The Habit Society

⚡️ Self-awareness: A must

To: Society Members

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Catching a Glimpse in the Mirror

Taking a long hard look at yourself in the mirror can be one of the hardest things to do. Whether it’s because you haven’t brushed your hair in 12 days, or because you’re painfully aware of the many things you’d like to change. Today, I’m going to talk about the difficult topic of self-awareness. Happy Monday.

Self-Awareness Defined

Self-Awareness is the conscious understanding of your own personality, strengths and weaknesses. You can think of it as the trait that Michael Scott lacks. Or, the trait you wished Becky had while she incessantly bragged about how many White Claws she chugged the night before to her boss. In the science sphere, they like to call it metacognition: thinking about thinking. Or, an awareness of who you are, if you will.

Why Is it important?

Glad you asked. It’s important because when we understand who we fundamentally are, we can cater to those characteristics to make positive changes. We can acknowledge where we need to make improvements and directly address them. Being honest with yourself is hard, but it could be the best thing you ever do. No one wants to admit they’re lazy, mean to their sister, or the person at dinner who won’t stop talking about their dog. But, you know what they say, admitting is the first step.

People change their behavior when they know they’re being watched (the reason I can never watch reality TV). Luckily, the brain has the power to watch itself. Being self-aware is learning how to become a third-person observer of your own thoughts and actions, and then (hopefully) doing something about it.

Everyone Already Knows

Embracing your flaws and admitting them to the world can seem a little counterintuitive. We spend our whole lives trying to conceal these flaws to appear as if we know it all (without coming off as a know-it-all—tricky territory). But whether you acknowledge your flaws or not, other people still see them (someone had to say it). So, instead of appearing flawless to your pals, they’ll think you’re bad at geography and lack self-awareness (this isn’t a personal anecdote, I personally am very good at geography).

Michelle Newman, a professor of psychology at Penn State University says, “When you have a greater awareness of what the brain is doing, you can take a step back and take a more objective view of the world and your reactions to it.” And THIS brings me to the Johari Window. *Curtains open*

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The Johari Window

The Johari Window

The Johari Window is a technique to better understand your relationship with yourself, created by psychologists Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham. Here’s the breakdown:

The Open Area is the part of you that others can see, and you agree. No secrets here.

The Hidden Area is the part that you see in yourself, but others don’t. This is the part you hide from others, either because you’re embarrassed, ashamed, or even modest.

The Blind Spot is the part that you don’t see in yourself, but others do. This is a scary one, quite frankly. But, it can also be positive. People can see you better than you see yourself too. This part of you lacks self-awareness.

The Great Unknown is the part of you that you and others alike don’t see, good and bad. Admittedly, I don’t know what to do with this information.

How Do I Use This?

Become a third-person observer of your character, free of value judgment. Continually make observations about yourself in a non-judgmental way, I didn’t act kindly enough to that waiter, I cut my workout too short, I get self-conscious in social situations.

Then, identify how you wished you had behaved and when the situation comes up again, make an effort to act in accordance with your desired behavior.

To sum up: If you become self-aware, admit your flaws, and perceive them non-judgmentally, you have the power to change and improve dramatically.

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Read: A cute tale about what would happen If you give a mouse self-awareness by Maddy Schmidt and Kyle Patterson.

Buy: If you want to know yourself better, buy these cards for exploration. Self-awareness will come at you full force.

Know Yourself
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You and your thoughts are not one and the same. Once you can get out of the stream of identification with thought, even for brief moments at a time, you can cease to suffer in many of the ordinary ways. It’s tremendously freeing.

– Sam Harris

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Got some friends who need a little more self-awareness? Maybe accidentally share your unique referral link with them so they can get the THS scoop too.

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