Self aware or flying blind?

Thursday, February 9, 2017 Permalink

Many moons ago I did pilates a couple of times a week. My instructor (also my neighbour) used to comment on the fact I had good proprioception.

And… to save you googling, it basically means I had a pretty good body awareness in terms of movement. Or as wikipedia puts it… “the sense of the relative position of neighbouring parts of the body and strength of effort being employed in movement.”

I figure this came from my childhood sport, jazz ballet… and a father who was very specific and exacting. It means I’ve always been conscious of my tennis racquet grip, or positioning of my arm when I’ve been shooting hoops at basketball or netball; or I’ll feel it when I just don’t have a certain dance movement down pat.

So… I tend to think of myself as a perfectionist pretty self-aware – both physically AND mentally. And anyone who’s read any of my non-bookish blog posts knows I’m prone to overanalyse EVERY THING I do!

However… I know a lot of people who think of themselves as self-aware and yet… there are glaring gaps in their self-knowledge / understanding.

Every time I roll my eyes at someone’s obtuseness or lack of humour or make a judgement of some sort, I realise I’m feeling smugly superior.

I mean, I’ve noted that a lot of people who don’t recognise certain traits in themselves. They might even talk about others’ bad habits, faults or foibles and yet I frown at them wondering how on earth they don’t realise they’re EXACTLY THE SAME?!

And, so if others aren’t as self-aware as they think, what makes me think I am?

Faaaarck?! This is a mind-f*ck for me and makes me a tad paranoid. Not too paranoid – cos I’m so sane and emotionally balanced and everything. 😉

But… what if I’m dumber, more boring, less EVERYTHING than I think I am?!

What if I’m smugly assuming I’m vaguely intelligent, funny, coordinated… and have okay taste in things.

But… what if I’m WAAAAY dumber than I realise. What if people cringe at my sense of humour; shudder at my writing; or eyeroll at MY taste in anything and everything?

And yes, I know this is yet another first world problem and I have too much thinking time on my hands! But, it’s one of those things I ponder from time to time… what if I’m blithely going along in life completely clueless about things I could improve on, or do differently? 

Do you think of yourself as self-aware? Do you ever worry you’re not? Or that you have a blindspot or two when it comes to your behaviour? Or perhaps I’m alone in overthinking EVERYTHING!?

the-lovin-life-linky

I’ve joined Leanne from Deep Fried Fruit and some other bloggers to help promote “ageing positively” and the Lovin’ Life mindset across the interwebz. You can link up via any one of us!

The Lovin’ Life Team includes:
Kathy from 50 Shades of Age
Johanna from Lifestyle Fifty
Min from Write of the Middle.
and Leanne from Deep Fried Fruit.


36 Comments
  • kathymarris
    February 9, 2017

    Interesting subject Deb. I had a friend a few years ago that constantly and very rudely rolled her eyes towards another friend that made up our trio when I was talking. It made me feel like a boring inane person and I will never forgive her for making me feel dumb! Thankfully we have had a parting of ways with our friendship because she could never understand my blogging thing. Now I realise that she was the dumb one! I think I have become a lot more self aware of what comes out of my mouth and have learnt not to say certain personal things to certain people.

    • Debbish
      February 9, 2017

      Oh I can’t stand people who belittle others. I do it enmasse – like in the memes in the post – but would never do it to an individual. I’m overly concerned about others’ feelings more than anything… well…. in light of my post, at least I think I am!!!

  • Margaret Richters
    February 9, 2017

    I am of the opinion that we are all somewhat self aware. How we portray that awareness is what i find hard to deal with.

    • Debbish
      February 9, 2017

      Very true Margaret. I hadn’t thought of it that way!

  • Kat @anaussieinsf
    February 9, 2017

    Most of the time I don’t think I’m very aware of what I’m saying, because I’ll lay in bed that night and all the dumb things I’ve said that day will come back to me. Something to work on I guess. #teamlovinlife

    • Debbish
      February 9, 2017

      Oh yes, there’s nothing like that “I can’t believe I said that!” (Or ‘did’ that) regret!!!

  • Melissa Chambers
    February 9, 2017

    I think I’m fairly self aware – I know there are times when I roll my eyes at what comes out of some peoples mouths but I also know that sometimes when I say things it doesn’t sound right so I’m sure others roll there eyes at me too!

    • Debbish
      February 9, 2017

      Yes…. it occurs to me that if I’M thinking this about others, they’re probably thinking it about me!!!

