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Self-aware people have the habit of thinking about their thinking and understand how their thoughts and actions impact how other people think and feel about them.  This habit deepens their understanding about themselves and how they think, but also helps them understand other people in a more deep and meaningful way.

Self-awareness is an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses and how they translate into thoughts, feelings and actions.  Having self-awareness helps us internally understand what works and what doesn’t work.

When you are highly self-aware you have the ability to understand yourself and your actions more clearly.  This insight helps self-aware people acknowledge other people’s feelings, make better decisions, manage their emotions and align their behaviour with their internal standards.

Having self-awareness means understanding your strengths, your motivations and your goals.  Being self-aware also helps you understand and how your mindset and actions comes off to other people.

A self-aware person understands what’s important and what’s not important in their life.  They know that a lack of self-awareness impacts their growth, their relationships and their happiness.  Self-aware people know that self-awareness and authenticity are essential for professional and personal growth.

In this article I’m going to share what self-awareness is and provide 6 essential habits of self-aware people.

What is self-awareness?

Self-awareness is the ability to understand yourself and understand how other people see you, and react to you.  Being self-aware means having clarity on how your mindset, emotions and thinking affects how you act and how you are perceived by other people.

People with self-awareness have high internal standards, which guide their thinking and actions.   If you have self-awareness, you put yourself in the shoes of other people.  You take the time to understand how your emotions and actions impact on them.

When you have self-awareness, you can objectively think about your thinking.  You can manage your emotions, be more present, change your behaviour and see clearly how other people perceive and react to you.

Why is self-awareness important?

Self-awareness is important because when we have an internal operating system to guide our thinking and actions, we develop a better understanding of ourselves, and how we are perceived by other people.

Self-aware people understand their strengths and weaknesses.  They choose to live in a world of abundance, rather than scarcity.

People who lack self-awareness compare themselves to others.  They blame other people and don’t take the time to understand another person’s point of view.  When you lack self-awareness you may regularly feel anxious, frustrated and prone to anger,

Conversely, people with high self-awareness are guided by what’s important to them.  They focus on growth and expanding their strengths.  People with high self-awareness understand the importance teamwork and collaboration.

Self-awareness is often the first step to creating a gratitude mindset.

6 essential habits of self-aware people 

Here are 6 habits of highly self-aware people.

1. They are intentional 

Self-aware people develop the habit of being intentional about their thoughts and actions.  They know themselves and understand their feelings, thoughts, desires and motivations.  This self-awareness gives them clarity about know who they are, where they’re going and what’s important to them.

People with self-awareness have guiding principles that govern what they stand for and represent who they are.  They use this internal guide to be deliberate and purposeful in everything they do.  Highly self-aware people have the ability to see specific results in the future, and purposefully work towards achieving those result.  Read more about being intentional.

2. They are present 

Highly self-aware people are mindful and always present in the moment.  They pay attention to themselves and give their full focus to the person or situation they are in.  By being present, self-aware people acknowledge their own thoughts, feelings and emotions and those of other people.

People who lack self-awareness are easily distracted and lose attention and focus.  When you have self-awareness, your experiences of the present moment become more powerful.  When you become more self-aware, you can begin to experience your world, and that of others, differently.

Through self-awareness you can be more creative, make better decisions, set better goals and impact the lives of others.  By being still, focused and present in the moment, you can choose how you want to be and act in the future.

Read more about how to be present.

3. They learn from experiences 

Self-aware people have a habit of learning valuable lessons from their experiences, be they good or bad.  When you lack self-awareness, you are more likely to blame and complain.  Self-aware people look at every experience through a different lens.

Self-awareness has the potential to transform every experience you have.  Being self-aware helps you become more reflective on your experiences, which can be life changing.  You can look at every experience as either positive or negative, black and white.

Alternatively, you can choose to become more self-aware and start seeking out the positives in every experience.

People with self-awareness look for the learnings in every experience.  They take the time to understand how they felt and how they acted.  They look at what went well and what didn’t go well in every situation.  Rather than looking for negatives they seek out the positives.

Self-aware people take all of this insight and learning to help improve how they think and act in the future.

4. They are good listeners 

Self-aware people value the habit of being a good listener.  They develop the habit of listening more than they talk.  Self-aware people understand the importance of active listening and are fully present during every conversation.

Having self-awareness gives you the power to be an active listener, rather than a passive listener.

Self-awareness allows for a type of listening that is fully present and free of opinions, assumptions and judgements.  Self-aware people take the time to focus solely on others and listen hard to what they have to say.

It is this self-awareness during conversations that helps us to understand ourselves and other people better.

When people feel seen and heard by others, it is a powerful and meaningful experience.  People with self-awareness are focused on creating those kind of experiences during every conversation.  Read more about being a better listener.

5. They think about their thinking 

Self-aware people have a habit of thinking about their thinking. Through the habit of introspection and analysis, they get a better understanding of how they think and act in different situations.

Through self-awareness they ask questions of themselves to get a better understanding of their motivations and how their mindset operates.  They ask questions of other people to get a better understanding of how that person thinks and what’s important to them.

This insight helps self-aware people react and respond to situations and people in a very different way.

They gain greater knowledge of themselves and greater understanding of other people.

When you take the time to think about your thinking you identify improvements you can make in your life.  This self-understanding can help you make better decisions, improve how you spend your time and improve your relationships.

6. They know their own strengths  

Self-aware people are honest about their strengths and weaknesses.  What makes them different is that they choose to focus on maximising their strengths, rather than constantly trying to fix their weaknesses.

Self-aware people are not self-focused.  They are more concerned with understanding how their strengths can be maximised to help other people.  When you can get clear on your biggest strengths, it helps you create a bigger impact in your own life, and the lives of others.


Self-aware people understand that higher levels of personal growth and happiness requires self-awareness.  If you aren’t self-aware about your own thoughts and actions and how they impact others it’s difficult to create lasting change.

Self-awareness is a capability that can be developed through regular practice.  Use these 5 habits them I’ve just shared to help you increase your own self-awareness:

Be intentional.

Be more present.

Learn from experiences.

Be a better listener.

Think about your thinking.

Know your own strengths.

Now I’d love to hear from you

What’s your number one tip for being self-aware?

Let me know in the comments.

About the Author

Mark Pettit is the Founder of Lucemi Consulting and a small business coach to business owners who want to simplify their time, energy and focus so they can multiply their freedom, impact and results.

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