And then we naturally seek external validation.
Instead of internal validation.
We use external validation as yard sticks.
Like money for example.
Or other people's opinions.
And on and on and on.
But the problem is that when you constantly do the things you're told to do, when you use other people opinion's or external things like money as your yard stick, then you'll ultimately lose touch with yourself.
You'll lose touch with your true self.
And when you lose touch with your true self it's just really, really hard to become self aware.
Just really, really hard.
So how do you become self aware?
I don't know.
I'm not an expert.
Or have a degree in that field.
But I can tell you what I did.
I became selfish.
I stopped doing what other people told me to do.
And I stopped relying on anybody else except me.
I also started doing more and more of things I really wanted to do.
And this lead to a few things...
As I could only rely on myself I also couldn't blame anybody else when things went wrong.
I couldn't outsource responsibility to anybody else anymore.
I couldn't hide under the blanket of anonymity anymore.
If there was someone to blame, it was me.
And this is quite powerful.
Because everything I do, I immediately see the outcome.
And I'm the only one responsible for it.
So if I do something wrong, if something didn't work out, I have to figure out what I did wrong, where things went wrong, take responsibility and try to adjust.
I have to figure out why my assumptions about the world were wrong.
Why people reacted differently from what I expected.
This is almost impossible in the current work environment.
Or any environment as a matter of fact.
In the current environment we can outsource responsibility to dozens of layers above us.
The layers that told us what to do.
So if something goes wrong we're never the ones to blame.
It's always the layers above us.
Or below us.
Or in between.
Dozens of layers to blame.
Another thing that makes it so hard to become more self aware is the fact that in our current work and life environment we're constantly awarded for following the rules.
For following orders.
And we get rewarded with things like money.
And when money is your yard stick, well then that's your yard stick.
Then you'll always try to understand how money works.
Or how to get more of it.
Instead of understanding yourself.
And the people around you.
And then it's just really, really hard to develop self awareness.
And by the way I'm not saying one is better than the other.
I'm just saying that it's just really, really hard to develop self awareness in our current system.
Another thing that helped me to understand myself and the world around me a lot better was to do more and more of the things I wanted to do.
And less of the things I was told to do.
But probably not because of the reasons you might think.
Here's the thing...
When you do more and more of the things you want to do, you're automatically forced to also do a lot of the things you don't want to do.
Things you might not necessarily be good at, yet.
Especially when you try to only rely on yourself.
And when you're forced to do a hell lot of things you don't want to do, things you might not be really good at yet, then you'll automatically learn about all of your weaknesses, shortcomings and how you really operate.
In the normal work environment we're getting paid for doing the things were really good at.
We're paid to avoid the things we're not good at.
We're paid for efficiency.
And not trial and error.
Which makes a lot of sense.
Why should you get paid for doing something you're not really, really good at?
But what that also does is that you'll never really have to deal with your shortcomings.
With the things you're not that good at, yet.
And instead you'll mostly do and work on things you're already good at.
It emphasizes your strengths while it ignores your weaknesses.
But at the end of the day 50% of self awareness is to know, understand and be able to deal with your weaknesses.
If not more.
So you can basically spend your whole life doing the things you're already good at.
Without ever really having to deal with your shortcomings.
Or really understanding yourself.
Nothing wrong about that by the way.
Again, it's just really, really hard to become self aware, to understand yourself and to figure out what your weaknesses are when you're constantly doing things you're already really good at.
Personally, I've learned the most about myself and ultimately the people around my through struggle.
By doing things I don't like that much to be able to keep doing the things I love.
Like writing for example.
I hate self promotion.
And all of this kind of stuff.
But the only way I'll ever be able to keep doing what I love, to be able to keep writing is to figure out how to become better at all of these things I don't really like.
So at the end of the day I guess self awareness comes through struggle.
The struggle of having to rely on yourself.
To take 100% responsibility.
And to do a lot of things you don't enjoy that much.
For me that's what helped me to understand myself and the world around me a lot better.
That's what helped me to become more self aware.
And by understanding yourself, by being self aware, will you understand everybody else a lot better.
We're all the same.
And we all want the same things.
And struggle with the same things.
Some people more.
Some people less.
But at the core of it all, we're basically all the same.
So to be able to become more self aware you've gotta put yourself first.
You've gotta be selfish first.
That's the only way to understand yourself.
And ultimately everybody else..