1st Core of Emotional Intelligence: Self Awareness

1st Core of Emotional Intelligence: Self Awareness

Lieutenant Commander "Data" is the name of an android aboard the starship Enterprise (part of the TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation which is set in the distant future).

His artificial brain gives him the ability to process and calculate information more rapidly than any other crew member. However, being a robot, Data has ongoing difficulties with understanding various aspects of human behaviour and is physically incapable of feeling emotion. That is, at least, until he has an “emotion chip” installed.

The chip suddenly gives data “access” to a range of emotions and allows him to go through a very human-like journey of self-discovery. Data’s observations are very funny at times, as he struggles (and delights) in experiencing basic emotional states that we probably take for granted and might never have given much thought to.

Self awareness is the most fundamental emotional competency. It is the competency upon which all other skills are based, making it the first and foremost aim of any personal development book, training seminar or coaching session.

Socrates, and many other philosophers, saw self-inquiry as one of the most important human endeavours.


Self Awareness Quotes:

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” - Socrates

“He who knows others is learned, he who knows himself is wise.” - Lao Tze

“To thine own self be true.” - Shakespeare

"Ninety per cent of the world's woe comes from people not knowing themselves, their abilities, their frailties, and even their real virtues. Most of us go almost all the way through life as complete strangers to ourselves - so how can we know anyone else?" - Sydney J. Harris

“Whereas the average individuals often have not the slightest idea of what they are, of what they want, of what their own opinions are, self-actualizing individuals have superior awareness of their own impulses, desires, opinions, and subjective reactions in general.” - Abraham Maslow

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” - Carl Jung

"The greatest discovery of my generation is that a man can alter his life simply by altering his attitude of mind." - William James

“Named must your fear be, before banish it you can.” - Yoda


Self Awareness Defined: The ability to recognise and understand your moods, emotions and drives, as well as their effect on others.

In order to have a more developed Emotional Intelligence, one must first be aware of the things that are going on internally. This capacity is essential for making informed decisions about what you may and may not be able to achieve.

The ability to set meaningful goals, articulate one’s personality, move past emotional baggage, demonstrate social appropriateness, understand the difference between what you intend and how others perceive you – all stem from the qualities of self awareness.

The 3 core components of self awareness are:

1. Emotional Awareness (recognising your emotions and their effects) 2. Accurate Self Assessment (knowing your own strengths and limits) 3. Self Confidence (having a strong sense of your self-worth and capabilities)

People that are high in self awareness: Know which emotions they are feeling and why Realise how others perceive them by paying attention to subtle clues Have a strong guiding awareness of their values and goals

People that are low in self awareness: Don’t know what is causing them to feel angry, upset, agitated etc and pass these emotions onto others Have little capacity for self reflection and thus growth and maturation Don’t know what they want or stand for in life and can be easily led by others as a result


Example: Homer Simpson is the perfect example of a character with little or no self awareness. Because of his outgoing nature (High I style on DISC) he is prone to flights of fancy, often getting into a variety of bizarre situations. He is extremely fickle, easily succumbs to boredom, can be easily angered (especially by Bart), often makes offensive remarks without realising it, and doesn’t really seem to have a clue as to what he wants in life. He is extremely loveable as a character, but would be a very difficult person to be around in real life.

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