Self-Awareness vs. Self-Consciousness: The Confidence Perspective

 / 

Self-Awareness vs. Self-Consciousness: The Confidence Perspective

What is self-awareness and why is it important? How do you develop self-awareness?

Everyone is talking about self-awareness these days. It seems to be the latest fascinating buzzword, having its 5-seconds-of-fame moment before the world moves on to the next one.

But from what scientists tell us—it’s not all a cool fad. In fact, it has very tangible benefits—for our mental, physical health, and nonetheless—our self-esteem. In a nutshell, it’s a super-power, which we all need to develop.

But how?

So, to start from the beginning, self-awareness is “how an individual consciously knows and understands their own character, feelings, motives, and desires.” There are many advantages to cultivating it.

Research has found that when we are able to see ourselves more clearly, we are more confident, creative, efficient, and become better at making decisions, at relationships and at our jobs.

So, greater self-awareness gives us a deeper insight into us—i.e. self-knowledge.

And we generally think we are pretty good at knowing ourselves, right? But of course— it’s you. If you don’t know yourself, who does?

Interestingly enough, though, studies have discovered that although we all believe to be self-aware, only 10-15% of us actually are.

Furthermore, there are 2 types of self-awareness, psychologists tell us—internal and external.

  • The Internal one is about understanding our inner landscapes (our feelings, passions, and drivers), how well we fit into our environments and the impact we are making on others.
  • The External kind is about how we perceive others to see us.

So, it’s not hard to see that internal self-awareness links to greater life satisfaction, happiness, self-esteem, and less anxiety, and depression. The more you nurture it, the better.

Too much external self-awareness (and low internal), in contrast, can be counter-helpful. It can make us too self-conscious and willing to please others, even at the risk of going against our own interests or careers.

So, how do we get more of the good stuff—i.e. can we become more self-aware and find the best balance between the internal and external types?

Luckily, we are far from option-less. The best ways to get to know ourselves are though reflection, monitoring our internal dialog and thoughts, and seeking feedback from people we can trust.

Related: 9 Steps That Can Build Your Self-Confidence Like Never Before

And rather than beating ourselves up with the Why-s (why we failed to ace the presentation, to keep our partner, to get the job, to be the parent we want to be), one should start the self-awareness quest with a different question: What?

What can you do to improve yourself, to change your situation, to reach your goal? The “Why”-investigations are not good, as throw us into a self-blaming loop and leave us with a painfully negative aftertaste. The “Whats,” in comparison, spring us into action, help us come up with a plan and the steps on how to make it all better.

So, self-awareness seems to be ticking a lot of boxes when it comes to enhancing our confidence. It can make us wiser, acceptive of our weaknesses and willing to draft a better future for ourselves.

Here is the tiny caveat, though.

Heightened self-awareness (a.k.a self-consciousness) is bad for your self-esteem.

In fact, research has found that if you have low-self-esteem to start with, becoming more self-perceptive can exacerbate the gap between who you believe you are and who you want to be. As a result, you may feel much worse.

Generally, science confirms, when we are pre-occupied with ourselves and have low confidence, we may become increasingly sensitive to others’ opinions of us. So much, that it can escalate into acute social anxiety, shyness, aversion to meeting new people, and inability to unfold our full potentials.

The more unhappy we become with ourselves, the more space will widen between our Real and Ideal Self.

Simply put, self-consciousness can be a real confidence and happiness downer.

So, what next then?

Perhaps the most liberating thing to realize is that people really don’t care, nor notice us as much as we believe. It’s a well-known bias in psychology, called “the spotlight effect”—the feeling that everyone is watching and criticizing us.

A famous study a few years back dispelled these beliefs. A student wore a Barry Manilow T-shirt (highly embarrassing to college population) to class and less than 50% recalled his outfit.

That is, we are not as important to others as we are to ourselves. And that’s great news. People are too busy being focused on themselves to pay too close attention to us.

An additional step we can take to dial down on our self-consciousness is to practice what’s called “a mental shrug.” We must stop searching for validation of our negative thoughts from others, but rather—separate ourselves from our thoughts.

When we feel them creeping into our minds, just shrug them off. They are not representative of who we truly are.

So, here is the recap.

Self-awareness is generally good—and for your self-esteem. Self-consciousness—not quite.

Related: How To Boost Your Self-Esteem Quickly: 12 Simple Tips

Of course, it’s great to know what makes you tick and drives you to more forward. But if you become too tangled up in the what-others-may-think mentality, then you’ve reached the Land of self-consciousness and must turn back.

A quote I came across recently eloquently sums it up:

“A caterpillar who seeks to know himself would never become a butterfly.”

Watch out the video to understand the importance of self-awareness.

For more advice on how to become more confident and live a more fulfilling life, join Evelyn’s Facebook page here or visit her website http://www.evelynmarinoff.com/.


