Define Self Awareness

Oh boy what a fun topic! I’m not being sarcastic at all by the way, this is a genuinely fun topic for me to research. Heads up, as great as I want this article to be I HIGHLY recommend reading the article by Tasha Eurich on the Harvard Business Review. It’s FANTASTIC and a great read on self-awareness. Honestly doing research for this article has made me a huge fan girl of hers so go listen to her TED Talk on the subject as well.

What is Self-Awareness and Why Do I Care?

Back in 2018 self-awareness became a huge buzzword for corporate leadership. Although other traits have taken the spotlight in that sphere, it’s still an important topic and thankfully a lot of great resources have been put together on the topic due to its fad phase.

What is the general idea of self-awareness? It’s a better understanding of ourself and how people perceive us.


Is it really that simple? Well in a way it is, however, there are a lot of nitty gritty details that can be focused on for both the awareness of ourselves and how people perceive us.

Understanding Yourself

So what does it mean to understand yourself and what does that look like? First of all, I Googled this question. Second, I actually found a WikiHow article on the topic and I felt it was necessary to share that because I thought it was hilarious/awesome.

When we decide that it’s time to better understand ourselves things start to happen. We can get overwhelmed with trying to figure out what led us to be who we are now (for good and bad). That being said, there are a lot of benefits to taking the time to understand who we are.

Here are some abilities that people who understand themselves tend to have:

  • Increased empathy (you are more capable of caring about others when you care about yourself).
  • Decision making is WAY easier. It’s like when you choose brand values for a company, if an opportunity doesn’t work with your brand it’s an easy no. If it matches it’s an easy yes, same works with you as an individual.
  • You know what self-improvement actually looks like to you
  • Increased self esteem. Being self aware doesn’t mean you hate yourself because of all your flaws, it means you accept where you’re at and you know what you’re working on to help you keep progressing.

Understand Other People (And How They Perceive Us)

Understanding the impact we have on the people around us is a skill in and of itself. Most of the articles I found were on understanding the ways that your coworkers perceived you. I’ll probably dive more into that topic personally, but for this article I’ll focus on the general concept in and out of work.

So do you know how people perceive you? Here are some things you can do to help you get started:

  • Take a personality test. For real, MBTI, Enneagram, whatever sounds most accurate to you. I took the Enneagram test with my whole family and the conversation we had afterward (e.g. that is definitely you, oh that parts off, etc) was super insightful. Plus you can find all sorts of resources on those specific results. I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to mine.
  • Ask for feedback from people close to you. This can be hard and you may want to test it on someone that will ease you into this process to see if you’re ready for it yet. It’s hard not to get defensive but if you remember the goal is to improve then it will be easier! Kristi Hedge actually breaks down a full process for this in a Harvard Business Review article.
  • Those were the main ones that seemed like they would actually work so let me know if you have any others that come to mind.

“The search for self-awareness never ever stops. Life goes on. It’s up to us to learn and grow from our mistakes and our tragedies and our successes.”

Tasha eurich

So What Is The Next Step In My Self-Awareness Journey?

Great question! And according to Tasha Eurich that is exactly the kind of question we should be asking ourselves. She states that we need to not as why, that puts us at a dead end, but what. For example, instead of ‘Why are my kids acting like this?’ it would be ‘What happened that led my kids to act like this?’.

Having the what vs why in mind, let’s take a look at this chart and see if you can see where you’re at:

As someone who is not self-aware and is striving to be, I plan on researching this topic more in-depth. In addition to the research I know there are some things I want to do to put it into practice.

Increased empathy is something that stands out the most at this point. Honestly that’s why I started my podcast. I know I’m a person who goes through life like it’s the Kaili Show and that’s not going to help me as I strive to become a more evolved person.

What is something that you’ll be working on to become more self-aware?

Published by Kaili Speaks

As the podcast host of Define, Kaili has the opportunity to chat with people about their defining moment and what they learned from it. In two-part episodes she dives into personal stories and then into the behavioral science and the logistics of how to use those traits and experiences to help us see each other in a different light. If you are wanting to learn more about what defines the people around you, tune in and learn more about how to apply these traits into your own life. 

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