Many struggle to describe themselves in their barest form, let alone realise their individual potential to achieve something big. When we don’t know where we are headed, it is hard to set goals, stay motivated and determine the best course of action. So, before we can do any of these things, we must first establish who we are.
Knowing oneself has immense benefits; it can help you set realistic goals, accomplish tasks, have successful relationships, or simply remaining motivated in your daily activities. In order to perform at an optimum level, knowing oneself is of top importance!
Self-awareness stems from reflecting on three aspects of the ‘Self’:
1) ‘I-Self’. This aspect answers the question, ‘How do I see myself?’ Reflecting on the concept of ‘I-Self’ helps the individual to understand oneself from life’s learning experiences including past experiences, accomplishments, mistakes, attitudes, behaviours or values. These experiences mould one to become who they truly are.
2) ‘Me-Self’. This answers the question of ‘How do others see me?’ This aspect of the self is developed from influences and interactions with society. Parents, friends, teachers, mentors and any environmental factors can contribute to the shaping of the ‘Me-Self’. The ‘I-Self’ is constantly developing as the ‘Me-Self’evolves.
3) ‘Ideal-Self’. This answers the question of ‘How do I want others to see me?’ This is a projection of oneself onto others and the fulfilment of various roles in one’s life journey.
Creating a unified self is constantly challenging as often, the three aspects of ’SELF’ are not in sync with one another. People are generally wired to seek meaning and acceptance. However, what one conceals from the public can be the catalysts hindering the quest for social acceptance. For instance, when the urge to control the perception of others overwhelms the authentic self, self-awareness will be gradually diminished, resulting in a loss of identity.
It is therefore of high importance to know oneself as it aids in identifying personal weaknesses, realising areas of improvements, identifying optimal choices in decision-making and the sharing of strengths with others. Ultimately, knowing and understanding oneself leads to a more productive life and in attaining one’s goals.
Psychology is becoming increasingly recognised as a source of information and understanding that is relevant to educational, social and family policies. There is a growing demand for practitioners with strong insights and initiative, to research and inform on prevailing issues inherent to the society.
The MDIS School of Psychology offers programmes of distinct quality in partnership with Oklahoma City University, USA. The International Foundation Diploma to Bachelor’s Degree progression pathway provides a comprehensive learning experience for students, including collaborative learning opportunities and industry visits to understand the practical applications of the theoretical knowledge.
By Chris Jabines, SPR, MSPS, Manager/Lecturer at MDIS School of Psychology