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SELF AWARENESS means having an accurate understanding of ourselves.

That includes knowing our strengths, weakness, values, emotions and hopes and how they influence our behaviour in different circumstances.

Describing self in relation to the five dimensions of a human being

  • Every person should understand themselves
  • Physically
  • Socially
  • Psychologically
  • Spiritually
  • Economically
  • Those who are self aware can objectively evaluate themselves, manage their emotions, align their behaviour with their values and understand how others perceive them.
  • The physical qualities are the things we can see in someone. These include their height, weight, skin colour and any other feature that can be seen in someone.
  • Physical awareness also means that one understands the different gender roles and expectation. For example both boys and girls should be aware of the different changes that takes place in their bodies as they grow and develop
  • A person who is physically self aware understands that no physical feature makes someone lesser human beings. They take pride in how they appear and do not wait for validation from other people
  • Being socially aware means that one understands how they react to different social situations and effectively modify their interactions with other people so that they achieve the best results.
  • Psychotically awareness refers to one’s preparedness to tackle the challenges that they face in their daily life. A person who is psychologically aware always gives themselves positive affirmation before they confront their challenges.
  • Spiritual awareness means one being aligned with the values they hold dear. It also means working towards finding one’s higher purpose. Spiritual awareness enables one to understand the religious beliefs and values that align with their purpose
  • Economic awareness means one understanding, accepting and seeking to improve their social status in the community. One who is economically aware understands that different people are at different stages in life and everybody else is always eeking to climb a step higher in the social ladder.

Identifying personal talents and abilities

  • Everyone is good at something.  People are good at different activities and skills because they have different strengths.
  • A talent is an inborn ability within a person which makes them excel in a certain activity without actually learning or acquiring it.
  • Talents require recognition so that they can be shaped to the benefit of their owners.
  • People have used their talents to develop themselves as well as make an impact in their communities
  • An ability is someone capacity to do something. It is always acquired through constant practise or training. It is something anyone can have.
  • Making use of our talents and abilities to make a positive impact in the society makes us happy. It is important we can say we are at our best

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Dealing with contemporary challenges for self improvement

  • Contemporary challenges are challenges we face in the present day.
  • Dome of them are emerging while others have persisted for a while.
  • Examples of modern day challenges include
  • Internet and online addiction
  • Cyber bullying
  • Addiction to betting
  • Drug abuse
  • Peer pressure
  •  Unhealthy eating habits
  • If not handled properly, these challenges can affect the normal growth and development of an individual
  • A person who is self aware will not subject themselves to situations that may be a threat to their normal well being.
  • They also tend to know how to handle the challenges whenever they find themselves in such situations

Self esteem

Self esteem refers to how we feel about ourselves and our abilities

  • Self esteem results from the picture we create about ourselves. This is informed by feedback from other people and the expectations of the society

High and low self esteem

  • When we create a good picture of ourselves, for example by being responsible for our actions, we feel good about ourselves. This raises our self esteem
  • Having a high self esteem means generally holding yourself in positive regard. It means one’s positive thoughts about themselves outweigh any of negativity.
  • When we create a bad picture of ourselves, for example by not holding ourselves accountable for our actions. We lower our self esteem.
  • Low self esteem is the feeling of not being satisfied with one self. People with low self esteem view themselves in a more negative and critical light.

This can affect individual mental well being.

Characteristics of a person with high self esteemCharacteristics of a person with low self esteem
Believes in own capacities to solve problems to adjust to failures and ask for assistanceDwells on self criticism
Is able to make choices, trust own judgement and not feel guilty about own choices if someone else does not agree with themIs easily offended when they get criticism from others
Is not afraid of expressing own opinion in a calm, respectful mannerSuffers from chronic indecision due to fear of making mistakes
Is comfortable with changeHas excessive will to please others
Does not compare themselves to anyoneIs hostile and irritable
Enjoys healthy relationshipsExperiences feelings of insignificance
 Has general negativity about life

Having a high self esteem is important because it enables one to

  1. Be themselves and stay in line with their purpose, goals, values and visions in life.
  2. Have the ability to express and be able to defend their actions and stand by their principles
  3. Appreciate different opinions leading to positive relations with people
  4. Be able to face their challenges and overcome them

Effects of low esteem include

  1. It leads to individuals having negative feelings
  2. One can indulge in drug abuse
  3. One can develop trouble perceiving and relating to situations and people
  4. It results in constant fear and guilt which can affect an individual advancement in life hence not being able to realise their full potential

Factors that influence self esteem

Having a self esteem is important for our mental health and well being.

Self esteem can be influenced by

  1. Parents and family
  2. Friends and peers
  3. Education
  4. Childhood
  5. Age
  6. Media
  7. One’s own perception or belief about themselves

One can enhance their self esteem by

  1. Having positive thought about themselves
  2. Identifying and challenging their negative beliefs
  3. Building good relations or friendship
  4. Taking on challenges, accepting what is not perfect and being ready to learn new things
  5. Practising self care
  6. Making room for healthy
  7. Becoming mindful of your thoughts and actions
  8. Taking actions based on needs rather than wants
  9. Identifying their accomplishments and celebrating themselves

Managing emotions

Emotions are personal human feelings that control our moods.

They are the driving forces behind our behaviour

Types of emotions in different situations

Emotions can be positive or negative

  • When experience positive emotions during our happy or high moments
  • When we feel low or angry, we experience negative emotions
  • People who accept positive emotions  are more likely to cope with stress, are optimistic and are always ready to listen and help others
  • Those who embrace negative emotions are always unhappy, depressed, gloomy and do not want to talk to other people
  • The different types of emotions include
  • Happiness
  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Joy
  • Surprise
  • Boredom
  • Fear
  • Excitement
  • Relief
  • Awkwardness

Managing emotions positively under different circumstances

  • Emotional situations are basic parts of life. Sometimes we struggle with how to deal with them effectively.
  • It can be tempting to act on what you feel right away, but that does not fix the situations caused the emotions. More often than not, it leads to more problems
  • During an emotional moment, one should
  • Pause, sit down, take a deep breath and ask themselves what happened before they started feeling emotional
  • Identify and state why they are feeling that way
  • Acknowledge the emotion and make sense of what they are feeling and understand that it is normal to feel that way
  • Allow themselves to feel that particular emotion
  • Evaluate critically how they should react. Their reactions should not worsen the already bad situation.
  • Emotions can also be handled by diverting one’s attention to things that are exciting or things that actually matter. One can play games or engage in their hobbies as a way of managing different emotions
  • Emotions should never be suppressed.

Suppressing emotions means actively pushing uncomfortable thoughts, feelings or memories out of one’s consciousness simply because you do not know how to handle them.

Suppressing emotions can cause different health conditions like depression, high blood pressure, low energy and heart diseases

  • Always communicate what you need and face your emotions with the aim of making things better for you and those you interact with.

The effects of negative emotions on self and others

Negative or poorly managed emotions can lead to

  1. Someone feeling miserable and sad
  2. Someone disliking self and others
  3. Lack of confidence and self esteem
  4. Conflicts among friends and family members
  5. Gradual loss of sensible thinking and judgement
  6. Delay in progress in different aspects of life
  7. Lifestyle diseases for example depression

Negative emotions hold us back and delay our progress

Managing stress

Stress can be defined as state of emotional tension resulting from unfortunate or demanding circumstances, some of which we do not have any control

  • It is also being overwhelmed with or being unable to cope with emotional or mental pressure
  • A person who is stressed has the following characteristics
  •  Frequent headaches
  • Exhaustions or trouble sleeping
  • Is easily annoyed
  • Depression
  • Becoming less social, lovely and sad

The common sources of stress

  1. Problems with friends, siblings or parents
  2. Financial problems in the family
  3. Negative thoughts or feelings about oneself
  4. Bullying

Stress can be managed. Its effects can be positive or negative depending on how it has ben managed.

Effects of stress in day to day lives

  1. Withdrawal from others
  2. Anger and violence
  3. Anxiety
  4. School drop outs
  5. Mental breakdown
  6. Poor decision making
  7. Depression and lack of motivation
  8. Lack of sleep

Managing stressful situations

  • The activities we choose to engage in can influence how we control our moods.
  • Stressful situations can be positively dealt with by simply concentrating on the things that boost our mood and make us feel appreciated
  • During stressful situations, you can
  • Read interesting stories
  • Organise your room
  •  Do relaxation exercises
  • Play with your favourite pet
  • Listen and dance to your favourite tunes
  • Ask for help from friends, family members or teachers
  • Make a gratitude list(a list of what you are grateful or proud of achieving)


  1. Community

A community refers to people living in the same area or people who have common interest

The following are some of the characteristics of people in a community

  1. They live in the same geographical area
  2. They share  common goals, challenges and aspirations
  3. They have similar interest or social network
  • Community service

Community service is work performed by a group for the benefit or betterment of their community without expecting any form of compensation

  • Examples of place where people can offer community services include
  • Community library
  • Hospitals
  • Market place
  • Children’s home
  • Homes for the elderly
Nature of the serviceExample of community services
Collecting things for your communityCollecting books and donating them to a local libraryCollecting garbage and sorting it into that which can be recycled and that which can be decomposed
Doing things for your communityOne can donate bloodEngaging in tree planting sessionsConducting a funds drive to help buy essential materialsTaking part in organising marathons t fundraise for charitable courses
Volunteering for things in your communityOne can volunteer to clean utensils or clothes at an orphanageOne can also volunteer to help set up a community event

We do community services because

  1. It keeps one in regular contact with others and help them develop a solid support system which turns protect them against stress and depression.
  2. It challenges one to do difficult tasks and learn positive qualities such as patience, empathy and accountability
  3. It helps one learn new skills such s first aid skills, landscaping skills, leadership skills and problem solving skills among others in the community
  4. It offers one an opportunity to help those in need hence gain self fulfilment
  • Community service learning

Community service learning |(CSL) refers to a combination of classroom learning and community learning service.

  • It give learners an opportunity to work with the community members to solve local problems
  • It also offers learners an opportunity to connect classroom learning with real life experiences in their school community and the neighbourhood.
  • This is done through curricular and co-curricular programmes and projects
  • The focus of CSL is not only learning but also service to the community an the beneficiary is not only the learner but also the community served
  • The major goal of CSL is to educate learners about their roles as engaged citizens and leaders in the community

Examples of CSL activities include

Nature of the CSLExamples of activities
Doing things for your communityHelp put up gabions to prevent erosionIdentify areas where tress can be planted
Teaching things to your communityGive presentations on different topics like drug and substances abuse and road safety, among othersTeach first aid skills( after getting certified)
Hosting things in your communityHost a study groupHost a river clean up
Making things for your communityMake ramadhan or Eid cards for your local mosqueMake birthday cards for kids in an orphanage

Steps involved in carrying out CSL project

A project is a series of tasks that need to be completed to reach a specific outcome

A community services learning project can therefore be defined as a series of learning and services tasks are aimed to meet an identified need or solve an identified problem in the community

To plan and carry out a CSL activity, one must follow these steps

  1. Identification of the problem in the community
  2. This done through discussions with different people conducting surveys and reading or watching news on community needs.
  3. Doing all these will help you identify a need or a gap that needs to be solved.
  4. A gap or problem is the difference between where we are and where we want to be.
  5. Learners intending to do a CSL activity brainstorm and discuss to come up with one problem for the project of activity
  • Designing solutions to the problems

During this stage, listen to as many suggestions on the solutions as possible.

Narrow down to the most cost effective but efficient solution to the problem

  • Plan to implement the solution(when, what, who, how)

In this stage think about the possible steps, resources, the learning skills required, shared responsibilities and the time it will take to complete the project

  • When planning one should ask themselves questions like
  • What will we accomplish?
  • How long will the project take?
  • Who will we work with?
  • How can we engage people of different talents, abilities and perspectives?
  • What training sensitivity is required for us or our patrons to accomplish the goals?
  • What needs to be accomplish our goals?
  • Who will do want?
  • What resources do we need to be successful and how will we get them?
  • Implementation of the solution
  • This is the stage where you set out offer a solution to the problem or implement your plan
  • Action is taken by volunteering, serving or being an advocate for something.
  • As you take the action it is important to document the actions through pictures , videos, reports, journals or any other form
  • Reporting and reflecting
  • This is an ongoing process and it happens before writing and after the action stage.
  • The different means of reflection include writing journals, discussions, songs, skirts, diagrams, reports, taking pictures or videos and so on
  • Reflecting helps one to examine what they learnt and analyse whether the projects made a difference.
  • One also gets to examine how they feel about volunteering.

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