people with their heads in the sand

Self-Awareness: We Don't Have as Much As We Think

Self-awareness is a foundational skill but it eludes many of us. This piece delves into the topic and serves as a Self-Awareness 101. Read More…


This essay takes a deep dive into self-awareness and explains its value and how to get started on your own journey of self-knowledge.

Click on the image to read it.


See more articles at the bottom of this page about other skills that will help you gain self-awareness.



Why Self-Awareness is Important

In many ways, self-awareness is the foundation of the relational skills. The more self-aware you are, the easier it will be to learn the other skills. While it’s ideal to raise our self-awareness first, when we work on learning skills like assertiveness, good boundaries, or emotional management, we will gain self-awareness in the process.

Self-awareness provides the personal receptiveness required to develop other skills.

Self-awareness is important because we won’t gain proficiency in other relational skills if we cannot be honest with ourselves or if we aren’t interested in learning about ourselves and how to relate effectively to others.

Much of self-awareness is the willingness to be reflective, to consider how we could have handled something better, or simply to be curious about our interactions and our feelings.

white woman, white man and black man in a clothing design studio

Are You Coachable?

You’ve probably heard about people who are not coachable or “teachable.”

Those are people who are incapable of the self-reflection and life examination that creates an open mind and the humility required for learning new ways of behaving. We must have the ability to see things from a different perspective in order to learn.

Those who don’t have the capacity to self-reflect might deny the need for it or try to hide that shortcoming. This is often because of insecurity. They may fool themselves and sometimes others who fall for their fake “confidence” which is usually expressed through aggressive behavior.

Aggression and bullying behavior is quite the opposite of confidence. Truly confident people are sure of themselves and therefore don’t need to “throw their weight around.” Confident people are also teachable because they are open-minded and curious about life.

Those who act aggressively to prove themselves usually have little self-awareness. They believe their act makes them look confident or is necessary for them to be taken seriously in a leadership role.

Because of their insecurity, they have no tolerance for self-honesty. They have low self-esteem and it’s therefore too painful for them to admit any shortcomings. People who can’t acknowledge their shortcomings are not open to learning and consequently cannot make improvements in how they relate to others.

These characteristics make these folks “unteachable.”

They won’t find their way to this website, or if they do, it’s unlikely they will stay because they won’t think any of the information here applies to them. It will terrify them and with one click they will be gone.

There will, however, be those rare people who are teetering on the edge of willingness – if that’s you, take a look around – you might find something of value.

It’s about maturity. To be coachable we must have some degree of self-awareness. We must be able to admit that we aren’t perfect and that we can benefit from getting to know ourselves better. We understand that improving our relational skills will improve all of our relationships.

business woman and man talking at conference table

If you aren’t teachable you won’t be able to increase your self-awareness and therefore won’t be able to develop the skills that can improve both your personal and business relationships.

Learn More About Yourself


Self-awareness is coming to honestly know yourself. For most people, it’s a life-long process.

It’s the ability to recognize your feelings and to notice the ups and downs of your emotional states. It’s developing an understanding of what triggers you emotionally and why.

Self-awareness is an important component of life. Not simply in and of itself, but as the foundation of the more sophisticated skills that we will look at next.

facilitated group
three men - close up hands on laptop on table with coffee cup

Those on a path of self-development, who gain self-awareness, and raise their consciousness, will take more responsibility for themselves, and consequently be a grown-up living a life of contentment.

Self-awareness requires self-inquiry. Can we become successful mature adults without developing psychological and moral awareness?

Can we excel in our field, become proficient in our creative endeavors, or serve the world effectively without a deep awareness of self?

Additional Articles That Support Self-Awareness


laptop with two fists viewed from above and crumpled paper

Conscious Anger: Understanding the Mystery Emotion

We can learn to understand our emotional triggers and how to manage aggressive behavior. We can increase self-awareness and gain the interpersonal skills essential for resolving difficulties with others and deepening our relational capacity. Read More…


group talking

Assertiveness Skills: the Unsung Hero of Relationships & Life

Assertiveness is an approach to interaction and self-expression that is direct and clear. Sadly it’s also somewhat rare. In its purest form, assertiveness is a communication style of simplicity that is not only free of negative energy, but that expresses empathy. Read more…


Adults Bullying image collage

Aggression & Blame in Organizations: Bullying by Adults

A more nuanced behavior than most of us think, there are unrecognized forms of bullying being carried out by adults. Many of us think of bullying as something kids do. In recent years, that belief isn’t quite as common. I’ve experienced bullying in settings you might not believe. Read more…


Conflict Resolution for Individuals & Organizations

Got humans? There will be conflict. If there isn’t, someone’s not expressing their needs. Differing opinions can make us nervous, but if we keep an open mind without getting defensive, we have the opportunity to see an issue from a different perspective. Read More…


man and woman - "What I did was wrong and I apologize."

Why You Need the Rare Skill of an Authentic Apology

We don’t often hear a full-fledged apology in our families or our workplace. We almost never hear them from public officials. It’s a concern that our society has a growing epidemic of so-called adults who lack the ability to take responsibility for themselves. Read More…


collage of people dealing with personal boundaries

Boundaries for Personal & Business Settings

A topic that often comes up for coaching clients, is boundaries. That’s because coaching, whether personal or professional, is about relationships and relationships are managed effectively or ineffectively in direct proportion to the health of our personal boundaries. Read More…