The Power of Self-Awareness

The Power of Self-Awareness

You feel this extreme sense of curiosity to constantly discover who you really are.  You explore these curiosities to help find those passions. You understand and live up to your personal values. Nothing comes at face value. You always grab your thoughts and question them. You live with self-awareness.

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A friend of mine, Nicole, hosted a storytelling night in Brisbane. I saw Nic speak at a recent social enterprise conference and something drew me in to get to know this chick. She’s another dimension. Larger than life, brimming with wisdom, straight down to the earth and just has this incredible sense of self-awareness. On a warm Brisbane night, we were sprawled out in a nice cushiony circle of goodness with mood fairy lights and some funky chilled beats. The space was in a glassed off room in a converted office, and it felt cosy and safe. Even more so with the small group of 6 who had come along and I had only just met. But it felt as though we had already been really tight-knit friends.

Nic opens the space with a premise for keeping humans connected on a deeper level via storytelling. Nic offered the thought that we have lost our rites of passage and much of our lives and decision-making is filtered through a lens of fear. The intention I saw behind Nic’s message was that we need to be real. By being real, we can connect and communicate with one another on a deeper level. Her inspiration for our space is to share and connect using the power of storytelling.

During this space, I took some time to share my stories.  Stories that were brief but open insights into who I’ve become. From coming from a mixed racial background to childhood experiences of living with divorced parents and to finding myself into higher education. I spoke of how I felt my role was in society and also how I took my first step into leadership to not just serve myself but to serve others. And lastly, how I’m on a journey of self-exploratory and making a living through travel, and why I am sitting and speaking to my peeps in front of me.

As you continue reading, I hope you can find ways to discover self-awareness in yourself. I don’t claim to be a guru at this. I can only share some anecdotal formulas that have given me a greater understanding of who I am through my lived experiences.



It’s an uneasy thing to share who you think you are. I’m not talking about what you do for a living, how successful you are or your achievements. I’m talking about the real you, with all your vulnerabilities, wounds, values, love, hardships and successes. In our circle, I shared my stories and vulnerabilities. I didn’t ask for how these stories related to the circle. Nor did I have any clue on how everyone would perceive my sharings. Their impression is theirs. And I think as humans we naturally worry about others perceive us.

But this felt different. It felt enlightening to be able to spew my rainbow of emotions out onto the plate. A wonderful lady next to me, Sara, spoke up. She said I had a profound sense of curiosity. Sara cared to say that through my journey she could see I had been having constant reflections of my values, all while building an incredible sense of awareness. I would be lying if I said I’m usually aware that I’m self-aware. That would be self-aware inception and logic just doesn’t swing that way. It’s funny – we think we can see ourselves from the outside, but we can’t. Only others can. And they have a powerful gift to give you that you would never have seen otherwise. This is the power of vulnerability and a powerful first step to self-awareness.


Understand Your Story

  1. What do you believe in so firmly that you will always take a stand on, no matter what?
  2. Who were you as a child? What values did you parents raise you with?
  3. When did you first step outside of your comfort zone and why?
  4. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in life?
  5. How do you envision a perfect world?

The unique answers to these questions define who you are. The answers give you uniqueness that nobody else on this planet has. Grab a pen and paper and answer one, or all of these questions (if you have time). I often hear that one of greatest challenges in life is to master your mind. To live in the moment with who you truly are. Monks can spend a lifetime of simple living, meditation and detachment without any material obsession, and still be on a constant journey of self-awareness.


Perhaps the Buddhists have it right with simple living and detachment?


Independent Experiences

Firstly, it’s okay to things alone. Travel alone. Eat alone. Climb a mountain alone. During independent experiences, you learn about yourself without the interruption of others. You can figure out what inspires you, gives you your beliefs and you can be sure of yourself. By creating a zone to do something yourself, away from family, partners, and friends, you can live some intense self-discovery experiences and develop self-awareness.

A day after graduating I left for Taiwan for 3 months as a volunteer teacher. Fast track to my second last week I realized I hadn’t left Taipei city that entire time. I was shelled up like a claim and living routinely in a nice comfort zone. Why would I travel all this way to create a new comfort zone? So I randomly planned a trip away alone to a mountain gorge and went hiking for my last weekend. I had little in the way of hiking experience, but hiking a 400m vertical cliff alone really unlocks something powerful inside.


Taroko Gorge, Taiwan



Reflection enables you to explore yourself. We need reflection to identify and come to terms with who we really are. I actually think it’s underrated, especially in the 21st Century. Day to day adult life goes something like this: Busy-ness is good, productivity makes us better individuals and more money equals more success. What most of us don’t realize is that being constantly busy doesn’t make you any more productive, or successful.

Reflection can take on any form. Some people enjoy journalling, getting in touch with nature, or retreating away to a safe place. I personally need a safe, relaxed space to let go and spew out my own self-reflection. When massive changes had spun my life into a roulette of choices, I just reflect. In 2015 I remember quitting a pretty bad job while in China, packing up and flying out as I had to make something out of nothing. So I sat down in a cafe at Tokyo, reflecting and spewing out my next 9 months of possible journeys on a coffee-stained napkin. Reflection gives you that clarity to find self-awareness.


Reflections… which way is up?



Ask trusted friends, ask family, ask others what they see in you, or what they think your characteristics are. See if they think you are self-aware. Be open to others about yourself and your loopholes. Be real. Seek feedback on how you can be better. If they laugh or think that’s silly, screw them, you are already thinking on a different level to be asking in the first place.

Working out how self-aware you are starts by getting others to give you that insight. You don’t need to mask up who you want to be or what defines you. Let people give you their perceptions so you can hold the reigns to who you really are. For me, it takes someone else to tell me who I am before I can see it myself.



You may not know what the path ahead is. But with self-awareness, you’re equipped with the best version of yourself that you can give to yourself and to the world. And with that, you’ll figure the rest out along the way.

PS: If you’re unsure of where to take action, or for any self-development at all – feel free to reach out for help. You can get in touch with me via the contact page if you have any questions. Or I’d be happy to point you in the direction of recommendations or someone else for guidance!

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