Awareness

6054_519450235944_6419672_nOne of the components of emotional intelligence is intra personal intelligence or self awareness.  This awareness includes understanding our strengths, limitations, motivations, habits, and purpose in life.  It is about learning how to be our own best friend so that we can also develop the capacity for friendship with others.

One measure of emotional intelligence that allows us to increase self awareness is the ability to accept criticism and praise with equanimity.  Being able to reframe feedback from others as information allows us to decide if the information is  valid and if we can use it to improve some aspect of our lives. This facet of self awareness may take some time to develop when we are conditioned to be defensive and quick to feel rejection.  It is no small thing to be able to help a child to understand this early in life so as to develop greater self confidence and acceptance.

The goal of self awareness is not to become self conscious or self centered.  It is simply to pay attention to what we are doing rather than living by default.   It is asking ourselves if what we have done today is worth exchanging  for a day of our lives.  It is forgiving ourselves for our shortcomings and gently exploring how we can help ourselves to be more authentic.

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