Self-worth and appearance
The concept of self-awareness means having a clear perception of who you are; knowing your self-worth. This means having a clear perception of your strengths and weaknesses and to be conscious of your thoughts and actions (Goleman, 1998). Achieving self-awareness is not easy. You will have to face your flaws, your shortcomings and your weaknesses.
To me the most difficult conversations in life are the ones I have with myself. This is due to the fact that these internal confrontations make me aware of my limitations. Nonetheless, even though I struggle with my limitations, I do not consider being aware of them a bad thing. On the contrary, having a clear perception of my self-worth is what gives me my inner peace and my strength. I experience this because I believe that to a certain extent we are able to shape ourselves. We are not trapped by our personalities; we have the capacity to recreate and reinvent ourselves.
Self-awareness is an ongoing process; it is not a definite state of being. As we grow older, we gather experience. It is this acquired knowledge that instigates our development. I am not the same person I was 5 or 10 years ago. Over the years I’ve accumulated all sorts of experiences, which all contributed to the person I am today. In order to develop ourselves it is essential that we are aware of what our strengths and weaknesses are, because this allows us to steer our development. Through this we will then be able to shape ourselves in a way that enables us to pursue what we want in life.
This also means that letting our self-worth depend on our appearance isn’t only very limiting, it is detrimental to our development.
It is completely understandable that we care about our appearance. We live in a society that dictates certain things. We cannot see ourselves apart from others. The fact that we judge each other on the basis of our appearance gives the image a lot of power. However, self-worth cannot be build on the basis of our appearance. Self-worth comes from within us. It does not stem from external actions. So if we build our self-worth on external factors, it means that we can no longer steer our development, which translates into not being able to go after what we really want in life.
Achieving self-awareness is not easy. It takes a lot of hard work. You have to be willing to face yourself; face your flaws, your shortcomings and your weaknesses. You have to fully embrace your past, your present and your future. But if you do, if you are truly committed to yourself, you will have the strength to pursue the life you want to live.
Goleman, D. (1998). “What Makes a Leader?” Harvard Business Review, 93. Business Insights: Essentials. Web. 5 Mar. 2014.