Being self-aware means you notice a lot more about what you’re doing and why.
As such, there are certain things you just don’t do.
Here are the top 10.
1. You don’t lie to yourself
One of the most crucial things highly self aware people never do is lie to themselves.
If you’re highly self aware, you know that the worst kinds of lies are often those we tell ourselves.
- I love this person (when you know you don’t)
- This job is great (when you curse it daily)
- My marriage is happy (when it’s actually completely miserable)
- My financial life will work out fine (when it actually definitely will not unless you make big changes fast).
If you’re highly self aware, you don’t grant yourself the privilege and luxury of lying to yourself.
You know that you deserve more, and that deceiving yourself will only make life that much more difficult and frustrating.
2. You don’t blindly follow your impulses
The next of the things highly self aware people never do is blindly follow their impulses.
As a highly self aware individual, you check in with yourself and the “big picture” before acting on a desire or instant reaction.
- Investing in a stock or not
- Deciding whether to sleep with someone
- Choosing a new place to live
- Inviting new friends into your life
- Choosing whether to stay at your job or leave it
- Making a costly, but optional, purchase
These are all examples of things you don’t just do recklessly.
You know when to make a move and decide, but you give yourself that extra bit of time to see if this is really something that’s meaningful to you or fits in any way within who you want to be as a person and how you want to live your life.
3. You don’t vent at your friends
I’ve learned this lesson the hard way by pushing away a few friends with negativity and complaining.
The fact is that as a highly self aware person you remember not to treat your friends or family as sounding boards.
Somebody close to you may care about you, but they have no obligation to listen to you spew anger and negativity all day about everything you dislike.
They probably have plenty they dislike too, but have the self control to keep some of it private.
Now and then we all complain and rage out a little bit.
But if you’re highly self aware you restrain yourself from venting at friends about all the things you hate, and you also put a lid on your alcohol and other consumption that could cause your filter to come off in irresponsible and damaging ways.
4. You don’t pursue goals that aren’t yours
How many people are living somebody else’s version of their lives?
I’m not just talking about following exactly what their family or teachers or peers expect…
I’m talking about many who think they are “free” or living their own dream but who are basically just socially engineered products of a consumer model dreamed up in a boardroom.
Don’t get me wrong:
We’re all part of the System in some way or another.
But if you’re highly self aware then you instinctively and consciously resist attempts to place you in a box.
You dislike labels, easy black-and-white moral categorizations and situations that are full of simplistic narratives.
You may have strong beliefs, for sure, but you don’t live your life to be popular or wear the same clothes and listen to the same music that others do just to fit in.
This includes not dressing and acting the predetermined part of a “rebel” or completely counterculture individual (unless you really are that), since this mode has, obviously, become one of the biggest indicators of being completely conformist and mainstream.
5. You don’t embrace the victim mentality
Next up in things highly self aware people never do is embrace the victim mentality.
Life is so full of unfair and upsetting occurrences that it’s almost impossible not to feel like a victim sometimes, and I don’t blame or disrespect anybody who does.
Many of us have indeed been victimized.
But choosing to remain in the mentality and framework of a victim is like starving yourself of oxygen.
You lose all your power and become defined by what has been done to you or happened to you, rather than what you will do about it.
Switching out of the victim mentality is about choosing to act instead of focusing on victimization.
At the end of the day it’s less of a moral choice than a pragmatic decision to switch from reverse into drive.
6. You don’t stay sunk in your addictions
Addictions are very easy to get lost in, and come in so many forms.
One of the biggest things highly self aware people never do is allow themselves to get sunk in their addictions.
From overworking to pornography to drugs to gambling, the self aware person notes their behavior and works to modify it.
If you’re self aware then you can’t help but notice how your addictions are harming you and hurting others in your life, too.
As such, you take whatever steps necessary to beat your addictions and get at the need for belonging and sadness that you’re trying to kill by engaging in those addictions.
7. You don’t manipulate and deceive for sex
Another of the crucial things highly self aware people never do is manipulate or deceive for sex.
You know that there are only really three main outcomes for things like cheating, lying to someone to get laid or pretending to love someone for sex:
- a) You get busted for it and you have a big problem
- b) You don’t get busted for it but you feel awful
- c) You don’t get busted for it and you don’t care (which means you’re kind of a bad human and likely to get worse).
Being self aware, you prefer to be up front about what you’re looking for and why.
You don’t just say or do anything to have some fun between the sheets, because you think more highly of others and of yourself.
8. You don’t get involved in toxic spirituality
The next of the things highly self aware people never do is get involved in toxic spirituality.
You know the kind I’m talking about:
High vibrations, rainbow chakras, week-long retreats that cost an arm and a leg where you get stared down by some guy in a burlap sack chanting Om.
The Law of Attraction is another well-funded example, a high-budget form of gaslighting to convince people that their life’s tragedies and disappointments are more or less self-generated.
This kind of spirituality instinctively repels you as a highly self aware person:
- a) Because you can tell it’s mostly untrue
- b) Because you trust there are forms of spirituality and religion that aren’t built on gaslighting or “superior” vs. “inferior” framing.
9. You don’t invest in unhealthy relationships
Another of the key things highly self aware people never do is get invested in toxic and unhealthy relationships
Sometimes this is easier said than done, of course, and many relationships start out all sunshine before becoming a tornado.
But wherever possible, you keep your eyes open for the warning signs.
If you’re getting to know someone or starting to date, you take off the rose-colored glasses and look at them as realistically as possible.
You’re not interested in deceiving yourself, as I pointed out in the first sign, because you know you’ll just waste your own time and energy in the process.
To summarize: you avoid bad relationships where possible and you get out of toxic and codependent relationships as fast as possible when they crop up.
10. You don’t make the same mistake twice
Lastly in the things highly self aware people never do is make the same mistake twice.
When you’re highly self aware you have the benefit of remembering what you do very well and remembering the consequences.
If you’ve experienced the dangers of getting lost in a toxic relationship by over-idealizing, you avoid making that mistake again…
If you’ve experienced the mistake of over investing in a dangerous stock that was highly volatile, you don’t make that mistake again…
The long and the short of it is you stay aware and avoid past mistakes.
Staying self aware
Being self aware is one thing: staying self aware is another.
It’s easy to lose sight of why we’re doing things in the heat of the moment.
The key to self awareness is to keep that small, quiet part of yourself that remains conscious and aware even in tense, upsetting, tempting and rapidly moving situations.
It’s this quiet core that will remind you of who you are and what you want to accomplish in life and help guide you, instead of just taking the easiest or fastest option.