External Self Awareness: A Key Tool in Mental Growth

Article last updated on August 16, 2021

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For you as a business owner, external self-awareness is a crucial skill to develop in life. It is different from internal self-awareness because internal one focuses on desires and values which are internalized.

However, external self awareness is the externalization of internal self-awareness. It is the ability to understand external factors which influence you from outside yourself (and as external, external self awareness can be also understood as objective).

Are you busy or effective?
If your revenue is growing at a snail's pace it's time for a reality check.
Are you busy or effective?
If your revenue is growing at a snail's pace it's time for a reality check.
Example of External Self Awareness

For an example, if you run an online business , then your customers will have their own expectations about what they want or expect from you.

In other words, when we talk about external self-awareness, we mean being able to see things objectively.

Most of us don’t know how to improve external self awareness, because it’s not easy to understand yourself and your motivations. 

In fact, most people don’t have a good understanding of their own thoughts, feelings and emotions (but most people think they do).

This leads them to make bad decisions that hurt themselves and others around them.

Fortunately for you, there are ways to increase your external self awareness so that you can live a happier life!

What Is External Self-Awareness

External self awareness is a key tool in mental growth. It is the ability to understand oneself “from outside oneself.”

The self-awareness that comes from this perspective has many benefits, including increased emotional intelligence and self-control.

This article will explore what external self-awareness is, what it means for your life, and how you can improve it!

Benefits are amazing and people who work on it will be able to get a better sense of their own strengths and weaknesses which can then help them find ways for growth in the future. 

The idea behind external awareness is that it creates an atmosphere where people are more understanding with each other by recognizing the differences within us all as well as our similarities.

With this type of mindset we would grow closer together rather than apart from one another.

People who work on external self awareness have more self-compassion.

They are kind and understanding of themselves in a way that they would never be with others – because it’s not just about them, but rather how their actions affect the world around us.

Individuals who struggle with self awareness may find this difficult as we often judge ourselves more harshly than others for our mistakes or shortcomings which can result in self loathing and hatred towards one’s self-worth.

When dealing with such feelings there are ways to cope: finding a friend who will listen without judgement will help immensely while recognizing negative thoughts so that they don’t become emotional baggage too heavy to carry also helps! 

Benefits of having External Self-Awareness

There are multiple reasons why self-awareness can improve your life, but let’s look at three benefits of developing your external self-awareness.

  1. You will be able to identify and understand the emotions that you feel in different situations, which helps you become more aware of yourself as a person. This is because when we have an understanding of our own feelings, it becomes easier for us to recognize how others might react to them. It also allows us to better empathize with other people’s experiences.
  2. It helps you become more aware of the world around you, so that you can make decisions based on facts rather than emotions or assumptions. This allows you to avoid making bad choices.
  3. When we have an understanding of our own personality traits, it becomes easier for us to recognize when someone else has similar characteristics.  This allows us to have a better understanding of other people, which in turn helps us to be more tolerant.

Additional benefits are that we are able to have respect for our own views and opinions, but here are other benefits as well:

  • Improved self-control – it allows you to take responsibility for your own actions. You are able to see things from another perspective which will allow you to make better
  • Increase emotional intelligence – it helps you understand your own emotions and better empathize with the feelings of others. This allows you to more effectively communicate with others while also improving your relationships.
  • Feel less stress and worry about the past – it allows you to look at the external influences that have shaped your life in a positive way. This can prevent you from getting caught up in negative thinking about the past.
  • Gain control in relationships and social situations – it is associated with stronger emotional regulation. As self-aware people learn to better understand what’s going on for them internally, they are often able to make wise choices for themselves
  • Develop intuition and creativity – which means you can make better decisions through recognizing the external forces behind your actions. Intuition is knowing what to do without reason, external self-awareness helps you to be able to trust your intuition.  
  • You become more respectful of external influences –  each individual is impacted by external forces like family, friends or society and external self-awareness allows you to see these external factors in a positive light.
  • You are able to be authentic with your external sources –   external self-awareness helps you to recognize external factors that impact your life. While you don’t have to disregard external influences, external self-awareness can help you to understand the difference between external pressures and your own desires.
  • You become less worried about how others perceive you – external self-awareness allows you to accept external pressures without feeling the need to live up to other’s standards. This is because you understand that external sources will have external opinions and thoughts about your choices.

You will be able to make better decisions if you are more in touch with how others feel.

