Are only 15% of people self-aware? (Class 1 question)

Home Forums Skeptic’s Path to Enlightenment Are only 15% of people self-aware? (Class 1 question)

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  • #16331
    Scott Snibbe
    Participant

    A number of references and questions came up in the first class. @Stephen Butler will pipe in with the various books. However, I wanted to start by following up on the reference on self awareness that sparked some discussion. This article is where I read about Tasha Eurich’s research that seems to say that only 1-15% of people are genuinely “self aware.”

    https://hbr.org/2018/01/what-self-awareness-really-is-and-how-to-cultivate-it

    What do you think? Here’s her summary:

    “Although most people believe that they are self-aware, true self-awareness is a rare quality. In this piece, the author describes a recent large-scale investigation that shed light on some of the biggest roadblocks, myths, and truths about what self-awareness really is — and what it takes to cultivate it. Specifically, the study found that there are actually two distinct types of self-awareness, that experience and power can hinder self-awareness, and that introspection doesn’t always make you more self-aware. Understanding these key points can help leaders learn to see themselves more clearly.”

    #16425
    Kamlo Chen-Duffy
    Participant

    Thanks for bringing up this topic, Scott – it gave me some food for thought. I think self-awareness comes in degrees – and for me meditation is in part a process of gradually becoming more self-aware, if by that we mean developing a clear and realistic perception of yourself. I think I can confidently say practicing meditation has made me more self-aware on several levels: awareness of the stories and personal histories that go into forming my ‘identity’, awareness of the processes of the mind and body, etc. Sometimes it seems like a glimmer of self-awareness shows you how little you actually have, which makes me think that the percentage of truly self-aware people is probably even less than 15 percent!

    This question reminds me of a practice that I heard Bob Thurman speak about in one of his talks, where you imagine yourself as the other person looking back at you when speaking to someone. Perhaps you know the name of this practice? I tried it for a little while and it was a very surreal experience – I could see the potential it had for improving relationships but it definitely was a bit destabilising, because you de-center your own perspective in your experience of the world. If that makes sense…

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