— Last updated on January 20, 2022 —
Lack of self-awareness is a huge problem for many people, and it can be difficult to know if you are one of them or not. The good news is that there are some easy ways to tell if you lack self-awareness.
Self-awareness is a very important skill to have in life, especially if you want to be successful and happy. It’s also one of the most difficult things for people to achieve.
Most people fail to recognize what makes them unique and how they differ from others. This leads to bad decisions that affect their lives.
Some people may think they’re smarter than they really are, while others may think they’re less intelligent than they actually are.
Humans are prone to many cognitive biases. Some of these biases affect how we act and react in certain situations.
I know that I lack self-awareness at times because I can get so caught up in my own thoughts and feelings that it takes me a while to realize what other people are thinking or feeling.
I think this happens to everyone from time to time, but there are some signs that will tell you when you need to work on your self-awareness skills.
The following are the top 40 signs that you lack self-awareness. These indicators will help you identify whether you need to work on improving your self-awareness or not.
1. You Always Need To Be Right
You might feel like you always need to be right, even though you don’t.
It’s normal to be wrong sometimes, but if you constantly make excuses for yourself instead of admitting mistakes, then you probably need to improve your self-awareness skills more.
For example, if you are in a situation where you don’t know what to do, you should admit that you don’t know what you’re doing and ask for advice. Instead of making excuses like “I’m really smart” or “I’m just being nice”, you should say something like “I’m sorry, but I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.”
One thing I’ve noticed about myself is that was often underestimating my ability to solve problems.
When I was working on a new project, I had a tendency to assume I’d figure out everything by myself. But as soon as I tried to explain my idea to someone else, I realized I still didn’t understand it well enough to put it into practice.
Thankfully, by working on self-awareness, I’ve managed to gain better insight into my strengths and weaknesses and no longer feel the need to always be right.
2. You Don’t Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses
If you don’t know your strengths and weaknesses, it’s impossible to improve your career, your business, and even enjoy your life.
There are different types of strengths and weaknesses.
Knowing your strengths and weaknesses helps you create realistic goals, learn from your failures, and avoid falling into traps.
Self-awareness is crucial in order to become aware of your talents and shortcomings.
Just imagine how effective leaders lead their teams. In order to lead them effectively, they must first know themselves. They must know their strengths and weaknesses and how they operate best.
So, it is important to know ourselves before leading others. It is also important to know our limitations before taking on too much responsibility.
Honest feedback and objective feedback from people you respect can help you discover your strengths and weaknesses.
3. You Haven’t Learned How to Be Comfortable in Your Own Skin
We all want to be accepted by others and liked by them. We want to fit in with our friends and colleagues.
However, most of us struggle with acceptance and confidence. No matter who you are, no one likes to be around insecure people. And yet, insecurity is an unavoidable part of being human.
Don’t worry. Self-awareness is a skill you can acquire over time. However, it takes courage to accept who we are at our core. Just imagine how much easier life would be if we could accept ourselves.
Be honest. Are you uncomfortable in your own skin?
4. Your Friends and Family Can’t Tell If You Are Happy, Sad, Angry, or Excited
Are you covering up your emotions? Do you pretend to be happy when you’re upset? Or do you act excited when you’re down?
A lot of the time, we hide our feelings because we think other people won’t understand us. But the truth is that our family and friends only care about us when we show them how we truly feel.
Sometimes we don’t show them how we feel because we don’t want them to judge us. But this doesn’t change the fact that they love us regardless.
By understanding our emotions and communicating them appropriately, we can build stronger relationships.
By showing our emotions, we allow our loved ones to connect with us on a deeper level.
On the contrary, hiding our true emotions makes us seem fake and disingenuous, even though we aren’t, but maybe we just lack the self-awareness to express them properly.
This leads me to another point…
5. You Are Unable or Unwilling to Express Anger or Frustration
Most people let anger and frustration build inside until it explodes. This is dangerous. When we get angry, we usually lose control. We say things we later regret.
But not expressing our anger or frustration actually makes us feel worse than ever.
