31 Jan

5 Reasons Why Self-Awareness is Important to Your Development

John is an intelligent young man with many skills, including computer programming. However, it was writing content that really lit up his world. Recently, he was offered a job at one of the biggest tech companies based in San Francisco. He turned it down and took up freelance writing instead. His parents and friends couldn’t understand why he had made such a crazy decision. But John wasn’t crazy. He knew that the tech industry wasn’t for him. He knew he wouldn’t be happy there. John was self-aware.

Self-awareness is one of the essential elements in our development. It is the ability to point the torch inwards to see and understand personal emotions, abilities, thought-process, and values. It also gives you an idea of how people see you and why. 

If you are self-aware, you can manage your emotions objectively, align your actions with your standards, and build healthy relationships. Here are 5 more reasons why self-awareness is important to your development.


In his book Atomic Habits, James Clear advises: “You should build habits that work for your personality… pick the right habit, and progress is easy. Pick the wrong habit, and life is a struggle.”

Self-awareness is really about understanding your personality, which includes your strengths and weaknesses, among other things. Identifying them will help you know where you’ll naturally do well and where you won’t do so well. It will help you choose the right things for yourself, whether a job or any other activity. Progress and development in your chosen endeavor will come easy. And needless to say, you will find satisfaction in it too.


Decisions based on emotions can be pretty irrational at best and harmful at worst. For instance, anger could cause you to say or do things you’ll later regret; sadness could make you lower your standards and expectations; anxiety over one area of your life could affect other areas.

Does that mean you should ignore your emotions while making important decisions? Not at all. Research has shown that used properly; emotions can improve decision-making performances. Those who understood and regulated their feelings (i.e. are self-aware) while making decisions made better ones. 

Therefore, instead of ignoring your emotions when making decisions, observe them objectively, regulate them, and you’ll be sure to make better decisions personally and professionally.


A person who is low on self-awareness is prone to hasty conclusions. Their judgment is often subjective, based on visceral feelings, assumptions, or hunches.

On the other hand, by practicing self-awareness, you invariably train your mind to be objective. It’s like leaving your skin and seeing yourself from higher ground, without judgment or bias. This way, you’re better equipped to examine the evidence and determine what is valid based on verifiable facts. These are the very traits of a critical thinker. It, therefore, follows that the more self-aware you are, the more enhanced your critical thinking skills will be.


Growing evidence indicates that people with a high level of self-awareness usually make better leaders. And the reason is simple. The skills we learn from self-awareness, some of which we have mentioned throughout this article, are crucial to becoming a better leader.

For instance, a leader with high self-awareness will also possess emotional intelligence. They will think critically, ask for feedback, make decisions without bias, and treat others kindly. The result is that business is positively affected. In fact, one research published by the Korn Ferry Institute confirms that leaders can improve performance by becoming more self-aware.

It is a given; self-awareness is a must-have for you if you want to be a better leader.


I believe happiness comes from within. It is independent of your achievements or other external things people think will make them happy. Someone with self-awareness, like John, mentioned at the outset of this article, knows this.

When you are self-aware, you focus on what you consider most important- such as your values and beliefs. You know what will work for you and what won’t. As a result, you would refrain from engaging in anything that doesn’t align with your internal compass. And therein lies happiness.

The benefits of self-awareness are numerous. My advice? Cultivate it. Try introspective meditation. Ask your friends about whom they think you are. Write down your beliefs, values, and priorities and question them. Try to be as objective as possible. If you take care to do all these, you will surely improve your self-awareness, and you will be better for it.

Join us at the upcoming Wellness Retreat and upskill your leadership skills and emotional intelligence