The Importance of Self-Awareness and Self-Acceptance

Leaders who lead well are leaders who have embraced their real self and are comfortable with who they in Christ. They know they have weaknesses and strengths, they emotionally aware, and they can be honest with themselves and others about who they are.

“It makes sense that people who know themselves and who can relate genuinely to others by avoiding self-protective roles have a better chance of succeeding in leadership, especially today. Leaders who strive to acknowledge all sides of themselves and who allow all sides of themselves to be acknowledged will increase their capacity to lead in difficult times.” Richard H. Ackerman and Pat Maslin-Ostrowski

It is one thing to know thyself; it is quite another to embrace what you know about yourself. You really cannot effectively make yourself known to others if you have not embraced who you are.

The struggle to embrace the real you may have come from a number of different places.

  • Growing up in an abusive home
  • Always being compared with others
  • Having unrealistic expectations set for you while growing up
  • Always being reminded of the wrongs you did
  • Being put down by those closest to you: parents, siblings, family, etc.
  • Fear of rejection

Obviously, any number of other reasons may have led you to not embrace the real you. You may still carry wounds of the past or you may be trying to live up to someone else’s expectations. Before you can begin to let others know the real you, you must first accept and embrace the real you.

Perhaps you have regrets about some things, and to this day you live with the consequences. Maybe you have discovered that you are not as good or competent as you thought you were in some areas, but are afraid to admit it. How should you go about embracing these things about yourself?

First, recognize you cannot change the past. Therefore, continuing to revisit or relive past events, wishing they were different, serves no good purpose. The reality is, the past is what it is – the past.

Accept the past as a part of who you are which cannot and will not change. Take responsibility for what you have control over, and as far are you are able to, deal with whatever consequences that followed. Beyond that, you are wasting present time and energy on something that will never change. While you are certainly influenced by the past, you need not let it define you.

Seek healing for the hurts of the past. Many of us carry hurts we experienced as children, but which hinder our present living. We need to seek out the necessary help to get the healing we need.

Recognize your strengths, regardless of what the negative voices of the past or present are saying. See the good in you as God’s gifts to you. Do not be afraid or ashamed to celebrate and live out God’s good gifts to you.

We all have strengths and weaknesses. We all have things about the past we wish were not a part of our life. Yet only those of us who are self-aware and fully embrace our true selves, are able to let others know who we really are.

To embrace who you are means to accept yourself without excuse, apology, or shame.

Leaders who lack self-awareness and self-acceptance will struggle to lead well.

Have you truly embraced who you are, or are you still struggling to let go of the past? As you still trying to please others?

Identify at least one thing about the real you that you still struggle to accept, and tell at least one person. See it as a small but important step toward embracing the real you.

If you would like help in achieving your goals as a leader or in any area of your life, call us at 208-880-0307 or email us at to schedule a complimentary coaching session. To read Errol’s other posts, visit Christ-Centered Life Coaching.