Written by: Isabella Neacsu
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Self-awareness and self-love are subjective ideas, they can’t be physically measured. Do they even exist? That depends on your point of view. They are concepts that people use to create meaning. Some people may believe that self-love IS self-awareness, but others might view them as different concepts. In some cases, it might even seem impossible for some people to love themselves. I can only share my experience, since there is no one answer given all these possibilities. For me, self-awareness is just watching myself, watching myself think. I was told that the way to develop self-awareness was to sit, alone, and think.
Contrary to popular opinion, this didn’t work. Throughout the entire process, I was blank. I fully believed that it was a waste of time and chose to quit. And then I started to understand, self-awareness was not about sitting silently in the dark but about being aware of what decisions you make and then questioning why you made them. Since then, I have been conscious about why I do what I do. I didn’t immediately get the answers to all the questions I had, but it helped me discover myself.
Simply put, whatever you are unaware of rules over you. Whatever you do without thinking, you do not control, and therefore lose being able to freely make a choice. Having self-awareness lets us see where our thoughts and emotions are taking us. It allows us to take control of our feelings so that we can make the changes that are needed in our life. If we are not aware of our thoughts and behaviors, we won’t be able to make these changes. Self-awareness is being aware of your good traits but recognizing what you still have to improve on. This means acknowledging when you don't have the right answer and admitting your faults. Self-awareness is when you understand yourself at the deepest level and are intentional about everything about yourself and what is happening around you. This helps us to make more informed decisions that match who we really are, not just responding to the world around us. Because of self-awareness, we are also able to foster better empathy and understanding towards others. We will be able to better relate to others' experiences if we are aware of our own thoughts, feelings, and actions. This creates stronger and more sincere relationships with the people in our lives. And of course, self-awareness leads to personal growth and progress. We are then capable of identifying areas for improvement and taking steps to better ourselves. Self-awareness is necessary to being successful, but we fail to find time to connect to ourselves in order to live in today’s world.
I encourage you to watch yourself. Try to break down every decision you make and understand yourself. Try to get connected to the most basic features of being you. We spend so much time trying to understand others, but don’t care to do the same with ourselves. To become self-aware, you must first understand basic truths about yourself. Your identity, your core values, and your faults. This will show what is most important to you and what a fulfilling life means to you. You must also be realistic; we often make this imaginary image of ourselves when the reality is completely unalike. Unrealistic expectations will prevent you from accepting who you are and create commitments to your life as somebody else.
It’s important to learn to love yourself the way you would love your child or partner with your whole heart. You have accepted yourself the way you are, you respect yourself and know your self-worth, you fully trust yourself, you prioritize your physical and mental health, you have your own opinions and ideas, you live your life by truth. Self-love is not comparing yourself with others but with your own self. And, most essentially, being kind to yourself. Begin treating yourself the way you treat your loved ones. If they were sad or unmotivated, would you emotionally reprimand them or would comfort and help them? Observe the differences between how you treat yourself and how you treat your loved ones. You might realize that you would never treat anyone as badly as you treat yourself. People who love themselves see both their strengths and weaknesses and are willing to improve themselves. People who love themselves are not insecure and they openly express themselves without fear of being judged. I often hear people say that in order to love someone else you must love yourself first, which I don’t fully agree with. The more we love, the better we get at it. Learning to love others helps us to learn to love ourselves. Sometimes, you just need to start helping someone to start to feel your own self-worth.
The difference between self-awareness and self-love is acceptance, being aware of the way you are and being happy with the way you are different.
Dr. Dana Neacsu, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Dr. Dana Neacsu is trained in both conventional and integrative medicine and her goal is to offer her patients the best treatment from both medical worlds. Her practice is a unique combination of ancient medicine techniques like Reiki, functional medicine cutting-edge protocols and biohacking devices of the future. The core of her practice remains however the patients themselves and their incredible power of self-healing and courage.