It drains energy from us. It causes stress. And it prevents us from dealing with issues.
When you lack self-awareness, you tend to hold back your anger and frustrations. You may even deny having any. You tend to suppress these negative feelings instead of voicing them.
6. You Are Quick to Judge Others
Do you find yourself quick to judge people based on what they wear, where they go to school, or what job they have?
If so, then you probably lack self-awareness. People who lack self-awareness often criticize others for superficial reasons.
They may try to convince themselves that those people are wrong in some way. But deep down, they realize that their judgments are shallow.
Consider how you would react if someone criticized your appearance, clothing, or education. Would you still feel contempt for that person? Probably not.
Judging others means judging ourselves as well.
So if you’re always trying to make sense of others, take a step back and focus on your own behavior.
7. You Can’t Recognize the Signs of a Healthy Relationship
Relationships require two parties to communicate effectively. They also require both sides to reciprocate each other’s desires.
To keep a healthy relationship, both partners should feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and opinions.
However, many people struggle to recognize the signs of a healthy relationship. Because they don’t know how to communicate effectively, they resort to making assumptions.
For example, if I’m not interested in talking to her, he must be ignoring me. Or if she’s been acting weird lately, perhaps there’s something going on with him.
In reality, neither party has done anything wrong.
Instead, both of them could be confused by each other’s actions. So they feel hurt when they notice that things aren’t working anymore.
Basically, coming to a conclusion without completely understanding the situation is one of the most common mistakes made by people lacking self-awareness.
8. You Are Afraid of Commitment
The thing about commitment is that you can’t expect to walk into a relationship knowing everything perfectly. You’ll never be able to avoid all mistakes. After all, no two relationships are exactly alike.
Still, it’s important to commit to a relationship because it allows you to share your life with somebody.
You’ll also benefit from learning more about the person. You’ll be able to understand why you were drawn to this person. Perhaps you’ll discover that you like their personality.
Committing to a relationship might seem scary at first. However, once you’ve gotten used to being committed, you’ll start feeling better about it.
One very common reason why people who lack self-awareness are afraid of commitment is that they fear losing control over their lives.
9. You Are Constantly Comparing Yourself to Others
People who lack self-awareness tend to compare themselves to everyone around them. This habit leads them to believe that they’re inferior to others.
This makes them unhappy because they see themselves as less than perfect. Many times, they feel lonely.
If you want to stop comparing yourself to others, you have to learn to appreciate yourself. It’s okay if you don’t look like everybody else.
And in fact, it’s even better if you do! You should embrace your uniqueness.
One thing I will never forget is to never compare somebody else’s Day 500 versus my Day 1.
Focus on yourself and don’t use comparison as a form of judgement but as a form of inspiration.
There’s a big difference between these two.
10. You Envy Others Who Seem to Have Their Lives Together
As it relates to comparing yourself to others, envy is a destructive emotion. In fact, it’s often mistaken for jealousy.
Envious people aren’t necessarily jealous. They simply wish that they had what someone else has.
They may think something like, “I wish I was married.” Or “I wish I had kids” or “I wish I had this car”.
At some point, they realize that they weren’t meant to have their lives, but just their “highlight” moments.
But when you are self-aware, you understand that happiness doesn’t come from having material objects.
It comes from living a good life. Living the life we decided to live
11. You Are Critical of Everything and Everyone
When you lack self-awareness, you tend to criticize every little thing. You criticize yourself and others. You criticize the way you dress, how you talk, how you act and so much more.
In reality, nobody is perfect. But you must accept that fact.
Usually, non-constructive criticism comes from a place of insecurity.
So instead of criticizing, try to take a step back.
Take time out to evaluate your own actions.
12. You Don’t Know What Makes You Tick
To be honest, it’s really hard to know ourselves sometimes. We can get lost in our thoughts and forget what drives us.
We can blame other people or circumstances for our feelings. And we can find ourselves blaming ourselves for our faults.
However, knowing what makes you tick is vital to understanding yourself.
