Self-awareness is not a thought process. It goes beyond thought. If we think, “I am thus-and-such”, that is not true self-awareness – it is us objectifying ourselves via thought. Self-awareness is awareness without thought. It’s very subtle and also very difficult to experience after decades of thinking.
Thinking is precisely what blinds us to the peace and joy that we are. Whenever we are anxious or depressed or angry, it is always because of our thoughts. In this state we lose our sense of who we are. This loss of self-awareness causes agitation. When we don’t think, we naturally return to peace and joy.
Meditation is one way that people try to become self-aware. There are many forms, but the main idea is to stop focusing on thoughts. This doesn’t mean that we must stop thinking altogether – that would be nearly impossible – but we can refuse to focus on them or give them credibility.
When you can relax into your being without getting caught up in thought, you can begin to become self-aware.