What is Self-awareness?

A realistic understanding of our own strengths and weaknesses, together with a consistent desire for self-improvement, is essential to success.

Unfortunately, we are often more aware of our weaknesses and limitations than our strengths and possibilities. Failure and disappointment can cause us to think about what went wrong and why we did not meet our goals.

However, when we are successful, we often just go on without taking the time to think about how we used our strengths to achieve our goals. 

To help our children be successful, we can help them become more aware of their strengths and skills so they can be better prepared to call upon them in the future. 


activitY to build self-awareness: My successes and strengths

The goal of this activity is simple— to become more aware of what specific skills, talents, and strengths help us achieve our goals so that we can deliberately use those skills in the future. 

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Have the child think of something that they really like to do and are good at. It could be sports, an artistic talent, or even playing video games. Then have them make a list of what specific skills they used to be successful. The more specific the better! Have them make a poster of the activity and the skills they used, then hang the poster to remind them of their strengths!

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When faced with a challenge or a problem, have middle school students identify their strengths (they could have already done this like the elementary students) and then discuss how they can use specific strengths to achieve their goal or solve the problem. The idea is to develop a strength-based plan on how they will meet their goal.

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High school students might need to collaborate or work with other individuals who have different skill sets to solve more complex problems and challenges. Help them think about what skills they bring to a team, what other skills the team will need, and who else has those skills and could be invited to be part of the team.

Additional activities for students and families

Learn more about the rest of the skills measured by the DESSA and access activities that families or educators can use with students K-12 to build their skills.