I recently came across a post on Reddit. A guy posted his frustrations of zero dating experience at the age of 29 and how life sucked for him. The top voted comment from a fellow Redditor is basically a list of all the good things he had: a well-paid job, higher education and passion for music.
That post was a strike for me. It surprises me that how easy it is to be blindfolded by one of our weaknesses or failures that we forget all the great things within us. A lack of self-awareness could literally sabotage our lives and trap us in a complete self-denial. Being self-aware is the foundation of self-love. It keeps us sober without confusing self-love with narcissism or passiveness. If you sometimes feel lost or constantly on an emotional roller-coaster because of stuff and people, take a few minutes to take a closer look at what self-awareness really is.
What Is Self-Awareness?
Self-awareness is a huge topic that could be rather abstract and there are so many different versions when it comes to its definition.
For me, self-awareness is the overall knowledge about yourself. “Overall” means every aspect of you, including your personality, strengths, weaknesses, emotions, passion and more. “Knowledge” means your evaluation is objective and non-judgemental.
I really like the idea of Dr. Philippe Rochat where he put forward 5 levels of self-awareness: confusion, differentiation, situation, identification and permanence. The final stage will be the capability to see yourself in a third person’s perspective. When equipped with a high level of self-awareness, we will understand why we succeed, why we fail, what we want and what we need to do to make it happen. This is why self-awareness is so important because it enables us to see our personal experiences in an objective way.
A 5 minute Self-interview
We have rounded up 23 questions to ask yourself to see if you know yourself well. We have broken it down into the following aspects.
Depending on the knowledge about yourself, they may take 5 minutes or more to answer.
1) How will your ideal you be like?
2) What is your biggest dream or goal?
3) What it means to you to achieve your dreams or goals, why are they worth fighting for?
4) What’s in your way towards your dream?
5) Rank the most important things in your life (career, money, family, love, knowledge…)
6) What is the proportion of time dedicated to these items accordingly? (if most of your time is given to the less important things, you should think about reprioritizing your schedule)
7) If you have children, what would you recommend them to do or not do?
8) What type of person are you? Think of 3 words to describe yourself
9) Has your personality changed since childhood? If so, why?
10) Is your personality similar to that of your parents?
11) What quality do you admire the most about yourself?
12) What is your biggest weakness?
13) What is your biggest strength?
14) What scares you the most?
15) How do you make a decision? By intuition or logical analysis?
16) Name the biggest “What if” in your mind.
17) Describe your ideal relationship
18) Are you satisfied with your current relationship status?
19) If you only have 5 minutes left to live, who will you call and what will you say?
20) Name one person that you love/loved the most.
21) Describe the best moment of all the relationships you’ve ever had.
22) Describe the most devastating moment of all the relationships you’ve ever had.
23) Do you treat yourself better than others?
Good news is if you can answer these questions, you are pretty aware of yourself. If it takes some time for you to dig out the answer, you are in the process of self-exploring.
However, if you can’t come up with a clear response, these questions can be a hint of your self-ignorance.
At first, some of these questions may be difficult to answer. Some of them will force us to face the painful part of our memory. But they can help giving you some insights about yourself.
Remember that there are no “correct” answer or the “best” interpretation. It’s a self-discovery and leads you to think about yourself.
To make this self-interview more effective, try writing down all these questions on paper. Try to ask yourself these questions from time to time, maybe once a month or every day and compare the difference of your answer. Our mind is complex and ever-changing, but it’s also beautiful to read and worth documenting.
Gradually, you will be able to cultivate a higher self-awareness and build your happiness and life on a solid foundation.