Self-awareness is the capacity. You can think, act, and experience, and you can also think about what you are thinking, doing, and experiencing. At a given moment, you can focus attention on the self or on the external environment. Focusing on the self enables self-evaluation. When self-focused, you compare the self with standards of correctness that specify how the self have to think, feel, and behave. The process of comparing the self with standards allows you to change your behaviour and to experience pride and dissatisfaction with the self. Self-awareness is thus a major mechanism of self-control.
Self – control that exists in you determines your meditation effectiveness. Also, meditation when practiced systematically, improves your self-control in turn.
When you focus attention on the self, you compare the self with standards, try harder to meet standards, and show stronger emotional responses to meeting or failing to meet a standard. The tendency to change the self to match a standard depends on other factors / variables, particularly perceptions of how hard it will be to attain the standard. Remarkably, many psychological experiments have shown that when people are not self-focused, their actions are often unrelated to their personal standards—self-awareness is needed for people to reduce disparities between their actions and their ideals.
The disparity between their action and ideals lead to poor mental health and self-generated stress.
Anything that makes you focus attention on the self will increase self-awareness. Researchers accomplish this by placing people in front of large mirrors, videotaping them, having people listen to recordings of their voices, or making people feel like they stick out. Momentary levels of self-awareness are measured by people’s use of self-referential words and pronouns and by how quickly people recognize self-relevant information.
Why Self Awareness Training should be given only by Professional Psychologists?
Whether self-awareness enables accurate judgments of the self is important question. Self-awareness creates clearer perceptions of internal states, emotions, and traits. However, it is noted that the self-concept is fluid, complex, and contextual—it is not a static object that can simply be apprehended and examined. Ironically, by making some aspects of the self especially salient, self-awareness may exaggerate and bias judgments of what the self is like.
Hence, Self Awareness Training should be given by experienced professional Psychologists, not even novices.
This Self Awareness is crucial in further steps of meditation and self – realization / understanding.