I mean, without knowing that, what would motivate you? What would make you happy?
People who avoid understanding this usually end up going through life with no direction, being bitter and pointing fingers at others.
I cannot remember who said this, but it has been stuck in my head since then, and it is…
“When you point one finger, there are three fingers pointing back to you.”
This saying is so related to internal self-awareness that it basically summarizes it completely in just one sentence.
13. You Are Intolerant of Others Who Do Not Share Your Views
You might think that you are tolerant. However, most people say they are, but in reality, they are intolerant.
Intolerance means judging something or someone based on your personal views.
And you expect others to share the same view? For example, you may think that people shouldn’t eat meat because of animal cruelty.
Or maybe you believe that eating meat is immoral because animals suffer.
So you believe that everyone should agree with your beliefs?
But in reality, you are intolerant. You don’t tolerate anyone who disagrees with you.
So take a look at your life. How intolerant do you feel towards people who disagree with you or don’t share the same beliefs as you do?
14. You Are Unable to Empathize with Other People
Empathy is defined as the ability to see things from another person’s perspective. It is an important part of human nature.
Without empathy, we can not relate to others, understand them, or even love them.
If you lack self-awareness, chances are you are unable to empathize with others. You probably find it difficult to understand why others behave the way they do.
It is very important to learn to understand others’ emotions.
Just imagine what it would be like to go through life without understanding others’ emotions.
Empathy is such a powerful tool to use when interacting with people.
15. You Don’t See the Signs When Someone Is Trying to Manipulate You
Related to empathy, it is also very important to recognize when people are trying to manipulate you.
Manipulation happens when someone gets you to do their bidding. They use words, their tone of voice, facial expressions, and gestures.
They want you to take certain actions to achieve specific results.
For example, they want you to give them money. Or join their company.
They try to make you act the way they want you to, and this is called manipulation. When you lack self-awareness, you often fail to recognize these manipulations.
And the reason for this is that you have a blind spot when it comes to other people and their intentions.
The great thing about having a strong sense of self-awareness is that it helps you detect manipulative behaviors. Basically, you’re no longer blinded by the tricks of the manipulator.
16. You Don’t Believe That You Deserve Happiness
Self-awareness is all about accepting yourself. And knowing what makes you happy. Happiness is a choice. We choose what kind of happiness we want to live our lives with.
Some people focus on career success, while others seek pleasure. Some people aim for financial security, while others aim for comfort.
However, regardless of what type of happiness you want, you must realize that it is always up to you to decide. Nobody else can make you happy.
Most people are unhappy because they don’t know what they want out of life.
They just blindly follow society’s rules. But the truth is, there’s more than one right path for each person.
Think about your long-term goals. What do you want to accomplish in life? What do you want to become?
Once you answer those questions, you’ll start to figure out what you really want out of life. Then you can start living your dreams, and having a lack of self-awareness is going to get in your way.
17. You Are Never Satisfied with Anything You Achieve
You may think that being satisfied means nothing has gone wrong. But that is actually a huge mistake.
Being satisfied implies that you have achieved something worthwhile. This usually comes after you’ve done lots of hard work.
If you haven’t been able to achieve anything worthwhile, then you should ask yourself why.
Maybe you didn’t invest enough time into doing things properly. Maybe you weren’t willing to put in the effort needed to succeed.
Whatever it is, you need to fix it before you can be satisfied. It’s extremely easy to fool yourself into thinking that you have everything under control, but you may be missing big parts of reality.
And underneath this is a lack of self-awareness, because you don’t see these problems until they appear as crises.
18. You Don’t Think You Are Worthy of Love
To think that you’re worthy of love, first you need to love yourself, and to love yourself, you need to accept yourself. If you don’t like who you are, how can you expect someone else to like you?
What matters most is your own realistic opinion of yourself. Not what anyone else thinks about you.
When you accept yourself, you also begin to understand that you deserve love.
And all of this starts with self-awareness. When you accept yourself, you stop comparing yourself to other people. You have to stop feeling sorry for yourself and blaming others.
