How would self awareness be limited without languages

How would self awareness be limited without languages

Is it possible to posses a self awareness without having any sort of language at hand, not even a personal sign system. How would such an languageless experience be like?

I am not sure if this can be correlated, but how would be the experience or awareness of an Infant before gaining self-awareness and language.

If we think of self-awareness as an evolved brain circuit phenomenon, its existence probably has little dependence on language in particular. This is evidenced by the fact that Alzheimer patients loss of self-awareness, as well as changes in self-awareness due to injury are associated with the frontal lobe. That's not to say that the self and self-awareness aren't heavily modulated by language (as are most mental constructs!) There are several non-human animals that pass the self-awareness test but most of them are creatures that many consider to be closer to the intelligence of humans than other animals (namely, great apes, elephants, and dolphins). Consequentially, many of these animals have also developed methods of communication, though language might be too strong of a word.

Finally, such a dependence would imply that the strong version of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis has some legitimacy (especially when it comes to the self) but there's been no evidence found in support of the strong version, and most cognitive scientists favor the weak version of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis.

What Is Self-Awareness?

Once upon a time, I regarded “self-awareness” as something that was of little value to me. It seemed too touchy-feely. When people told me I had to “find myself,” I thought, “How can I find myself when I’ve never been lost?”

The self-assuredness of my early 20s was quickly shattered when I got laid off at the age of 26. Suddenly, I started feeling lost. I was starting to realize I had been directing all of my energies toward proving that I was an adult (whatever that meant!).

In reality, I had no clue who I was. Yikes!

Obviously, I missed school the day they taught us about self-awareness. Oh wait, that’s right, they never taught any of us about it!

I believe the practice of self-awareness is one of the greatest skills in life because it enables you to learn about yourself in a way no one else can ever teach you.

It teaches you how to manage yourself and how to productively engage with other people.

Most importantly, it enables you to design work that works for you, so you can design your lifestyle on your terms.

Before we dive into defining “self-awareness,” let’s break it down and focus on the meaning of “awareness” first.

What Does “Awareness” Mean?

I like to think of “awareness” as what you notice in life. It’s about paying attention.

It’s the details you pick up from your perception of the world. It’s your consciousness actively gathering and processing information from your environment. It’s how you experience life.

There’s lots of stuff to notice each day, each hour, and even each minute. Look up from this blog post for a moment and slowly scan the area around you. What did you notice? Which details can you describe?

I have a very good friend who notices very different things about the world than I do. I often tell her she could have been a CIA agent because she can recall an astonishing amount of detail from any given scene of life.

I’m more oblivious. Well, not really oblivious, just more hyper-focused on one particular part of the same scene my friend and I are experiencing.

I tend to be very aware of people. I easily remember people’s names. I feel their vibe. I notice how people interact with each other in a group. I catalog their stories in my brain. I can pick up conversations exactly where we left off even if months have passed.

My friend, on the other hand, will notice the physical details and movements of all people, even strangers. I tend to be more aware of people I know or spark my curiosity.

Neither form of awareness is right or wrong. They’re just different. It’s our natural tendency.

What Does “Self-Awareness” Mean?

If “awareness” is about noticing stuff in the world, “self-awareness” is about focusing your awareness on yourself.

It’s your ability to notice your feelings, your physical sensations, your reactions, your habits, your behaviors, and your thoughts.

You are aware of all those different aspects of yourself as if you were another person observing you.

Another way to think of it is paying attention to your intuition, also known as your 6th sense or your gut feeling.

Or as someone I once interviewed told me, self-awareness is about being honest with yourself.

We all have a self-image of how we want others to perceive us. You might view yourself as punctual, but in reality you are often late to appointments.

Self-awareness is about focusing on the reality of your behavior and not on the story you tell yourself about yourself.

Stop Ignoring Your Feelings, Explore Them

Many of the people I interview or coach about feeling “stuck” in their lives, often describe a “feeling they could no longer ignore.”

On the surface of their lives, everything seemed fine. In fact, they were able to ignore and even repress this feeling because they didn’t have the self-awareness to explore it. Has this ever happened to you?

Some felt a physical sensation in the pit of their stomach or a tingling in their chest. Others felt more and more distracted. People also told me they felt unsatisfied or unhappy, but had no idea why because they could see no immediate reason for it in their lives.

