Every day I run to people — especially in Los Angeles — who think they are so self-aware.

They go to the latest yoga guru and chant on the mountains.

They read self-help books.

They go on an occasional retreat.

And yet, after spending time with them, I realize that they’re about as self-aware as someone who is afraid to look in the mirror and actually see who they really are.

Here are three reasons why some of the most self-aware people are not self-aware.

1. You’re opinionated.

Self-aware people are not opinionated people.

It doesn’t mean they don’t have their beliefs and their opinions and their convictions.

It doesn’t mean that when they’re passionate about something, they aren’t able to talk about it freely.

But opinionated people are not self-aware because they truly believe that after whatever they’ve read or whatever they do, they truly believe it’s the right thing to do.

They can’t listen to what other people say.

When they form an opinion about something, they’re 100% sure about that. Which means that you’re not very self-aware. Because you see, in life, you can have a strong opinion about something, and then someone can come to you and give you a whole different side of it. Where you can actually learn and grow and expand your opinion and change it to something that might be softer. Might be better or more well-rounded. Might be more, well, stronger.

Opinionated people are narrow-minded people. Once they form a decision about something, you can’t say anything to them. They will argue their point non-stop. And to me, that is somebody who’s not self-aware. Because a self-aware person will listen to somebody else’s viewpoint, respect someone else’s viewpoint and actually modify their opinions along the way. Because that’s what growing and being self-aware is all about.

2. The “mirror, mirror, on the wall” syndrome.

People who are not self-aware literally can stare at themselves for hours in the mirror. Well, I don’t think many people do that.

But, they literally can stare at themselves and never see who they really are.

The stories that they have created to basically cover up the insecurities and traumas and fears and disappointments in their life allow them to create a beautiful story that fits perfectly into their wheelhouse.

Instead of getting help, therapy, looking deeper, get some coaching, they literally will stare at themselves, figuratively, until they come up with the perfect story that allows them to move forward.

The story is usually an illusion of what happened.

It’s what I call a cover-up. No different than someone putting make-up on their face and covering up what they really look like.

Why do they cover up? Because they don’t want to search out the truth. They don’t want to look at the lessons, and their part in the drama or the story that they’ve created.

They usually are a victim in almost all of their stories. They usually have figured out how the other person screwed them,

How the other person did them wrong,

How the other person didn’t want what they wanted…

And then they slowly put that into a neat little ball and a neat little story. And they stay within their story for a long time.

They may read self-help books, but they don’t practice what they read. Which leads us to number three.

3. Reading and listening doesn’t mean you are actually practicing self awareness.

I know many people who will read. They can quote self-help experts. They are even friends with self-help experts. They can watch videos on Youtube.

Listen to podcasts.

But in reality, they hear the words that are being said. They love the words that are being said. They think they are practicing what the person is saying, but deep down, if you look at them, they are doing none of that.

Because when confronted with any type of crisis…

With any type of situation…

They never look at their part in the drama that is unfolding or the story that is happening.

I have met people like this throughout my lifetime, and whenever anything goes wrong between you and them, they will always find ways through words to blame you for everything.

They don’t take accountability in anything.

It could be at work.

It could be with the kids.

It could be in the relationship.

There is zero accountability at all.

When you tell them they don’t take accountability, they will tell you things like “that is not true.”

They will deflect, they will bounce things off, but they will never, truly, ever, say that they are sorry.

It seems like their entire life, people were always say sorry to them. Why?

Because people are tired of calling them out, so instead of the endless argument going on for eight or more hours, somebody will break down and literally say I am sorry. They have heard it their whole life. Everybody always apologizing to them.

Somewhere, somehow, in the history of this unaware person, they were taught that everything that they do is right. They must have gotten way too much praise as a kid. Either that or not enough praise as a kid, so they had to always continually prove themselves or prove people wrong.

I have known people like this throughout my life through personal relationships and through coaching, and the first thing I always say when I am working with somebody in a coaching situation is:

We are going to rewrite the stories that you have had in your life.

The man, a woman that cheated on you.

The man or woman that did you wrong.

That didn’t see the greatness in you.

We are going to rewrite every single story that we see, so that way there is equal accountability, so that you can understand your actions, and how you participated in the dynamic that went down.

That is the first step to becoming self-aware. Taking responsibility for all of the actions in your life.

You will clearly start to see how you were not as self aware as all the wonderful words, and videos and yoga masters you have been listening to. It is eye opening, and if you really truly want to be what you think you are, it is time that you really opened your eyes and stopped looking at that mirror on the wall, because what is reflecting back is to cover up a version of yourself.

The makeup, the foundation, and all the other stuff you have been putting on yourself, your inner self to hide from the world — your true persona.