- January 29, 2021
There are destinations we never reach, though we persevere on the journey. And there are books that are never finished, though the author continues to outline and edit. But what about the self – that perpetual, cradle-to-coffin quest that remains ever elusive? Can we consciously “build” on it? And, if so, how can self-awareness be developed?
The irony of self-awareness is that it exceeds mere awareness.
At some point early in life, the child looks in the mirror and connects his reflection with the physical being standing before the glass.
This objective awareness is just that – objective. It doesn’t exude from an evaluative processing or contemplation of experience. It has no moral relevance, no inspiration for behavioral modification.
And yet, awareness of the objective self is foundational to what comes after: the subjective self.
It’s here, where the mirror reflects inward, that self-awareness steps out on a lifetime journey. And, though there may be looking back, there can never be turning back.
Roy Baumeister describes the concept of self-awareness as:
Anticipating how others perceive you, evaluating yourself and your actions according to collective beliefs and values, and caring about how others evaluate you.
Even within the quiet containment of the individual self, self-awareness has profound…