3 Key aspects of Self-awareness for Practice in Daily Life

Many struggle to describe themselves in their barest form, let alone realise their individual potential to achieve something big. When we don’t know where we are headed, it is hard to set goals, stay motivated and determine the best course of action. So, before we can do any of these things, we must first establish who we are.

Knowing oneself has immense benefits, which can help oneself in setting realistic goals, accomplishing tasks, having successful relationships, or simply remaining motivated in their daily activities. In order to perform at an optimum level, knowing oneself is of top importance!

Self-awareness stems from reflecting on three aspects of the ‘Self’:

1) ‘I-Self’ – This aspect answers the question, ‘How do I see myself?’ Reflecting on the concept of ‘I-Self’ helps the individual to understand oneself from life’s learning experiences including past experiences, accomplishments, mistakes, attitudes, behaviours or values. These experiences mould one to become who they truly are.

2) ‘Me-Self’ – This answers the question of ‘How do others see me?’ This aspect of the self is developed from influences and interactions with society. Parents, friends, teachers, mentors and any environmental factors can contribute to the shaping of the ‘Me-Self’. The ‘I-Self’ is constantly developing as the ‘Me-Self’evolves.

3) ‘Ideal-Self’ – This answers the question of ‘How do I want others to see me?’ This is a projection of oneself onto others and the fulfilment of various roles in one’s life journey.

Creating a unified self is constantly challenging as often, the three aspects of ’SELF’ are not in sync with one another. People are generally wired to seek meaning and acceptance. However, what one conceals from the public can be the catalysts hindering the quest for social acceptance. For instance, when the urge to control the perception of others overwhelms the authentic self, self-awareness will be gradually diminished, resulting in a loss of identity.

It is therefore of high importance to know oneself as it aids in identifying personal weaknesses, realising areas of improvements, identifying optimal choices in decision-making and the sharing of strengths with others. Ultimately, knowing and understanding oneself leads to a more productive life and in attaining one’s goals.


Founded in 1956, the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) is Singapore’s oldest not-for-profit professional institute for lifelong learning. MDIS has two main subsidiaries: Management Development Institute of Singapore Pte Ltd which oversees its Singapore academic operations, and MDIS International Pte Ltd which focuses on MDIS’ globalisation strategy. MDIS offers internationally-accredited courses in Business and Management, Engineering, Fashion and Jewellery Design, Health and Nursing, Information Technology, Languages and Education, Life Sciences, Media and Communications, Psychology, Tourism and Hospitality Management, and Safety and Environmental Management. These programmes are offered in collaboration with renowned universities in the United Kingdom.

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