This can be true for all types of your relationships, whether it be your best friend or an acquaintance at work.

You will have to decide what a relationship means to you, but once you know that, you can act accordingly.

You may not always like this person, and they might even drive you crazy sometimes, but if you’re willing to put yourself out there and really listen to them, then you’ll find that you actually do care about their well-being.

If you don’t take time to understand someone else’s perspective, you won’t ever truly connect with them.

When we think about our own lives, we tend to focus on ourselves and only see things through our eyes.

Like anything else, there can be some excuses to not work on your external self awareness. These excuses for external self awareness are pesky, and we should always be aware that they exist.

External self-awareness will never disappear; it is a part of our nature to make excuses for ourselves when bad things happen or get too difficult so as not to have any accountability.

However, this can only last briefly because eventually the consequences come back around in an even more unpleasant form than what was initially done earlier on which causes people regret their actions at hand due simply from unawareness about themselves and also how others perceive them.

Three most common excuses I have noticed are:

I am self-aware enough: The idea that self awareness is either something you have or don’t, leads to the mind set of “as long as I’m aware of my self, then it’s all good!” This self-perception can be dangerous.

If someone who believes they’re self-aware steps on a nail and doesn’t feel pain until later, are they not in denial?

Self awareness has two components: being able to see your own thoughts and feelings from outside yourself (external) and seeing them for what they really are (objective).

Acknowledging both aspects allows us to make better decisions about our emotional states. It also helps with self-control because we understand how much power emotions hold over logical thinking processes.

I find self awareness difficult to learn due to my personality type: Some people just aren’t self aware, but they have no excuse. They’re either introverted or shy and self-awareness is not their strong suit.

While this can be a hindrance in some situations, it’s also part of who they are as an individual.

If someone wants self awareness so that they can make the best decisions about themselves, then self-awareness programs won’t work for them because there isn’t enough content on these types of personalities within these courses.

Self awareness is not worth the effort: If you waited until after your life was over before finally deciding to explore what makes you tick? The benefits external self-awareness has on self-control, self-confidence and emotional intelligence are worth the effort.

If you’re self-aware of your thoughts and feelings, it’s easier to make a decision that will not be detrimental for either yourself or others around you in the long term.

It also allows us to learn how our emotions affect what we think so that we can better manage them in an objective way when they pop up again later on down the road!

Why Is External Self Awareness Important

Even though most people think they are self-aware, that’s not true, but the awesome thing is that self awareness is actually a skill that we can learn to improve.

By working on self awareness from an external perspective, emotional intelligence and self-control are improved which then allows us to make better decisions for ourselves in the future!

Being aware of one’s external self is important because it provides a new level of clarity as to where you’re at and, more importantly, how you can get to where you want to go.

A person who is unaware of the way his actions affect himself and others often find themselves trying the same course without much progress.

However, by being aware of their actions in relation to others and the surrounding environment, suddenly they have a purpose for those actions – a goal that wasn’t there before.

Instead of going through life not knowing why they are doing what they do or not having a drive for those activities outside themselves, these people know exactly why they are doing what they do and can use that knowledge in order to make adjustments when necessary.

External self-awareness can help you to have more clarity and purpose in your life because understanding life this way can teach us things we would never learn otherwise.

It’s a form of self-knowledge that allows us to be aware of the reverberations our actions (or inaction) cause throughout our lives.

External self-awareness will make you have an effective leadership skills

Human interactions are all about give and take. When you’re aware of who you are as an individual, it helps you better navigate social situations.

You become less reactive when someone says something rude or offensive because you have some idea of why they said it.

This is especially true if you’ve been working with people long enough to see patterns emerge.

Leadership performances are all external constructs, and external self-awareness can help you to perform better in these situations.

Before a speech or Zoom call, for example, you can reflect on external events, external feedback and external self-awareness in order to make yourself into a better speaker and performer for the crowd.

It is interesting how comfortable people feel around people who are external self-aware of themselves because they know that you aren’t judging them external to your own thoughts.

When external self-awareness is used properly, it can create deep and meaningful connections with people.

External self-awareness will yield deeper understanding and relationship satisfaction

Improved self-awareness comes from honest feedback and external feedback.

Your mind tends to distort certain aspects of reality, so external feedback helps you see yourself from an outside perspective and let go of the distortions that come from your own opinions.

People with increased self-awareness openly seek candid feedback which also welcomes negative feedback and constructive criticism.