  • Shauna 'Round the Corner
    February 9, 2017

    I still shift my grip between forehand and backhand even though I had the correct grip drummed into me as a kid! But at least I am aware of my shortcoming! Ha! Only last night I crawled into bed wondering about people’s perception of me and whether it’s positive or negative. It happens after every blog post I publish. It’s exhausting and possibly the reason why I am so inconsistent in my blogging. I too am an over thinker Deborah. For what it’s worth, I think you’re great. I love your honesty and sense of humour and I always enjoy reading your blog. Also love that you visit mine! x

    • Debbish
      February 9, 2017

      Oh thanks that’s lovely Shauna… and, I haven’t touched a tennis racquet in at least 20yrs! (I have very bad memories of my short-lived tennis ‘career’!)

      I’ve actually been a bit hamstrung myself on the blogging front recently as well. There have been two posts I was going to write: one about routines and to-do lists; and then this past Monday re ‘having enough money’ and I couldn’t finish either. I overthought both issues so much I ended up with 1000+ words and couldn’t actually get any clarity around my thinking.

      And… today’s post was initially going to be about eating / not dieting and stuff, but again I couldn’t get my head around the issue. I tend to over-complicate things when I think too much… and don’t know how to stop doing that.

  • Jo
    February 9, 2017

    Funny & a ‘does my bum look fat in these jeans?’ question ie no right answer. I on the other hand have very little physical awareness. Actually, almost none. Just saying. And love the memes.

    • Debbish
      February 9, 2017

      I think some of the physical awareness is a form of obsession / perfectionism for me Jo…. “Am I doing this right?” is all important. It was drummed into me when I was young that ‘technique’ or ‘form’ is all important!

  • Johanna
    February 9, 2017

    Hmm, interesting topic. I think self awareness is good if you’re aware of your faults and actively try not to let them manifest, but then knowing what your faults are is tricky because what you perceive as faulty or broken, others might not! The cartoon pic above with the women thinking “Did your mother drop you on your head?” as someone is talking, has, I must sadly admit gone through my head on occasion. But equally I realise when I look into someone’s eyes as I’m talking, they might be thinking the same thing! Argh! Live and let live … and don’t take yourself too seriously is my motto as I get older! #teamlovinlife

    • Debbish
      February 11, 2017

      That’s true Johanna… what we see as faults others may not!

  • sizzlesue15
    February 9, 2017

    I think I’m self aware but maybe I’m not after reading your post Deb. I’m sure we all roll our eyes from time to time at others but also I think sometimes when we look inward we aren’t that happy with what we see. It seems it is easy not to overthink things sometimes. Let’s just enjoy our life and try not to worry what other people think. Have a great day!

    • Debbish
      February 11, 2017

      Ah yes, not worrying about what others think is something I need to work on Sue!

  • robjodiefilogomo
    February 9, 2017

    Funny how reading someone saying this can make us question ourselves, huh?
    I do think that if we analyze our actions, it can make us more self aware. That doesn’t mean I don’t say something stupid quite a bit—but hopefully I realize it later and won’t say it again (instead I’ll say something even stupider—LOL)
    jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com
    #lovinlife

    • Debbish
      February 11, 2017

      Ah yes… I think it’s only when I wonder how other people CAN’T see certain behaviour in themselves that I realise I may well be doing the same thing!

  • Sydney Shop Girl
    February 9, 2017

    I agree, it is much easier to see ‘faults’ in others…. Sometimes naivity or denial prevents us from being fully self aware.

    SSG xxx

    • Debbish
      February 11, 2017

      Oh denial… gotta love that river! #dadjoke #sorrynotsorry

  • charliegirl
    February 9, 2017

    I try to be as honest and self-aware with myself as possible. I preach about parents not enabling their students, and yet I found myself doing it with my brothers (for all intents and purposes, whom I raised). After the limited interactions I had in the last year with my brothers, I had to make a conscious decision to walk away. No matter how much I love them and want to help, I have to walk away and let them figure out crap on their own (hello, Google it) and let them resolve their own problems. I had to do the same thing for the feeling of obligation to attend family events that leave me feeling ignored and like shit. (No lie – my brother’s wife didn’t even know the man and I were at her birthday last year. Months later when his dad came down and we took him to the Alamo and River Walk, we ran into each other by complete coincidence and she introduced herself, and the man pointedly said to her, “Yes, we’ve met before” and she was perplexed.) Similar patterns at work. I will not be the person doing everyone else’s job because “I’m good at it” or they don’t want to do it and I am guilted into it. That whole thing is all about my thoughts on how I think others think of me. I learned very quickly that I am not liked because I do my job and I ask for help to help me do my job to people who don’t want to do theirs and want to slough it off. In the last two years particularly, I’ve had to come to Jesus with myself about not giving a damn what others think of me, despite the little voice that creeps in unexpectedly and asks. It’s just not good for me anymore, and there is nothing I can do to change it. I know I have flaws, and I’m sure others see them. I try to be very, very aware about myself so that no one is ever left wondering, “Are you the kettle or the pot today? Because they’re both black.”

    • Debbish
      February 11, 2017

      Oh that’s interesting Charlie… I think I’m self-aware but the faults I THINK I have aren’t always the right ones. I tend to think of myself as frivolous and irresponsible…. but people who know me tell me it’s not the case. It makes me wonder (more broadly) how I’m perceived.

  • seizetheday20
    February 9, 2017

    I’d like to think I’m relatively self-aware, but I’m sure I have a blind spot about some things (denial!?). I’ve done a lot of self development which has helped me realise that I’m not perfect … and neither is anyone else. We all have areas we need to work on. We need to be kind to ourselves in the process though 🙂 #TeamLovinLife

    • Debbish
      February 11, 2017

      Interestingly – in my old working days – I did some courses about managing staff and managing upwards and learned some interesting things about the way I work and think vs people I work with. It took someone else to suggest (for example) that I’m a bit manic in my thinking (and talking), so leap to the end point quickly. Whereas I worked with a Deputy Director-General at the time who was very methodical and I know I drove her batty. It wasn’t until this person really pointed out that my boss NEEDED me to walk her through the steps I realised I hadn’t taken her cognitive processes into consideration.

  • writeofthemiddle
    February 9, 2017

    An interesting topic Deb! I think I’m pretty self-aware but I also think it’s pretty easy to have a blind spot. You live with yourself all the time so it’s very easy to not notice what others might see. Sometimes you need it pointed out to you before you become aware – hard as that can be to take! Sometimes though you can notice something about yourself and it can be a bit of a jolt into self awareness. It’s like when I look in my mirror at home I don’t look toooooo bad … but when I look in the mirror at a department store change room, all of a sudden I am soooo awfulll!! I choose to believe my mirror at home though. Haha! #TeamLovinLife

    • Debbish
      February 11, 2017

      I shared a couple of photos on Instagram and on my FB page this week. I really hated one of them and thought I looked big and horrible, but the comments were nice. So the physicality thing is a difficult one. I only see the largeness or my thighs or similar, whereas others will look at the overall picture and not focus on the problems.

  • yinyangmother
    February 9, 2017

    Interesting thoughts Deb – and I have them all the time. I actually think the more you become self-aware the less you realise you are! Like you I’m prone to over-analysis!!! – I think, no wait feel, that self-awareness comes in quiet moments when we calm our busy/judgemental brain and let insight wash over us, from wherever it comes. While I mightn’t be as self-aware as I’d like to believe I am (eek) I also know that no-one really cares – everybody is too busy worrying about themselves.

    • Debbish
      February 11, 2017

      Very true Kathy. I think unless that fault / foible impacts on others they let it slide and it doesn’t bother others. I struggle to let that stuff go, when I should. Often it’s nothing to do with me and I just see / notice it from afar and feel this insatiable desire to make them aware of it. I never would but I mull over it and wonder how they cannot see it. (Making me wonder what I’m missing about myself of course!)

  • Janet Camilleri (@middleagedmama1)
    February 9, 2017

    Proprioception – pretty sure I was at the end of the queue when this was handed out LOL. At aqua this morning the instructor kept looking at me and saying “OPPOSITE sides” ie our arms and legs were meant to be moving in opposite directions and I honestly thought mine were hahahahah no they weren’t!!! Physically I’m not very self aware. But mentally/emotionally self aware – I think I am, and you are too. If you’re aware of your flaws I think that says a lot about you. Or even the fact that you take time to think of these things …

    • Debbish
      February 11, 2017

      As well as my father being a stickler for technique, my early basketball coach was also and we spent a lot of time on the basics. I think dancing as a kid (even though it was just pretty casual jazz ballet weekly) meant I understood the importance of ‘getting a move right’, if that makes sense.

  • leannelc
    February 9, 2017

    The good thing about midlife is that I don’t care as much anymore about whether other people think I’m less fabulous than I think I am. I’m getting better at being my slightly awkward, slightly inappropriate, slightly loud self and letting other people take me or leave me. And there are a LOT of idiots out there btw!

    • Debbish
      February 11, 2017

      There certainly are a lot of idiots out there Leanne. One only needs to read comments on FB posts or newspaper sites to confirm that one!

      And I like the zenness re others’ perception. I think I’m slowly moving in that direction myself.

  • Emma
    February 10, 2017

    I would say I’m reflective as self-aware sounds a bit navel gazing but I look at life a million ways and am always convinced my decisions were right

    • Debbish
      February 11, 2017

      That’s a good way to be Emma – no regrets and not living in the past!

  • Virtually All Sorts
    February 11, 2017

    I tend to over-think which sometimes – often- leads to worry but I’m really working on it. I find meditation and yoga really helps! #LovinLifeLinky

    • Debbish
      February 11, 2017

      Ah yes, I need to do more meditation most certainly. I’m slowly getting back into yoga which is great!

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