Welcome back to our SEL spotlight series!
We started this series by defining what SEL is. If you missed it, check it out here (we promise it's a quick read). Today, we're going to take a deeper dive into one of the five domains of social-emotional learning, self-awareness.
Self-awareness is the ability to see and understand ourselves. With self-awareness, you can answer questions about what you believe, how you feel, and how you behave because you can recognize your own emotions and thoughts. With guidance and attention, you can even connect the dots between your emotions and how they influence your behavior.
Being able to focus our attention on our inner selves is a critical skill. Our ability to self-reflect lays the groundwork for the way we evaluate our behavior and make decisions. When we cultivate this skill (read, needs conscious effort and practice), we have the potential for more self-control, better communication, perspective-taking, and ethical decision making. Being self-aware gives us crucial information that has the power to influence our future actions. Without this information, we wouldn't be able to break bad habits or excel in our jobs.
Inevitably, when we reflect on ourselves, we notice the good, the bad, and everything in between. We're human, so everyone has got it all going on! The key here is not to judge (hint: if you use the word, "should," you're judging...not that we're judging). Rather, stay curious, accept all of your strengths and weaknesses, and then do something positive with this information.
When we can radically accept ourselves because we've seen ourselves, it frees us to act with control and confidence. Grounded self-awareness has the potential to positively shape every single experience that we have. It's like MacGyver's duct tape, always in our back pocket and ready to be used to solve any problem. Self-awareness empowers, leaving a wonderful sense of optimism to face any challenge that life throws your way.
Join us for the next installment where we're talking self-management (parents, we think you'll like this one).