I was in a youth train-the-trainer gathering where the facilitator raised the issue of self awareness.

Then something happened that made me uneasy. It was how some people found the topic of self awareness totally new to them in that class.

Although I am already aware of this, I still get sad every time I realize how obvious it is that we must talk more about self awareness in this country. Maybe because I find it difficult to believe one can truly live an evolving life without first being self-aware of who one is. For a gathering of leaders to have a large proportion of its numbers not know what self awareness means, that’s not so good.

Like the Biblical Paul once quoted: a necessity is therefore laid on me to spread this message of self-awareness as much as I can.

What does it really mean to be self aware? When you hear these words what comes to your mind?
Some people assume the practice of self-awareness without the accurate words to describe their experience. I saw this happened in my class that day.

As the facilitator went on about this subject, more people began relating with it. You could feel how it was resonating with some of their life’s experience at that point which they hadn’t been conscious of.

Self-awareness however, must be an intentional lifestyle. It is never accidental. If you hope to get the best out of it, you must be aware that you are imbibing in its practice.

Self-awareness is the conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, needs, habits, emotions, strengths, weaknesses, beliefs, doubts.

It is the practice of getting to know who you are. It’s that simple. Everything that helps with this knowledge can be termed as self-awareness tool.

It allows you know yourself, even from your past, and the present you’ve already experienced, and could be a forceful link to your future directions.

Self-awareness helps an individual to tune into their feelings, as well as to the behaviors and feelings of others as it relates to them. In other words, being self aware can also help with your relationships.
Self-awareness precedes improvement.

You cannot improve upon issues you are not aware of. This means for any change you want to make happen around your life, you must have first been aware such change is needed in your life and in what aspect to effect this change. Self reflection thus leads to self awareness.

The more you know about yourself, the better you are at adapting to life’s changes that suit your needs.
You see, the information that you get to know about yourself can be used to improve upon yourself, eventually. This is one of the core impact of becoming self-aware.

Self-awareness can lead to the 3 Ds:
1. Self discovery
2. Self development
3. Self deployment
These are necessary for life’s development and advancement.

When you become more aware of yourself, you are better able to harness these information by way of improving in areas where it’s necessary while also maximizing your strength. This is part of self-discovery.

The things you find out about yourself can then be developed, and deployed to maximize your life.

When you know yourself to a reasonable extent, you’re able to have a good judgement of your personal SWOT analysis. This is part of the results of self-discovery. The information can then be used to work on areas of your weaknesses, deploy your strengths, recognize your opportunities, and used to ascertain your threats based on the knowledge about these weaknesses.

You spend time getting to know people. How about doing same with you? Date yourself! Find out about you.
Only those who tend their lives make room for their own gifts thereby increasing their chances for greatness.

Self-awareness helps you better intimated with self, something that can be a tool to unravel your authenticity.
And when you walk in your natural state by way of embracing your authenticity, you walk in purpose. You weren’t born to look for your purpose. It’s in you. It’s your design. The reason it seems lost is because you are not being yourself.
In my book, LIVE YOUR YOUNIQUE LIFE, I did talk more about this, and how by embracing our unique self, we make it much easier for us to walk purposefully.

So how can you practice self awareness?

-Be open about yourself to look at your life objectively. Don’t deceive yourself. Tell yourself the truth about you. List where you are now, and write down where you want to be. In between, make the plans on how to get there and then make Moves. Nothing just happens. You have to make ways for the things you want in your life to happen. Frank conversation  with yourself is where you may have to start with.

-Pay attention to your feelings and emotions.
This includes an intrusive evaluation of your own emotions, without the urge to discard any part of it as being unimportant. To successfully experience an awareness of one’s true self, one must be ready to understudy that self. Ignoring any part of it can lead to a haphazard conclusion which could be a false narrative.

-Be observant about your decisions, and try to know your why in most cases. Make out time for reflections about the decisions you’ve made, and understand why you made them. Sometimes, this habit can show you more about who you are in very subtle ways.

-Ask questions and live with an open mind. This is a leap step towards a proper experience of self-awareness. Ask not yourself questions alone, also cultivate the habit of questioning everything, especially long standing beliefs and cultural practices around your life. Get to know reason it’s being done. What this does is to open you up to reflect on the necessity, if any, that exists in imbibing in these practices. That way, you gain a deeper knowledge about your environment and culture than other people who just follow without having thoughts about them.

The information gathered can then be harnessed to maximize what needs to grow, and discard some unnecessary garbage. It is one way to develop your personality to reflect what core values are important to you in a very cultural society.

In my book, #BECOMING, I talked in depth about self-awareness and the many ways it helped me to overcome shyness and my own struggles with identity.
You can get a copy on this site using your debit card.

For further discussion, questions, speaking engagements, or personal coaching experience on this topic, please send a mail to

To your evolving life.

Joy Iseki

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