A motherless cub or young lion raised by a mother sheep, starts thinking and acting like a sheep but was made fun of by other sheep for being different than them in appearance and voice. This made the cub sad and unhappy.
Once, an older lion attacks the herd of sheep and finds it strange to hear the cub say:
“I am just a young sheep, please don’t eat me.”
The older lion has tough time convincing the cub that it is not a sheep but a lion and thus leads the cub to a nearby river to show its reflection:
The cub then realizes it is not a sheep but a mighty lion.
Just like the young lion, when we become aware of our strengths or limiting beliefs, we start realizing our true nature.
Aristotle, the renowned Greek philosopher has rightly said – “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
Life without self-awareness
We cannot grow without being self-aware. Like the young lion, we might become unhappy without knowing our true worth or like the young sheep, we might not realize how we impact others negatively due to our lack of self-awareness.
Sometimes, even people with high intelligence, high qualifications, often display complete lack of insight into who they truly are.
Self-awareness for meaning and positivity
How do you make your life meaningful and experience positive feelings instead of getting buried under unrealistic expectations, prejudices, and narrow judgements from outside?
Perhaps the most economical and reliable self-help tools are self-awareness and self-acceptance.
We spend an enormous amount of time and energy in analyzing the world, other people, technology etc. But the million-dollar question is how much time do we keep aside for knowing our own self?
Self-awareness is nothing but the time spent on looking inward to know:
- If we are impacting ourselves and others the right way?
- If yes, what is already working well?
- If not, what else would work better and what more changes or adjustments are needed at our level?
Do not worry about the people or situations, which tend to challenge our self-help tools. Exceptions are always there.
Just continue to practice. Do it at your own pace and comfort. I do it too.
Be kind to yourself
In this process, ensure that you are not harsh on yourself but more humane and realistic. Dissociate yourself from some experiences and start observing them as an outsider would behold.
This is your first step towards being kind to yourself. However, do not forget to ask yourself what you want to do with these clues?
Know yourself towards others
Now, let’s talk about if we are aware of how we make others around feel through our interactions or responses, perceptions. This is equally important because our sense of well-being somehow cannot be isolated from this association.
This helps us breathe freely and also let others be themselves. Once we start accepting our true self and identifying ways in which we can help ourselves to be a better companion for ourselves and for others around, the suffocation from external judgement and conspiracy starts diminishing, showing us the innumerable creative ways to smile and live better no matter what sometimes, our inevitable circumstances might force on us.
Self-awareness leads to self-acceptance in both negative as well as in positive circumstances.
This helps us get rid of our habit of putting others into fixed categories to satisfy our envious or other negative feelings and power struggle.
Instead we will have the acceptance, courage, humility, and commitment to look inward and fix the enemies we have been entertaining within our mind and heart.
Everyone is gifted with inner resources that are helpful to us and for others. We cannot live alone with few fixed perspectives but get chiseled from being exposed to viewpoints and ideas, which come from others and other sources.
This exchange continues lifetime. But with self-awareness and self-acceptance, this exchange becomes pleasant and not sour. It is possible to achieve mental fitness through self-awareness and self-acceptance.
It is invaluable to start an intentional journey towards self-awareness and self-acceptance by checking our own saboteurs.