Those that started to investigate the source of these unexplained feelings and sensations were those that began a deeper practice of self-awareness.

They started observing even more subtle sensations and the nuanced circumstances of their behaviors. They gave their feelings a voice and hushed the monkey chatter of their conscious thoughts.

Those that chose not to investigate these feelings increasingly felt more anxious. More stressed out.

Exploring the unknown can be scary. We believe we have to have everything “figured out” by the time we are 30. Becoming self-aware about unresolved feelings threatens everything we thought we were supposed to be working toward.

I strongly encourage you to stop ignoring those feelings because they’ll never truly go away. Instead, start exploring them through a practice of self-awareness.

At the very least you will learn more about yourself and how you can live in closer alignment with who you really are.

Listen to why practicing self-awareness is so important.

How to Practice Self-Awareness

In the context of lifestyle design, self-awareness is the first step toward designing your lifestyle around the work you’ve always wanted to do.

It is the mechanism for acquiring self-knowledge, the path to learning which habits you need to alter to start working on your terms.

Step #1

The first step for practicing self-awareness is gaining a greater awareness of your emotions.

We have been taught to shut our feelings out of our decision-making process and to rely solely on our rational thoughts.

I believe this puts our decision-making process out of balance. When we rely solely on our rational thoughts, we often make decisions to try to live up to someone else’s ideals.

Our feelings are the internal advocate for our own ideals. To make effective decisions, we need both rational thought and our feelings. We need to pay attention to our gut as much as our brain.

I didn’t become actively self-aware of my feelings until my early 30s. I suffered from chronic anxiety throughout much of my career, and I owe that to my deficient awareness of my feelings.

Bring greater awareness to your feelings by including them in your decisions. Listen to your gut and explore why your feelings might object to the decision of one of your rational thoughts.

Ask yourself, “Where is that feeling coming from?” Make a habit of recognizing your feelings.

Step #2

The second step to practicing self-awareness is making a habit of tracking your feelings

Very simply, start writing down your most positive feelings and your most negative feelings. Keep a journal or note on your phone. Try it for at least 30 days.

Begin to notice patterns and trends. This simple practice will help you better define your purpose, your values, your motivations, and anything holding you back from the work you’ve always wanted to do.

I like to think of monitoring your feelings as communicating with your subconscious mind. It’s your true inner voice. It often knows what you want in life before you are able to put it into words.

Step #3

The third step for practicing self-awareness is expanding your practice to areas of your life beyond your feelings.

There are countless areas of your life you can monitor, but you should focus on areas you believe will have the greatest impact on designing your ideal lifestyle.

Once you’ve had some experience with tracking your feelings, I recommend tracking your energy next. This will help you identify your “peak performance period” each day. These are the period(s) of the day when you are most energized, focused, and able to create your highest quality work. Tracking your energy will also provide insights into what motivates you and what drains you.

Try these 4 self-awareness exercises. Listen now.

Self-Assessment Challenges to Get You Started

I know starting a self-awareness practice for the first time can be difficult, so that’s why I created a 12-week self-assessment challenge to help begin your self-awareness practice.

Each week you’ll be emailed a new self-assessment challenge that prompts you to explore a specific aspect of your life like how you spend your money or identifying your values.

Developing a self-awareness practice is the foundation of lifestyle design. It is the primary method for learning about yourself and your needs.

It will also do wonders for reducing your anxiety and preventing you from getting “stuck” in the future.


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Keywords: language acquisition, coarticulation, speech motor control, phonological awareness, vocabulary, speech production

Citation: Noiray A, Popescu A, Killmer H, Rubertus E, Krüger S and Hintermeier L (2019) Spoken Language Development and the Challenge of Skill Integration. Front. Psychol. 10:2777. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02777

Received: 07 May 2019 Accepted: 25 November 2019
Published: 17 December 2019.

