Self-awareness and change are inextricably linked

A sculptured candle providing glimpses of light through its body as its layers uncoil towards the apex, allowing the light to shine brightest. This is a metaphor for striving towards self-actualisation.
Candle, Berry NSW artist, 2014

What is self-awareness?

“Self-awareness is how well you know yourself: a psychological state in which people are aware of their traits, feelings and behaviour. Alternately, it can be defined as the realisation of oneself as an “individual entity”

Crisp & Turner, 2010

Maslow Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow was the founder of the humanist movement in psychology, which evolved in the 1940s and 50s. It emphasises each individual’s unique capacity for personal growth and self-understanding. Maslow believed that all people have an innate motivation to strive towards fulfilling their full potential. He referred to this as self-actualisation. And found that it is this striving that results in true happiness. As a result, he developed a Hierarchy of needs (1943-54), and placed the need to pursue self-actualisation at the top.

Why is it important to be self-aware?

Learning to have a better understanding of ourselves gives us a stronger self-identity and sense of self. It empowers us to make the changes we seek in life.

Three tips on how to develop self-awareness

1. It is the striving that is important, not the arriving

Allow yourself to imagine your best self. Ask yourself; what are you thinking and feeling? How do you view yourself and others? How do you view the world?

2. Know your values and live by them

Stop to consider whether your actions and life direction are in line with them

3. Prioritise your personal growth and stretch yourself

This may mean changing your routine, trying new things, facing a past avoidance or fear

Contact Linda Magson, Sydney therapist and counsellor, to make an appointment.

I was touched to receive this testimonial from a client who made significant changes in her life through increased self-awareness.

Linda has helped me embark on a quest for self-improvement. This has helped guide me in the right direction over the years. I value her gentle approach and her way of letting me see things from my own perspective, so I truly understand my behaviour or of those around me. In turn, I see the real value of change. Her suggestions of action plans are always helpful. There is nothing more satisfying than leaving her sessions feeling lighter and more hopeful. – BT 22/05/2011