19. You Don’t Trust Your Intuition
Intuition plays an important role when it comes to making good decisions. However, many people ignore their intuition because they believe that they are too irrational to trust themselves.
That’s why it’s so important to develop your intuition. By doing so, you will gain insight into what you really want from life.
When you lack self-awareness, you don’t listen to your inner voice. Instead, you only rely on your rational mind. Don’t get me wrong, listening to your rational mind is important at times.
But we should learn to balance our emotions with logic. That way, we won’t end up doing the wrong stuff or have sudden emotional outbursts.
20. You Lack Self Confidence
Self-confidence is one of the most important characteristics that every human needs to have. Without confidence, you’ll never be able to live an independent and successful life.
And when you lack self-awareness, it becomes harder to build self-confidence. because you don’t know exactly where you stand in terms of your skills and abilities.
If you feel uncertain about your skills, you’ll always be afraid of taking risks. And you’ll find yourself constantly second-guessing yourself.
Mental toughness and self-confidence go hand in hand. So when you lack self awareness, you become mentally weaker and the opposite is true as well.
21. You Crave Attention
People who seek attention often do so out of insecurity. They feel insecure about themselves, and they try to make sure that everyone knows about their achievements.
However, we just want to be loved. If you crave attention, then you should start by loving yourself more.
Once you reach that level, you’ll stop being needy and demanding. And you’ll start getting the attention you’ve always wanted.
People with low self-awareness tend to focus on external factors instead of internal ones.
For example, they spend hours worrying about what other people think of them.
They obsess over everything that happens around them, including negative events. This makes them emotionally unstable, and they end up causing harm to themselves.
So they cope with attention-seeking behaviors. But even though these actions may seem harmless, they could actually hurt you in the long run.
22. You Don’t Have Any Goals for Your Life
Having no goals means that you aren’t planning anything in your life. And therefore, you’re living aimlessly. which is exactly what you want to avoid.
The reason behind having no goals is a lack of self-awareness.
You don’t know what you truly want in life. So you just keep going through life, having no idea what the future has in store for you.
The good thing is that you can change all of that. All you need to do is take control of your life.
You see, you want to start without sabotaging yourself. Make sure that you know your strengths and weaknesses. Then use those to achieve success.
23. You Don’t Care About Your Health
Your health is the most important thing in your life. It affects how you look and feel about yourself.
And it determines the quality of your relationships with others. Therefore, you must treat your body like a temple.
It would be very irresponsible of you to neglect your health. In fact, you should take care of your physical fitness as much as possible.
People who have low levels of self-awareness rarely pay attention to their health.
They ignore their diet, exercise routine, and sleep patterns. which eventually leads to poor health.
They lie to themselves about their own health. I’m thinking that they’re fine. When in reality, they’re suffering from ill health.
And then they seek quick-fix solutions that only cause more problems in the long run.
Bodily self-awareness is not some silly concept. It’s an essential part of your mental and physical health.
Listen to your body. Do not ignore it. Nourish it.
24. You Don’t Feel Confident in Your Ability to Succeed at Work
Work or devoting yourself to specific craft is one of the best ways to develop yourself. However, some people fail to realize this.
This is because they underestimate their abilities. Which results in fear and anxiety when they face challenges.
People who lack self-awareness usually struggle to perform well at work because they doubt their ability to succeed.
They believe that they can never do something right, which causes them to procrastinate.
And ultimately, they fail to fulfill their responsibilities. That’s why they constantly find excuses to get out of things.
25. You Don’t Take Responsibility for Your Actions.
Taking responsibility for your actions is an integral part of being self-aware.
Otherwise, you’ll always blame someone else for your mistakes. And you won’t learn from your experiences.
But people with low levels of self-awareness often point fingers whenever things go wrong. They refuse to accept responsibility for their faults.
Instead, they try to shift the blame to someone else but themselves. Hence, they continue to make the same mistake over and over again.
Ask for candid feedback, you will be surprised by what you hear and it will potentially show you the difference between your private self awareness (what you thought) and public self awareness (what others see.)