Written by Evelyn Marinoff
Originally appeared in Evelyn Marinoff

Self-Awareness vs. Self-Consciousness: The Confidence Perspective

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply



Up Next

5 Powerful Benefits of Imaginative Thinking

Imaginative Thinking: Powerful Benefits Of Imagination

The benefits of imaginative thinking are unending to be honest. However, in this article we are going to explore five of the most interesting and powerful benefits of imagination and imaginative thinking.

KEY POINTS

Imagination is a fundamental aspect of human life.

Imagination enables one to look beyond the world as it is.

Imagination helps create different lenses through which to see the world.

Our



Up Next

What Kind Of Angry Are You? The 4 Types Of Anger

The Types Of Anger: What Kind Of An Angry Person Are You?

Everyone gets angry at some point, and anger is probably one of the most common emotions we feel. But did you know there are different types of anger, namely, 4 types of anger? This article is going to talk about the different types of anger and how they look like. So, what is your anger style? Let’s find out!

Anger may rear its emotional head in irritation and annoyance, self-pity and withdrawal, envy and resentment, or vengeance and violence. Our anger may fill the room with dominance or veil itself in anxiety or avoidance.

Those who internalize anger may question whether they have the right to be angry and avoid direct confrontation. They stuff their anger down to prevent offending, being disliked, or losing control.

Those who externalize anger resort to blaming, shaming, and engage i



Up Next

10 Signs You Are Wise Beyond Your Years

Signs You Are Wise Beyond Your Years

Are you often told by close ones that you’re an old soul? You know, the ones who always have a nugget of wisdom to drop, even though you never try too hard to portray yourself as intelligent? If so, you might just be wise beyond your years.

In a world where we often correlate age with experience, there are quite a few people who possess an innate depth of understanding that defies their age. It’s like they know more than they should, and they have an otherworldly aura to them.

So, if you’ve ever been told you’re an old soul trapped in a young body or if you just have a knack for offering sage advice, you’ve come to the right place, my friend. This article is going to look at the signs you are wise beyond your years.



Up Next

50+ Deep Self Reflection Questions For Personal Growth

Deep Self Reflection Questions For Personal Growth

Are you ready for some deep self reflection about growth? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Self reflection questions are like little nuggets of wisdom that can help you uncover and understand your true self, aid in your personal growth, and make sense of this crazy journey called life.

Whether you’re looking to understand yourself more deeply, set new goals, or simply gain clarity, these self reflection questions are going to serve as your trusty companions. So grab a cozy spot, maybe a cup of tea, and get ready to dive into the depths of your mind, and do some much-needed self reflection about growth.

Related: 40 Deep Questions To Ask I



Up Next

Pure Soul Meaning: 12 Signs Of A Pure Soul That You Absolutely Need To Know About

Pure Soul Meaning And Signs Of A Person With Pure Soul

Have you ever met someone who is truly and genuinely a good person? Someone who is kind, compassionate, calm, and loves people unconditionally? Then you’ve just met a “pure soul.” But what is pure soul meaning?

People who have a pure soul often possess a certain quality that sets them apart from the rest, captivating us with their genuine kindness and warmth. Their presence seems to illuminate the room and touch the hearts of those around them. But what does it truly mean to have a pure soul? 

Today, we embark on a captivating journey to unravel the depths of its meaning. Join us as we explore the signs and characteristics that define these remarkable beings.

What is a Pure Soul?



Up Next

12 Signs Of A High Vibration Person And How To Raise Your Vibrations

The Vibe Tribe: Signs Of A High Vibration Person

Ever met someone who effortlessly radiates positivity? Someone who always attracts good things easily? Someone who makes you smile, uplifts, and inspires you no matter the circumstance? Then you have just met a high vibration person. But what exactly sets these individuals apart? Let’s explore the signs of a high vibration person.

Today, we will find out what is a high vibration person, delve into the signs that indicate a high vibration, and discover how to raise your vibrations effectively. So, let’s embark on this journey of self-discovery and learn how to align ourselves with a higher frequency of positivity and abundance.

What is a High Vibration Person?

Before we dive into the signs of a high vibration pe



Up Next

How To Stop A Racing Mind: 7 Techniques For Mastering Mental Turbulence

How To Stop A Racing Mind: Ways To Tame A Racing Mind

Ever found yourself lying in bed, desperately trying to sleep after a long, tiring day, but your mind refuses to do so? It feels like your mind is racing like a Formula 1 car on caffeine. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there! That relentless stream of thoughts can feel overwhelming, leaving you feeling restless and exhausted. So, how to stop a racing mind?

In this article, we’ll talk about the meaning of racing thoughts and how to calm a busy mind. Let’s explore the seven best ways to stop your mind from racing, and discover the blissful art of finding your inner calm amidst all the chaos.

First, let’s talk about the meaning of racing thoughts.

Related: