About Self-Awareness

Junior (College 3rd year) ・Psychology ・APA

A clear insight of one's own strengths and weaknesses is referred to as self-awareness. Knowing how one's past experiences influence one's values is a crucial step toward personal development. Self-awareness promotes several attributes necessary for a social worker, such as acceptance, trust, and openness. These characteristics enable a person to interact more effectively with their clientele. Having a comprehensive understanding of the clients' perceptions is critical in ensuring that social workers treat them without bias or apprehension. It is typical for a social worker to have values that contradict with various aspects of the clients' lifestyle.The recognition of the variations in lifestyle between the social worker and their client and aptly adapt to every situation ensures that the social worker avoids confrontations during in practice. This paper will examine how recognition and finding solutions to my inadequacies in the social work practice lead to personal development. Further, the study assesses how my views on personal lives influence how we approach different situations in my profession.

Part I

I grew up in a mixed-race background. The background influenced my choices and experiences in life. My father has both Mexican and American heritage. My mother was adopted when she was young but traces her ancestry back to Sicily in Italy. She is originally from Chicago, Illinois. My father met my mother when her adoptive mother moved her to Roswell in the mid-1980s. The two went to the same high school. I have always been particularly close to my father as he chipped in the most in my upbringing. My mother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the tender age of 26 which affected her mental state for the greater part of her life. She has often found herself on the wrong side of the law due to her condition. Some of her manic episodes resulted in her being arrested due to her habit of shoplifting. I have a step-sibling from who is four years older than me. We have not kept contact over the years as we were not close while growing up. My mother’s condition was the primary reason for reduced interaction. I spent most of my childhood moving from one place to another, changing schools across different states. However, my father made sure I kept contact with his side of the family often sending me to live with some of his kin. As a result, my cousins are close and feels like my siblings. I consider the relatives on my father’s side as my immediate family as I spent a lot of time with them while growing up. Most of my relatives from my father’s side cannot speak Spanish. This is odd as my paternal grandparents perfectly understand the language but did not see it fit to pass down the dialect to their children. While growing up, my grandfather got the perception that speaking English was the most appropriate thing to do in the 1960s. He grew up being teased about his Spanish ancestry. Consequently, my grandfather decided to spare his children from enduring the same torture. My father was born in 1965, and his family lived in the state of New Mexico.

I am in a way a moderate introvert although most of my friends consider me to be an honest, open and outgoing individual. I often dwell on other people’s perception of me, and this might be holding me back from achieving my full potential. I am very tall 5'10 with a medium athletic build. I have dark brown hair and eyes and an olive complexion.

I enlisted in the Air Force back in 2010 and served for five years until the end of my active duty in 2015. After getting out of the military, I moved to Las Vegas to be close to my father who is a dealer at the Aria Casino. I live on my own and support myself through my savings that I earned in the military and the GI bill stipend that I get for going to school.

Some of my strengths include my ability to be compassionate and show empathy to other people’s situations. This can prove to be a valuable asset when interacting with various individuals in my profession. I am also a very hardworking, strong-willed and ambitious individual who through different learning experiences has acquired various skills along the way. My time in the Air Force also enhanced my characters such as discipline and perseverance which might come handy in the future.

One of the few areas where I need work is learning to handle stress better. Throughout my life, I have endured plenty of tough experiences and grown stronger by dealing with them positively. My superiors in the military often emphasized the need for me to develop a harder exterior due to my inability to handle difficult situations properly. They proposed that the best course of action was to try to improve my emotional intelligence (EQ). Emotional intelligence is the capacity to control oneself and build healthy relationships with others. In critical situations, this ability will be the difference between making a stupid mistake and choosing to make the right decision. Therefore, for me to aptly lead a fulfilled life, I will need to work on this part of myself.

Throughout my entire existence, I have interacted with different people at various points in life. The skills and lessons I have learned along the way will help me become a competent social worker. I have slowly learned the ability to co-exist with people from different backgrounds through my gained ability to deal with diverse groups. For example, issues like racial prejudice and bias do not affect me. During my service in the military, I acquired various skills such as critical thinking and organization.

Part II

As a social worker, the most difficult part of my practice is dealing with hostility or aggression from patients or clients. It is hard for someone else to recognize the emotional, physical and mental toll that such occurrences have on a person. This is unless you have prior experience in dealing with patients in a similar situation. Due to my inability to handle stress well, I have often found myself failing to offer my services to a client fully. As a professional, I am supposed to explicitly identify which aspects of the social work practice are difficult. Then I am mandated to come up with a strategy that will make sure my inadequacies do not interfere with my practice. In this case, most of the situations where I have encountered hostile respondents have been due to my failure to approach stressful situations with the care they deserve. The best way to deal with such situations is to approach other social workers so that I can get a better understanding of what is required. Through this method, I will gain valuable experience on how to deal with stressful situations in the social work practice.

Part III

From what I have learned so far, letting other people make me respond in an irate manner will jeopardize my capacity to help others and myself. As a professional in the social work practice, I need to come up with ways I will use to diffuse situations where clients act in a hostile or aggressive manner. The first thing I need to do is to accept that I have certain inadequacies such as my inability to handle stressful situations. More so, I need to seek appropriate help from either my colleagues or a professional on what measures I should take to ensure that this trait does not interfere with my caregiving ability. Criticisms from people with positive intentions will eventually help me alter various aspects about myself make me strong. This is where emotional intelligence comes into play. This characteristic is crucial in determining what decisions I make when in my practice. Learning to deal with stress is a very vital attribute because responding in a frustrated manner when a client makes them irritated, then they have no control over their emotions. Lack of emotional control might result in destructive behavior which eventually leads to unsafe environments for the people around them. Therefore, talking about your frustrations and issues with another person is a proven medium for alleviating stress.


Self-awareness is a critical means of improving personal function and development. It entails recognition of our different personalities and our strengths and weaknesses. Dealing with our inadequacies and weaknesses will develop stress management tactics and reduce strain from overwhelming situations. It is imperative that we understand what makes us susceptible to find the strength needed to move on positively. In outline, self-awareness is the most applicable way to alter unnecessary behaviors especially when it comes to people working in the social work practice.

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