Yes it can be, but the answer is a bit more complex then a simple yes or no answer.
You see, self-awareness has become something of a buzzword lately. People seem to be talking about it everywhere they go. They say things like, “I am aware of my flaws” or “I want to improve myself”.
I have already written about external self-awareness and internal self-awareness as they are main parts of awareness itself, but it is true that some psychologists believe too much self-awareness can be harmful.
From personal experience, I can tell you that if you obsess over your weaknesses and failures, then you will inevitably suffer from these problems.
However, the good news is that this doesn’t have to happen. If you are willing to work on yourself, you can overcome any negative effects of excessive self-awareness.
In this article, we will look at the dangers of being too aware. We will also explore how you can use your self-awareness to your advantage.
The Dangers of Being Too Aware
Let me start by saying that there is nothing wrong with having an awareness of your strengths and weaknesses. In fact, it is important for you to know what you do well and what areas you need to work on.
If you don’t know where you stand in terms of your abilities, then you won’t be able to make progress towards your goals.
You might think that you are doing fine, but without knowing where you stand, you won’t know whether you are actually improving.
So, when you find out about your weaknesses, try not to dwell on them. Instead, focus on what you can do to improve those areas.
The problem arises when you get so obsessed with your weaknesses that you end up feeling depressed. This happens because you are constantly thinking about all the ways in which you fail.
You may feel guilty about your failures, and you may even blame yourself for them. As a result, you begin to hate yourself.
You may also start to worry about your future. You may fear losing your job or getting into trouble.
This leads to feelings of hopelessness and despair. It becomes very difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
This usually happens because of excessive self-awareness.
What Is Excessive Self-Awareness?
Excessive self-awareness means dwelling on your weaknesses and failures. When you spend time thinking about your weaknesses, you are no longer focusing on what you can do.
Instead, you are only thinking about what you can not do.
It is as though you are living in a world of black and white. There is no room for gray.
When you are overly focused on your shortcomings, you lose sight of your strengths. The more you focus on your weaknesses, the less likely you are to notice your achievements.
As a result, you lose motivation. You stop trying to achieve your goals.
You may even give up altogether.
As a side effect of excessive self-awareness, there are many dangerous aspects that could happen. The top
Ten dangers of too much self-awareness are:
- Low self-esteem
- Inability to Progress
- Lack of motivation
- Anger Management
- Shame and Guilt
All of this is because of spending too much time thinking about weaknesses instead of concentrating on what to do next.
Constructive feedback is crucial, but if you are always looking at your faults, then you will never learn from constructive criticism.
How To Overcome The Negative Effects Of Self Awareness
It is possible to overcome these problems if you learn to manage your thoughts and emotions.
There are two main methods that you can use to overcome excessive self-awareness.
Concentrate on Your Strengths
As mentioned earlier, one way to deal with excessive self-awareness is to focus on your strengths instead of your weaknesses.
For example, if you are bad at math, you could choose to study other subjects.
Or, if you are terrible at sports, you could join a team.
By choosing to focus on your strengths, you are able to ignore your weaknesses.
Everyone has some weak points. However, it doesn’t mean that you have to dwell on them.
But everyone has something they can be proud of. So why don’t we just concentrate on our strengths?
To help you identify your strengths, you need to ask yourself questions such as:
- What makes me happy?
- What do my friends tell me I’m good at?
Once you know what you are good at, you can then decide how to improve your skills.
For example, I was ignoring my strength of having solid communication skills. But by asking myself these questions, I realized that I am really good at helping people understand things.
So, I decided to work on improving my ability to communicate. This made me happier because I felt like I had accomplished something.
Social anxiety started to disappear.
I became more confident.
The key here is to find out what you are good at and then make sure you put all of your energy into doing those activities.
Doing so, your self-conscious emotions and blind spots will start to fade away.
Use Your Weaknesses to Motivate Yourself
Another method is to use your weaknesses as a source of motivation.
For example, you could tell yourself that you are going to learn how to play the guitar. Or, you could say that you are going to become a better writer.
By using your weaknesses as a source of motivation, you will be able to push through the negative thoughts and feelings associated with them.
In this way, you will be able to eliminate the negative emotions that come from excessive self-awareness.
That way, you can generate positive emotions instead.
I am sure you have experienced those moments when you are feeling down.
And all of a sudden, you feel like everything is okay again.
The reason for this is that you have used your weakness as a source of motivation to get out of your funk.
Having a grit mindset is important.
Grit means being determined and persistent despite setbacks and challenges.
If you want to develop a strong sense of grit, you should do the following things:
Focus on the long term
Instead of focusing only on short-term results, try to think in terms of the future.
This helps you avoid getting discouraged by failures or disappointments.
Set small but achievable goals
Instead of setting big goals, set smaller ones.
Small goals are easier to achieve than large ones.
Also, they give you more control over your life.
Take action now
Don’t wait until you have completed every step before taking another step forward.
Doing so will prevent you from procrastinating.
Support for emotional intelligence
When you start to overcome the negative effects of too much self-awareness, you will experience an increase in emotional intelligence levels.
As you use your weaknesses as a motivation, you will automatically build emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize one’s own emotions and regulate their intensity. It also includes the ability to manage other people’s emotions and empathize with others’ perspectives.
So, the balance between too much and too little self-awareness skills will be normal.
You will be able to identify your emotions and take actions to change them.
Personal growth will be an interesting and fun process again.
All in all, there is no right or wrong way to deal with your self-awareness.
However, if you choose to focus on your strengths rather than your weaknesses, you will experience less stress and anxiety. You will also enjoy greater happiness.
Strive for honest feedback because it’s easy to hide our faults and flaws.
When we receive honest feedback, we tend to grow.
We get motivated to change.
We realize that we have potential.
So, having too much self-awareness can be self-sabotaging behaviour, but not necessarily a bad thing.
It depends on what you do with it.
So make sure to find the middle ground.