Self-awareness is the mother of all virtues. Its nature is to turn inside, see, reflect, and understand. Courage is the father of all virtues. It's nature is to dare, act, sacrifice, and conquer. - Niraj
There are two essential virtues, from where all others come from: self-awareness and courage. They are the yin and yang of personal growth.
Self-awareness enables you to more objectively see what you are doing. It shows you why you think what you think and feel what you feel. It gives you a moment of pause in any situation, before you react. Without looking inside yourself and understanding your own patterns, no real change can happen, and you will continue to make the same mistakes.
[For further reading on the topic of developing self-awareness, see 'Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality' by Anthony De Mello.]
Now, once you look inside yourself and you see the beliefs and emotional patterns that are not constructive, the habits that are non-empowering, what do you do? Well, you need to take a step to change them. And this takes great courage.
Why courage? Because often this means going against yourself, or admitting that you were wrong. At other times this may mean going against the view that other people have of you, or other forms of social pressure.
Think of a change that you are struggling to make in yourself or your life. What is lacking, self-awareness or courage?
Self-awareness is developed by reflection, meditation and honest examination; courage is developed by daring to close your eyes and take the leap.