When you have a lack of self-awareness, you might feel a sense of inner chaos. You won’t know why you do the things you do, or what motivates you to do them. You just flow through life with no real direction.

Self-awareness is all about knowing yourself. If you are self-aware, then you’re in touch with your wants and needs. A self-aware person understands their own personality and what makes them tick. You would know yourself like you know a friend and accept their strengths and weaknesses all the same. With self-awareness comes a sort of calmness. You’re aware of your true inner self and are able to make changes or accept what you have to.

If you lack self-awareness, you’re hindering your personal growth. You can only work on your flaws if you can identify what they are and why you have them. Similarly, you can only play to your strengths if you know what they are.

Understanding if you are suffering from a lack of self-awareness is the first step to take when you’re hoping to achieve some personal growth.

5 Signs of a Lack of Self-Awareness

1. You’re Defensive

Being able to accept flaws and failures is a skill that very self-aware people have. If you lack self-awareness, then you’re likely to be unable to process and understand criticisms well. Without a genuine and balanced view of your inner self, it’s going to be easy to rock you with slight complaints.

Some people who have a lack of self-awareness will be defensive of themselves when someone gives them a critique. Instead of seeing themselves in a realistic light, they see what they want to see. This means everything they believe is rocked when someone has a complaint.

Rather than listening to the feedback you’ve been given and taking the information on board; you go straight to the defensive. You’d rather argue for hours about your shortcomings than accept that you’re flawed. This is because of a lack of connection with yourself. If you don’t know how to communicate with yourself, even the smallest criticism will feel like an attack.

Surprisingly, this could also apply to compliments. If you’re lacking in self-awareness, you might only notice your flaws. Instead of being in touch with yourself in a balanced way, you can only see one side. You might be defensive when receiving compliments, assuming it’s a joke or that the offering was just plain wrong. You could find yourself arguing back, giving defensive reasons why you shouldn’t accept the compliment.

2. You Have No Control Over Your Emotions

Knowing yourself means knowing your emotions. If you can’t identify the emotions you’re feeling or the triggers that caused them, then you’re likely to have a lack of self-awareness. People who have no control over their emotions tend to fly off the handle regularly because they aren’t able to settle themselves. When you have a good sense of self-awareness, you become able to not only identify your triggers but identify what you need to do to solve them.

Having no emotional control means often avoiding situations that might be emotionally arousing. If you’re used to being unable to handle how you feel, then you probably choose not to experience emotions at all. This sounds smart at surface level, but living means embracing emotions – good and bad.

Having a lack of self-awareness with little emotional control will put your friendships, relationships, and career at risk. No one enjoys being around a person who spirals out often with no real understanding of why. You might get angry too easily or be too quick to become hysterical at minor negative moments.

3. You Never Take the Blame

Similar to being defensive, making excuses is a way of rejecting your flaws. There is always a reason for your behavior or decisions that don’t even involve your own shortcomings.

For example, being late for an event. Instead of admitting that you should have done better, you’ll find a hundred excuses. There was traffic, your alarm didn’t go off, your dog ate your shoes. Self-aware people are much better at saying sorry, and that they’ll simply try harder next time.

Your excuses may be totally valid at times. The difference between having or lacking self-awareness is the ability to take on board what you might have learned (for example, to set an extra alarm next time) and admitting a failure this time. A sign of personal growth is being able to accept a mistake without anger or embarrassment.

People who lack good self-awareness also consider themselves to be innocent bystanders in life. They acknowledge that something isn’t right, but they are convinced that they aren’t to blame. Everyone else is. Group projects fail because of the others, right?

If you don’t see the connection between your actions and the outcome, then you’ll never grow as a person. No more excuses, no more shifting the blame. By developing a connection with your inner self, you’ll be better able to accept that you haven’t been at your best and allow that to help you grow.

4. You Are Never Satisfied

If you don’t truly know yourself, you won’t know what you really want from life. If you have a lack of self-awareness, you won’t be truly aware of your hopes and dreams. This means you’ll just be floating through life, doing what feels right for the time being, but isn’t given you that feeling of fulfillment.

Without that inner connection, you’re destined to lead a boring life. You’ll simply feel stagnant. Stuck in a “just alright” life because you never got in touch with your true self. When you get to know yourself as a friend, you’ll know where you want to be. Knowing what motivates you to get up each day will propel you forward.

Similarly, in your relationships, lacking self-awareness will mean you accept treatment and a lifestyle that doesn’t make you feel satisfied.

5. You Have Beliefs You Do Not Understand

Perhaps the most obvious sign of having a lack of self-awareness is having beliefs you can’t explain. These might be religious or political, or just morals and values you navigate your life by. Instead of having self-awareness that causes you to connect with your inner self, you’ve just taken on the beliefs of the crowd. This crowd might be the people you spend your time with now or the way you were taught to believe as a child.

If you can’t fight for your beliefs and answer the question “why do you feel that way?”, then you might be lacking in self-awareness. You’ve taken on ideas at a superficial level because it’s what you’re used to. You haven’t developed the thought and meaning behind these beliefs as people with self-awareness do.

When you look inwards and get to know yourself, you might realize some of those beliefs don’t sit well with you anymore. You might even see you have important values that you never knew you had.

A lack of self-awareness forces you to live a surface level life.

Your career, relationships, and friendships may never feel meaningful enough because you don’t know what you genuinely want. Being self-aware could have the power to change your life. When you give yourself time to become self-aware, your personal growth will take off, and you’ll begin truly living your best life.


  1. https://www.psychologytoday.com
  2. https://www.inc.com

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This Post Has 3 Comments


    Becky, thank you! And I hope chronic anxiety is a thing in the past

  2. Marcelle

    Thanks. I liked it.

  3. Robin

    How do you make such a person realise their lack of self awareness? It’s so draining to be around one. A very close person ticks all the boxes and we’re drifting apart because being around them makes me so anxious and uncomfortable. It’s sad

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