Pascal van Lieshout, University of Toronto, Canada

Catherine T. Best, Western Sydney University, Australia
Marc F. Joanisse, University of Western Ontario, Canada

Copyright © 2019 Noiray, Popescu, Killmer, Rubertus, Krüger and Hintermeier. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

Silence and Consciousness Without Content

We conceptualized silence in meditation as a means of sensory saturation thought to induce experiences of consciousness without content, or silent consciousness (Baars, 2013). We assume that this state can be achieved in meditative practices that provide for sensory expansion. Such is the indefinite expansion of the senses, as described in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra with the concept of pratyahara. According to some, it indicates a kind of coercive control over the senses, but it can be understood instead as training in detachment from sensory perception, or non-attachment to the object of perception, which differs from its inhibition. This detachment would coincide with the practice of widespread attention, the “letting-come” of Depraz et al. (2000), the physiological correlates of which can be viewed as widespread endogenous attention in the open field (Raffone and Srinivasan, 2009 Srinivasan et al., 2009), leading to a form of sensory saturation subserved by the insula (Ben-Soussan et al., 2019 Paoletti and Ben-Soussan, 2019).

It is possible that these experiences of self-transcendence, defined by some as the extent to which individuals conceive themselves as integral parts of the universe as a whole, induce a transformation from a body/ego-based self-identity to a world/universe-centered experience of self, not limited to the self-narrative of the individual practitioner (Vieten et al., 2018). During peak states and deep meditative states, the self becomes one with the universe and experiences positive self-dissolution, the feeling of unity of the three time perspectives (or “timelessness” Vaitl et al., 2005 Studerus et al., 2011 Wittmann, 2015).

Absolutes and Mindlessness

Most of what people learn they learn in an absolute way, without regard to how the information might be different in different contexts. For example, textbooks tell us that horses are herbivorous—that is, they don’t eat meat. But although typically this is true, if a horse is hungry enough, or the meat is disguised, or the horse was given very small amounts of meat mixed with its feed growing up, a horse may very well eat meat. When people learn mindlessly, they take the information in as true without asking under what conditions it may not be true. This is the way people learn most things. This is why people are frequently in error but rarely in doubt.

When information is given by an authority, appears irrelevant, or is presented in absolute language, it typically does not occur to people to question it. They accept it and become trapped in the mind-set, oblivious to how it could be otherwise. Authorities are sometimes wrong or overstate their case, and what is irrelevant today may be relevant tomorrow. Virtually all the information people are given is given to them in absolute language. A child, for example, may be told, “A family consists of a mommy, a daddy, and a child.” All is fine unless, for example, daddy leaves home. Now it won’t feel right to the child when told, “We are still a family.” Instead of absolute language, if told that one understanding of a family is a mother, father, and a child, the problem would not arise if the circumstances change. That is, mindful learning is more like learning probable “truths” rather than mindlessly accepting absolutes.

Language too often binds people to a single perspective, with mindlessness as a result. As students of general semantics tell us, the map is not the territory. In one 1987 study, Alison Piper and Ellen Langer introduced people to a novel object in either an absolute or conditional way. The subjects were told that the object “is” or “could be” a dog’s chew toy. Piper and Langer then created a need for an eraser. The question Piper and Langer considered was who would think to use the object as an eraser? The answer was only those subjects who were told “it could be a dog’s chew toy.” The name of something is only one way an object can be understood. If people learn about it as if the “map” and the “territory” are the same thing, creative uses of the information will not occur to them.

The Importance of Self-Awareness, and How to Become More Self Aware

They say the first step is admitting you have a problem, and that's true in every aspect of life. Self-awareness and introspection have the ring of of a self-help guru's empty promises, but they are the starting point that leads to every improvement.

Self-Improvement Is Impossible Without Self-Awareness

Self-awareness (sometimes also referred to as self-knowledge or introspection) is about understanding your own needs, desires, failings, habits, and everything else that makes you tick. The more you know about yourself, the better you are at adapting life changes that suit your needs.

Of course, self-awareness is a big part of both therapy and philosophy. It's also the basis of the quantified self movement , which assumes that if you collect data about yourself you can make improvements based on that data. The New York Times breaks down the roots like so:

Socrates's ukase was "know thyself." Though it may come as a surprise to some philosophers, self-knowledge requires more than intellectual self-examination. It demands knowing something about your feelings. In my experience philosophers are, in general, not the most emotionally attuned individuals. Many are prone to treat the ebb and flow of feelings as though our passions were nothing but impediments to reason. Freud, more than the sage of Athens, grasped the moral importance of emotional self-transparency. Like the Greek tragedians but in language that did not require an ear for poetry, he reminded us of how difficult it is to own kinship with a whole range of emotions.

