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• There are two types of self-awareness: internal (how aware we are of our thoughts, feelings and identities) and external (how aware we are of how we are perceived by others). Internal awareness doesn’t always imply external awareness. We can be seekers (low on both types), introspectors (high only on internal SA), people-pleasers (high only on external SA) or fully aware (high on both).
• Self-awareness develops as a capacity throughout life, and progresses through stages. Level 1 concerns the awareness of what you are doing and the causes of behavior. Level 2 is about awareness of what you are feeling, which is often concealed by what you are doing. Level 3 is awareness not only of thoughts, feelings and actions, but of what is being pushed out of awareness or avoided. This is the stage of deeper insight into the self.
• Kegan’s theory of adult development showed that self-awareness matures with age, with people gradually acquiring more objectivity. We can progress through stages, where we transform (that is, change the way we perceive, rather than the content of what we perceive) and make subject-object shifts.
• We mature when we transform from subjective experience to objective. This can be simplified as the ability to see you “have” a quality that you can step back from and observe, rather than you “are” a quality that you are completely identified with.
• We can see increasing self-awareness as a project of gaining more objectivity in place of subjective identification.
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Categories: Voice over Work