Is your child at risk because of a lack of self-awareness? Do you allow him to complete the grieving process when he’s sad or do you hurry him on to happier feelings? Are you uncomfortable with displays of anger and so you clamp down when your daughter expresses it? Children who aren’t allowed and taught to navigate their own emotions can end up having others make their decisions, choose their friends, to tell them something is good when it’s not.
Self-awareness is the foundation of social and emotional intelligence. It is a key behavioral skill which allows people to make wise decisions. The English Oxford Living Dictionaries gives this definition of self-awareness: Conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires.
Usually looking at the definition of a word helps me begin to get a good understanding of what I’m studying. But, the definition above while accurate, is not as specific as I’d like. However, using the EQ model from the Institute for Social and Emotional Intelligence (ISEI), I can see there are three parts making up self-awareness. That gives me a better understanding of what a person needs to be strong in this area. In her curriculum, Dr. Laura Beltsen, founder of the ISEI, teaches that self-awareness includes the ability to be emotionally self-aware, to accurately self-assess, and to have a strong sense of one’s personal power.
Without the ability to be emotionally self-aware, children…people are not able to listen to their own instinct and intuition. That can lead them into risky behaviors through peer pressure. They can make expensive mistakes such as choosing a college major or career to people-please or because it’s trendy rather than because they’re passionate about it or even naturally gifted in that area. People low in self-awareness do not have that sense of their personal power and ability grounded in the Father God that is essential in finding and following His plan for their life.
Self-awareness is vitally important.