Because without it we are driven by unconscious and subconscious forces within us and the environmental influences around us. For example, some unself-aware people feel it is their obligation to reform others' errant ways (Enneagram Type #1); some feel they can't have any needs of their own (Enneagram Type #2); some feel as if they have to compete to be the best (Enneagram Type #3); some feel all alone in the world, as if nobody really understands them (Enneagram Type #4); some feel as though they need to guard their time, energy and privacy and are emotionally contained (Enneagram Type #5); some feel as if their security could be undermined at any moment so they are hypervigilant, worrisome and fearful (Enneagram Type #6); some feel that they might limit their options for pleasurable experiences if they were to slow down and commit themselves (Enneagram Type #7); some need to be in control at all times and feel that others might take advantage of or even betray or harm them if they let their guard down (Enneagram Type #8); and some feel as if they have to avoid conflict or they will lose their comfortable sense of connection with others and their peace of mind (Enneagram Type #9). The Enneagram is just one way of understanding yourself. All of the systems on this website will give you more insight into yourself (and others).
Self-awareness enables us to examine our self-paradigm (a paradigm is a model that serves as a pattern for something or a way of viewing something), the way we view ourselves, others and the world. How we view and what we believe about ourselves, others and the world affects everything about us, especially our attitudes and behaviors. In fact, we can only truly know someone else to the degree that we know ourselves! We can only truly love someone else to the degree that we love ourselves. If our self-perception is distorted, our perception of reality will be distorted too because, as Ana´s Nin says, "we do not see the world as it is, we see the world as we are." Whenever we say to someone, "I can't believe you did that (..... said that, ..... feel that way)" we are in effect saying, "I can't believe you don't think like I do (feel like I do,.... behave like I do)..... and you should!" We know other people don't think like us so why should we expect them to think/feel/behave like us?
Self-awareness is so important because it can: