Self awareness is vital.  I think most of us want to know ourselves a bit better. There are many selves to know! There’s the me that I’m aware of, the me that I am not aware of, the me I present to the world; this me changes for my audience.  There’s me that is perceived by those who know me well and those who’ve just met me a couple of times.  Me at work and me at play.

As a counsellor, I’m comfortable with considering the different identities I am given by my clients.  Sometimes I’m seen as a comforting father, sometimes a magic wizard, sometimes a strict headteacher… It’s helpful to consciously consider who I temporarily am to clients because it helps them understand themselves better.

It’s useful to grow our awareness of the different selves we have or are given because when it comes to thinking and feeling in times of stress and anxiousness, it can become all the more important to be really clear with ourselves and with others about our motivations, what we need, hearing what they need, how we can rub along better together and even grow intimacy and connection.

As a way of describing our different selves, the Johari Window was invented by Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham in the 1950s as a model for mapping personality awareness and describing our relationship with ourself and others. By describing yourself from a fixed list of descriptive words, then asking your family, friends and colleagues to describe you from the same list, a grid of overlap and difference can be built up. Go on, give it a go! There’s an on-line version of the test here:

If you need a hand in thinking these things through, on-line counseling can really help – even just a session.  I’m happy to chat.