I have a longer post that I will do one of these days about the subject of self-awareness, but I was in a conversation yesterday that reminded me of this basic point that I used when I taught a freshman college class in Self Awareness/Personal Development. Not to misrepresent myself academically, that was in my ROTC instruction days when I held the position of an Assistant Professor of Military Science. The title really just means that you’re assigned to an ROTC department, although most colleges and universities do want you to have a Master’s Degree. I did have thoughts of pursuing a PhD during that assignment, but that’s an entirely different subject.
Back to the point that I made in class of there being tremendous value in developing self-awareness. You cannot effectively make changes in your life if you are not aware of why you do the things that you do. Now, you may not wish to make any changes, but you cannot make that determination either until you have a grasp of your own personality, desires, strengths, and weaknesses. In the exploration of yourself, it is often useful and sometimes necessary to seek assistance in doing so. However, in discussions with others, you may indeed have an “Aha!” moment then, or it may occur later in the privacy of your own thoughts. Those moments that yield this important understanding does not require that you share the insight with anyone, although you may choose to do so. The recognition may be so deeply personal that you don’t want to share, and there is no overriding reason is that you should. A major element of genuine self-awareness is that you don’t require validation from someone else to recognize a truth about yourself. Granted, you may want another individual’s feedback, but that is not the same thing as needing the feedback.
Now, is there a nuance between truth and perception when it comes to self-awareness? There certainly can be, but that, too is the subject for another post.