26. You Refuse to Admit Mistakes or Failures
Admitting failure is important. Otherwise, there’s nothing to prevent you from repeating them.
If you don’t admit your mistakes, you’ll never improve. And you’ll remain stuck in a rut.
Self-awareness allows you to understand where you’ve gone wrong. And to avoid making similar errors.
Additionally, you’ll also be able to rectify the problem. And you’ll learn from your mistakes.
From personal experience, I can say that living without admitting mistakes is painful because you keep thinking about what you could have done differently. And you keep blaming others.
It is a lot better to acknowledge your mistakes. so that you can move forward instead of dwelling on negative thoughts.
27. You Have an Inflated Sense of Your Own Importance
Having an inflated sense of importance is another major indicator of lacking self-awareness.
When you feel good about yourself, you tend to think that everything is going according to plan.
You assume that the world revolves around you. And you expect everyone to treat you as though you’re special.
You see yourself as superior to other people. This makes it difficult for you to interact with them.
And it also gives you a skewed view of reality. As you become blind to the fact that most people aren’t impressed by you.
Being humble helps you gain respect from others. It puts you in your place. and keeps you grounded.
28. You Don’t Value Yourself
Some people value themselves highly. But others don’t care much about themselves.
Those who don’t value themselves cannot achieve anything worthwhile.
There’s no reason to strive for success if you don’t give any thought to how you should live.
This makes it hard for you to focus on your goals. And you lose interest in life.
You need to understand that personal value comes from within. Not from external factors.
And everything from within starts with self-awareness.
29. You Find It Hard to Forgive Yourself
Forgiving yourself is one of the hardest parts of becoming more self-aware.
No matter how bad something may appear to you, you need to forgive yourself first.
People who don’t know how to forgive themselves struggle to deal with problems. They find it tough to get out of the past.
They spend all their time looking back at the mistakes they’ve made. Instead of focusing on the present, not forgiving yourself weakens your ability to change. Because you won’t let go of your regrets.
And how can you move forward freely if you haven’t forgiven yourself?
30. You Expect to Be Treated as Special
This is related to having an inflated sense of importance, but being treated as special is a separate issue.
Most people consider themselves ordinary, and they don’t expect to be treated as such.
But some people expect to be treated as special. And this expectation makes them unhappy.
As a result, they often blame others for being rude and unkind towards them.
They assume that people must hate them because of their personality flaws. This is called a spotlight effect.
When in reality, only those with low self-awareness behave like that.
31. You Believe That You Are Better Than Most People
If you believe that you are better than most people, chances are you’ll feel threatened when someone else does well. You start feeling inferior to others.
And this makes you want to prove yourself right. So you end up doing things that make you look bad.
It’s important to accept that not everybody is as talented as you are in some areas. And not every person has what it takes to succeed.
For example, some people have great social skills. whereas others do badly.
You need to keep this in mind while interacting with others. Otherwise, you risk putting down those who don’t excel in certain areas.
32. You Are Preoccupied with Fantasies About Success, Power, or Beauty
Self-esteem grows from knowing that we’re valuable. This means that our worth depends on the quality of our actions.
On the other hand, unhealthy fantasies about success, power, or beauty make us think that we are worthy based on the way we look or on things that make us look good.
These fantasies make us feel good. But they also prevent us from building self-awareness.
Because they make us think that we’re lovable. which isn’t true.
Basically, we are making a fake version of ourselves. and projecting this fake image onto the world around us.
People with low self-awareness tend to be preoccupied by these fantasies.
33. You Boast About Your Accomplishments and Talents
Doing well in business or any other endeavor is wonderful. But bragging about it doesn’t build real confidence.
In fact, boasting about your achievements makes you seem arrogant. And people find it hard to respect you.
It is great to share your accomplishments with others. However, boasting about them is something different.
It is such a refreshing thing to see when people express their talents without being boastful.
Also, boasting suppresses your natural humility and reduces your willingness to put in the work.
