In abstruse terms pure awareness is the essence of what we all are. From a more personal point of view, self-awareness is the ability to stand apart from oneself, to be aware of oneself - one's thoughts, feelings, motives, desires, etc. The more self-aware we are the more insight we have about making conscious choices in alignment with our deepest values and heart's wisdom. Self-awareness in conjunction with self-regulation, flexibility, resilience, motivation and a sense of purpose allows us to lead a soul-fulfilling life. Self-aware people are most often proactive people. That means they are able to choose their response to whatever happens to them, based on their values, rather than reacting to what happens to them, based on past conditioning or what others expect. Their circumstances do not control them. On the contrary, self-aware, proactive people believe they control their circumstances. They believe they can transform their circumstances to create the life they want - and they do!
On the other hand, the less self-aware we are the less capable we are of making conscious choices in alignment with our deepest values and heart's wisdom. Unself-aware people make reactive (as opposed to proactive) choices based on their conditioning (how they were brought up, their genetic make-up, and environmental influences) and their social mirror (the opinions, perceptions, expectations and paradigms of the people around them). Unself-aware, reactive people are controlled by their circumstances. When things are going well, they're happy. When things are going poorly, they're unhappy. They often feel as if they have no free choice, no free will.