This critical feedback can act as guideposts for external self-awareness and provide the foundation that is necessary in order to improve external self-awareness.

If you can take something negative and use it to help better yourself, external feedback will be an effective tool in your external self-awareness growth.

You’ll also find ways to internalize external feedback so that it makes sense and become a more self-aware person.

How Can You Become More Aware Of Your External Self

You don’t need to go into “hibernation” mode or be completely selfless just so you can get some “space” when difficult situations arise; it’s about finding your balance while still engaging with others as well as taking care of yourself. Here are three simple ways:

  • Put down your phone – It sounds obvious but many people find themselves scrolling through their social media feeds instead of talking face to face with someone they’re speaking too because it’s easier. This allows you to focus on the other person instead of what they’re saying while also taking time out for self-care.
  • Practice mindfulness – Mindfulness is a practice that encourages living in the moment and being aware of your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and surrounding environment without judging them as good or bad; it sounds difficult at first but once you start practicing more often, mindfulness becomes second nature!
  • Start with self-care tasks – If something feels like too much work or requires us to think hard about how we feel then don’t do it just yet because our brains aren’t built for multitasking! It might seem counterintuitive not doing everything all at once but self-care needs are important too so follow this self-care plan to start!

Many self-help books and self-improvement courses discuss the importance of developing self-awareness. This is because it’s one of the most important skills for managing our emotional response to stress, trauma or pain as well as improving relationships with others – all critical aspects in self-improvement!

Research has demonstrated that mindfulness techniques such as meditation have a positive effect on people who are experiencing anxiety disorders, depression and even addictions.

For this reason, many psychologists believe that mindfulness can be an effective treatment for mental health problems like these by enabling someone to ‘observe’ their thoughts without reacting impulsively or negatively to them.

Indeed, some studies suggest mindfulness may help reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which often manifests as flashbacks and emotional distress.

The self-awareness that comes from an exterior self-perspective can really help you understand yourself.

You’ll be able to see yourself more clearly and better pinpoint what you like about yourself and what you don’t like.

This self-knowledge is important for every person because it gives you a chance to get to know the self from the outside, which helps with emotional intelligence and self-control.

Emotional Intelligence And External Self Awareness

Emotional Intelligence (EI) refers to our ability to manage emotions in ourselves as well as others – there are many types of EI relating specifically to external factors such as empathy or strategic thinking skills.

Connection between self-awareness and emotional intelligence is self-evident. With self-awareness comes self-control and emotional intelligence, which helps you better understand your emotions as well as allow yourself to be more aware of the emotions that others are having.

There is a common misconception that emotional intelligence and external self awareness are the same, but self-awareness can be achieved without emotional intelligence.

The self-awareness that comes from an exterior self-perspective can really help you understand yourself. You’ll be able to see yourself more clearly and better pinpoint what you like about yourself and what you don’t like.

This self-knowledge is important for every person because it gives you a chance to get to know the self from the outside which helps with emotional intelligence and self-control.

Self Control And External Self Awareness

Self control, like everything else in life, is a learned skill. One way to develop this skill is practice behaving in ways that weaken impulses and strengthen self-control.

For example, if you find yourself feeling impatient or irritable with your friends and family members during the day and want to take a deep breath or count to ten before trying again, you’re practicing self-control.

Self awareness can be tough for people who have never given much attention to that aspect of their lives before they start meditating about it.

But the payoff for all that patience and attention investment – more mindfulness stress relief on days when it’s needed!

When you combine self-control and external self awareness, the final result is clarity, compassion, and authenticity.

Clarity and compassion might be the most desirable set of qualities one could hope to have.

These virtues can help you recognize your limitations, while also recognizing that this perceived imperfection is nothing but a fabric of your own perception.


All in all external self awareness is a crucial skill to learn in life.

It will give us insight into how we perceive things around us and ultimately lead to greater happiness.

Additionally, it will make us stronger individuals by helping us become more compassionate towards ourselves and other people.

So, the key practical takeaway is to always try to look at yourself objectively so you can gain some perspective on where you stand in comparison to everyone else.

This will not only improve your relationships with those close to you, but also increase your overall sense of wellbeing.

If you enjoyed reading this article share it with anyone you think would benefit from reading it.

Marko Matijasevic

Marko is performance-based growth strategist, focusing on business growth while maintaining a strong emphasis on authenticity in every individual he works with.