Essentially, the more you pay attention to your emotions and how you work, the better you'll understand why you do the things you do. The more you know about your own habits, the easier it is to improve on those habits. In most cases, this takes a little experimentation. Here's The New York Times again , talking about a self-awareness method called double-loop learning :

LESS common but vastly more effective is the cognitive approach that Professor Argyris called double-loop learning. In this mode we. question every aspect of our approach, including our methodology, biases and deeply held assumptions. This more psychologically nuanced self-examination requires that we honestly challenge our beliefs and summon the courage to act on that information, which may lead to fresh ways of thinking about our lives and our goals.

You can read every productivity tip out there , you can adapt the routines of geniuses , and you can eat up every piece of self-help that comes across the computer screen, but it's completely pointless if you don't know yourself well enough to put the correct advice into practice. For example: in college, I spent my time staying up late and working on papers until late in the night. My room was a mess, I didn't have a proper desk, and I spent more sleepless night than I can count. I felt terrible everyday and the papers I wrote were horrible. I thought I was a night person because it had that sense of "cool creative type" about it, but it obviously wasn't working for me.

Do I Really Need to Learn a Productivity Method?

I've heard of productivity systems like Getting Things Done or the Pomodoro Technique, and everyone

The mental game in sport: the role of self-awareness

It’s becoming increasingly evident that the psychological principles underlying human sporting performance, such as mental toughness, mindset and motivation, are just as important as the physical ones.

In fact, when all things are equal, be it skill, coaching quality or fitness, it’s the mental game that makes the difference between winning and losing. It’s therefore no surprise we’re seeing increasing numbers of high profile athletes revealing they work with sport psychologists. But how do athletes go about developing their mental game? How do they work with sport psychologists in order to unlock these key psychological principles and improve performance? While this involves a number of different factors, Insights believes the key is self-awareness: it’s selfawareness that underpins our cognitive-behavioural processes and allows us as human beings to alter our behaviours, perceptions and attitudes so that we can realise our true potential.

So, what is self-awareness?

A bit of science . Science tells us that the act of being ‘self-aware’, i.e. the process of self-evaluation and reflection, uses multiple sub components within different regions of the brain. It allows us to understand not only our own strengths and weaknesses but also how others perceive us.

This anticipation of how others perceive us is known as ‘other awareness’ understanding how our behaviours impact others, and vice versa, how others’ behaviours impact us, can help to develop our own self-awareness. It is this concept of self-awareness that sets us as human beings apart from all other species.

Why is self-awareness important in sport?

We often forget that athletes are humans first, and with that, they’re both inherently gifted and flawed. In that sense, they’re no different from the rest of us. We all have our own unique set of beliefs, values, behaviours and characteristics which makes us fundamentally different from everyone else. By reflecting and evaluating what these are, we’re able to understand ourselves better and this can often provide an ‘unlock’ to a variety of situations. It goes without saying, that in order to bring about any kind of change, we first need to understand what needs changing and why the first step requires an understanding of oneself.

Let’s take a specific example. A top cricketer has recently lost batting form and their self-efficacy has reduced as a result. The sport psychologist and athlete work together to understand what’s going on and what they can do to resolve the issue. Various conversations with the athlete, coach and teammates, combined with observations during training, reveal negative self-talk both internally and overtly when under pressure. While negative self-talk isn’t always harmful to performance, in a sport like cricket, where high levels of concentration are required, negative self talk can distract from the batting, and instil feelings of doubt, which could explain the athlete’s lower levels of self-efficacy.

To resolve these issues, the sport psychologist continues to work with the athlete to gain a deeper awareness of what they’re saying to themselves, and how often, in order to develop an intervention aimed at first reframing the negative self-talk and secondly incorporating it into a pre-performance routine that increases focus when batting. Self-awareness was the key here it enabled the athlete to uncover the general underlying tendency to use negative self-talk when under pressure, and begin to understand how that was negatively impacting their performance. This allowed the athlete and sport psychologist to work together to bring about the required behavioural change: in this case, reframing the negative self-talk. Now that the cricketer has increased self-awareness regarding how they talk to themselves, it may lead them to explore how they talk to others and how that impacts their relationships on and off the pitch.