34. You Demand Constant Praise and Recognition
Seeking praise and recognition is fine at times. But demanding constant praise and recognition leads to feelings of insecurity. This happens because you have built your self-worth on external factors.
So whenever people fail to recognize your efforts, you feel hurt. Do you think you deserve all the praise?
You should be satisfied with your work. Just because you’re working hard doesn’t mean that everyone has to notice. You should seek personal recognition for your accomplishments.
Things that you are working on should be a worthwhile accomplishment by themselves.
35. You Rarely Show Gratitude
Gratitude is an essential ingredient of happiness. It enhances your sense of belonging.
But many people who lack self-awareness rarely show gratitude. They become selfish and ungrateful.
They often forget that everything they own came from someone else. Who provided the materials or expertise?
When you give thanks to another, you demonstrate your appreciation. It not only improves your relationships with your friends, family, and colleagues, but it also strengthens them.
But you also enhance your relationship with yourself.
36. You Are Very Indecisive
Indecision is always bad. Because indecisiveness prevents you from taking action.
However, some people choose one path over another without much thought. This results in a lot of wasted time. Because they never get started.
The problem is that they don’t know what they want until they try out several options. And then they keep going back and forth between them.
I can tell you from personal experience that indecision is exhausting. I’m sure you’ll agree that indecision is a serious issue, especially today when there are so many choices available.
37. You Are Not Able to Enjoy Simple Pleasures
Many people who lack self-awareness are unable to enjoy simple pleasures. such as eating good food, listening to music, watching movies, etc.
If you’re like most people, you spend too much time thinking about the future. That’s why you don’t have time to enjoy the present.
This results in stress and anxiety. Slowing down for a bit helps you relax and enjoy life.
Simple pleasures in life include having fun with your friends and loved ones. Making plans to go out and have dinner together.
People spend too much time comparing themselves to other people.
So they miss out on enjoying the things that truly matter. Things that truly matter are usually simple and not grandiose, and not what we can see on our Facebook and Instagram feeds of other people.
38. You Are Often Irritated by the Behavior of Others
Being irritated by someone or some situation is normal. However, when you constantly find fault with others, this becomes a sign of low self-awareness.
You see, irritation tells us something about ourselves. You wouldn’t be triggered by the behavior of others if you were happy with yourself.
Again, it is normal to be irritated at times, but judging others all the time tells you something about yourself.
39. You Are Easily Hurt by Criticism
Being hurt by criticism is normal. But being criticized all the time is damaging to your self-esteem.
It causes you to doubt your ability and believe that you aren’t worthy enough.
You must learn to recognize what is healthy and constructive criticism and what isn’t.
For example, if your friend says you look tired, It may mean she wants to make sure you take better care of yourself.
How would you respond? Would you feel insulted if you thought she did not appreciate how hard you worked? Or would you accept her advice and do something about your appearance?
If you are easily hurt by criticism, then you need to ask yourself why. Is it possible that you are lacking self-awareness?
40. You Are Unwilling to Compromise
Compromising means making a choice between two or more alternatives. When you compromise, you lose something. But when you are self-aware, you understand that you gain something else.
You understand what is truly important to you. Therefore, you don’t mind losing some of those things that you value less.
In fact, you realize that these items are worth compromising for. Because you value what you’ve gained more than what you’ve lost.
The truth is, everyone compromises at one point or another. Sometimes, we even compromise our values.
So, sometimes it is okay to compromise. And it is also okay to hold firm on your values.
The key is to choose wisely. Choose the things that are really important to you.
Self-awareness is important. This article has helped you identify the signs if you lack them.
Remember, you should always strive to become more aware of yourself. Because it will enable you to improve your relationships.
Because when you develop good relationships with family and friends, as well as your relationship with yourself, you can attain joy and satisfaction.
Which makes you more fulfilled. And when you are fulfilled, you have everything you need to live a successful life.
I hope the list above helps you identify the signs that you lack self-awareness so that you can work on them. I wish you all success in becoming more self-aware.