Self-Awareness: Why Do We Fear It and How to Master It

What if you could live a life that is completely truthful about yourself? Total transparency is key. You can feel good about yourself and what you find.

Since it intimidated and scared me, I avoided this question for the majority of my adult life.

Would I like to confess to my own anger? No. Or that I used the silent treatment to punish those who didn’t get me what I want? Another no. You might also be surprised to learn that I have a tendency to remain in toxic relationships because I feel the pain. 

We don’t want to admit that we manipulate, control or self-sabotage ourselves. No one does because it doesn’t provide instant gratification, and it doesn’t tell us that we are amazing and we can be anything that we dream about. 

No. Self-awareness is a disservice to our ego because often, it’s about brutal truth and intimidating self-discoveries. And that’s where the opportunity lies for all of us. 

Why are we so afraid to face the truth?

It is difficult to distinguish between self-awareness from self-judgment. Many people find guilt a daily part of their lives. Self-judgment can be caused by childhood trauma, self-talk that is negative, and/or someone who criticizes you constantly. Recognizing our weaknesses, controlling or manipulative behavior or other toxic characteristics is almost impossible. 

I want to clarify one thing. It is okay to admit that you can manipulate situations or people, or that your toxic personality or excessively lengthy showers are reasons you procrastinate. 

Understand that any unwanted trait you possess is often a result of what happened to you, not what’s wrong with you. If you find yourself being toxic as I have, It doesn’t mean you are a bad person, it doesn’t make you less valuable, it doesn’t decrease your worth, it simply makes you aware.

Is the “truth” really true? 

Let me give you an example to show how statistics can help. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence website 1/15 children are subject to intimate partner violence every year. 90% of these children have witnessed this violence.

That’s 90% of children who have experienced trauma of some sort that impacts their healthy development, self-esteem, and overall mental health. 

These children don’t talk about their pasts, so how can they expect to act as adults when confronted with it? Most of these children will continue to live with unhealthy beliefs and habits into adulthood. 

Let me now ask: How do these experiences influence or define you? 

They certainly shape them. Their behavior, attitudes, and personality are shaped by them. But they don’t define them in terms of who they are in their core. This is an important distinction that I would like you to make. 

What if who you are today can be attributed to your childhood, the way you were raised, the people who influenced you, then how can you ever feel guilty for the things you have done? It’s not yours. It’s something that’s been given to you. That’s why I said that these experiences may shape you but don’t define you. You can become more aware of yourself and transform your life.

“The most important conversations you’ll ever have are the ones you’ll have with yourself.” — David Goggins

Be brave to rise up

I came to the conclusion that the majority of people don’t change because they have no idea what needs to change. Although being aware can seem scary, many people choose to ignore it. They feel exhausted by pretending to be something they are not. 

How can we conquer our fear of being ourselves? And how can we achieve lasting, real transformation? Let’s break it down into three simple steps:

Step 1. Quality in your inner circle

When you are open to the truth you will want others who share your mission for transformation.  There are two reasons why this is important. First, you will cause a “me too” effect, where the person feels understood just by knowing they are not alone and also inspired to do the same. The second is freedom of expression. 

Since facing our shadows triggers us, brings feelings of guilt or shame, or it simply doesn’t feel like a trip to Disneyland, it’s imperative to create a safe space. It is easier to learn self-awareness if you are open about sharing your feelings with the right people. You’ll discover that those traits or behaviors you may be afraid to look at are the same traits and behaviors many of us deal with daily. 

Step #2: Opt in for a judge-free zone

You will soon realize how critical it is not to judge yourself when you are practicing self-awareness. 

The most important moments in my transformation were when I finally got over myself and admitted the negativity I was holding. However, it wasn’t easy at the beginning. My brain was wired to make me constantly criticize myself. I find it easy to lose awareness and fall prey to my guilt-driven behaviours. This was something I could recognize and overcome. You can see the silver lining. 

You must not judge yourself on your journey towards self-awareness. Guilt is overbearing, toxic, and discouraging, especially if it’s repeated over and over. We are striving for love and kindness. It is essential to approach our darkest moments from a place of compassion and understanding. If we come from an optimistic and upbeat place within our minds, then we can only grow. 

Step 3: Using the information we have discovered 

Once you find the courage to face traits and behaviors you wish to change and then acknowledge them with love and compassion, it’s time to accept them. There is nothing wrong about you. It’s only what happened to you that brought you to this place in life.  

Once you’re aware of your behavior, you can observe and learn from it. Observe how you behave in stressful situations. Learn to be an observer

When you are more conscious, it will become easier to choose other ways of being. The more you practice this, the more confident and proud you’ll feel about your abilities to change. If you do it correctly, awareness can make a huge difference in your life. 


While self-awareness refers to the positive and negative aspects of our personalities, I felt it was important to mention those parts that we’re afraid to examine. 

True transformation only happens when we have the courage to admit what needs to be improved and changed while also approaching it with a healthy sense of empathy and understanding.

You don’t have to be negative about yourself. Self-awareness is a profound skill to master since it offers you powerful insights into the most important person of your life – yourself.

Addicted 2 Success first published the post Self-Awareness. Why do we fear it and how to master it.

Addicted 2 Success’s post Self-Awareness: Why do We Fear It? and How To Master It originally appeared on Addicted 2 Success.

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