Insights application of self-awareness

At Insights, we believe self-awareness is the basis for all human endeavour and an essential requirement for sporting excellence. We therefore provide an offering aimed at enhancing individuals’ levels of self-awareness through the lens of Jungian typology, known as Insights Discovery. Using the Insights Discovery profile like a mirror, individuals are provided with a description of how they appear in the world, (how they see themselves) and how others may see them. This knowledge combined with the desire to understand more about themselves and others
enables individuals to increase their levels of selfawareness: the application of this helps individuals better understand their strengths and weaknesses as well as become more aware of emotions and how they can impact others. In our everyday lives this translates to higher levels of understanding about self and others that can lead us to actionable and directed changes for better personal relationships. In sport, Insights Discovery has served and continues to serve many additional purposes. A few of these identified by sport psychologists and high performance coaching staff are:

Lack of Culturally Appropriate Counseling Skills

Distinctions can be made between general counseling skills, which may include active listening, empathy, and illustrating genuineness, and the specific skills that are central to working with a client who is culturally different. Counselors who lack multicultural counseling skills are at risk of providing culturally insensitive counseling. Examples of skill requirements specific to cultural competency are (a) determining effective ways to communicate with a client that may use a different style of thinking, information processing, and communication (b) discussing race and racial differences early in the counseling process (c) engaging in multiple verbal and nonverbal helping responses, recognizing responses that may be appropriate or inappropriate within a cultural context (d) using resources outside of the field of psychology, such as traditional cultural healers and (e) modifying conventional forms of treatment to be responsive to the cultural needs of the client. Some counseling professionals have indicated that there is no simple methodology or approach that can easily define the “how-to” in the counseling session with the culturally diverse client. One of the greatest dilemmas in the area of cultural competency is determining what counseling strategies and interventions are most effective with different cultural groups.

Self-Awareness is Key to Cultural Awareness

Without understanding your own self and why you do the things you do, say the things you say and believe the things you believe – you can never really appreciate another’s point of view.

Self-awareness helps us acknowledge that we are shaped by the world around us.

By acknowledging this about yourself, you also acknowledge that this is just as true for anyone else – everyone does what they do due to underlying influences.

So really the aim of cultural awareness is to try and understand yourself as well as the other.

In any sort of cross-cultural situation there are always two or more cultures at play, which means you need to know where both, or all sides, are coming from.

Eye contact is a very simple example of this.

How we look at people or don’t look at people in the eyes is a very basic and raw expression of our cultural values.

Some people in the world are brought up from a very young age being told by their parents to “look me in the eye and tell me the truth.” Others may have been raised being told “Don’t you dare look me in the eyes.”

You can see why later in adult life, the two cultures will have very different attitudes towards eye contact. Within a cross-cultural situation it’s easy to see why the two may misinterpret each other’s behaviour.

Eye-contact is just one of hundreds, if not thousands, of examples of things we all do that have their roots in what we believe to be right or wrong.

How we communicate, share information, what we look for in our leaders and what we expect in terms of behaviour from others are all influenced in much the same way.

Self-awareness is also an important tool in ensuring that we don’t let our own assumptions, presumptions and preconceived ideas cloud our lenses when we are working in a cross-cultural environment.

Want to learn more about self-awareness and working with other cultures?

Then sign-up to our fantastic online cultural awareness course you watch a video sample of the course below.

A Comprehensive Guide to Cultivating Self-Awareness: A Foundational Skill for Emotional Intelligence

This guide provides over a dozen self awareness activities and exercises to increase emotional intelligence and strengthen your self-leadership abilities .

In Ancient Greece, at the front courtyard at Delphi, the former shrine to the oracle Pythia, there was an inscription:

It translates to “know thyself,” a famous aphorism often attributed to Socrates or Plato.

What does it mean to know oneself?

At first glance, we might discount this phrase as rhetoric. Sure, I know myself, you might lament. I know who I am. On closer examination, however, we can’t be so certain.

Do we know why we behave the way we do? What drives our decisions? How do we really feel about ourselves and the people in our lives? How do we really feel about ourselves and the people in our lives?

As Ralph Ellison said, “When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.”

Watch the video: webinar: Αυτογνωσία - εκπαίδευσε τον εγκέφαλο σου για τη διαχείριση της κριτικής από τους άλλους (January 2022).