There are many obscure holidays, or observances throughout the year that many of us may not know about, or care about. However, I found it interesting to learn that September is ‘Self Awareness’ Month.

At first glance, I wondered what Self Awareness Month is all about, besides maybe the obvious in its name. I quickly found that in 1998, began sponsoring this observance. According to the Cathcart Institute’s statement on Self Awareness Month it is supposed to be, “An endeavor to place a spotlight on the value of knowing yourself. Taking Socrates’ advice, “Know Thyself” as the impetus, we encourage everyone to explore what makes them who they are and how they came to be.

“The more fully you know yourself the less likely you will be to judge yourself. And the less you judge yourself the less you will judge others. The wonderful payoff of being less judgemental is increased acceptance of both yourself and others.”

Looking at one’s inner self can’t be an easy task. Some of us don’t want to look deeply at ourselves and address our faults, consider our true value and somehow try and limit our own stresses, and eventually become less judgemental of others.

As the Cathcare Institute points out in observing this month’s theme is that it’s not about your race, your age, your education, your gender or your skills – self awareness is about finding your spirit and knowing your potential for contribution.

In our busy lives – How many of us sit back and look at our spirit? How many of us look at our contributions to family, friends and society? Should some of us do a better job at contributing? 

After reading about this month, I would say a lot of us are getting away from self awareness. We aren’t recognizing our own stressors, we have become more and more judgemental of others and we aren’t always doing the best job at managing who we really are, or who we really want to be inside.

Looking at myself, I can say I would need to get better at not stressing over the small stuff. Even if it’s something I can’t control, I tend to get angry, agitated or anxious at miniscule things in day-to-day life. Imagine how much worse I am at the bigger things that really stress me out? 

However, knowing that about myself, I can’t say I’ve really taken that self awareness and done anything about it. Just by getting rid of those daily stresses over the small stuff, if the Cathcart Institute’s theory is correct, I would likely have stronger relationships, more effective communications and a happier inner self day in and day out.

By taking the approach to not stress over the small stuff, I might learn better coping techniques to handle the largers stresses of life from work, family and other issues. I will challenge myself to try to become more self aware during the month of September, and hopefully, a month of humble work might help me for years to come. We’ll have to see if I, along with many others this month, can handle such a challenge.

In reading about the keys to making self awareness a success, a key phrase stood out, “a positive change requires a humble effort.” How many of us are capable of humility today?

There are also some websites where you can look at your own situation and see if you are too stressed out, or self aware. 

For more information, visit On the website you will find  a self test on whether or not your current lifestyle is too stressful, take a lifestyle balance test and a quiz on whether or not you are an optimist.

Good luck in September.

(1) comment

John Flanagan

Interesting discussion about self awareness. But we all do judge ourselves and others, and making "judgments" is not entirely wrong. How else do we discern good and bad actions on our part and on the part of others? I believe that journalists judge people for a living, and some make no bones about their subjectivity and bias. Unfortunately, while policing the rest of us, uncovering scandals, destroying reputations, spreading misinformation, mixing truth and error, the American media fails to police itself as well. Scandals in the lives of journalists, their shortcomings and bad behavior, is rarely in the news, simply because they circle wagons. I suppose self awareness mainly applies to those outside of the media. I am not impugning the reputations of all journalists, of course, many are quite decent, but there is a perception among many Americans that our mainstream media is not entirely honest and reliable.

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