Freedom is to be who you truly are.
You can express what you want or need without judgement. You do not need to fear rejection nor justify your existence. A life of freedom is where you do not need to control others or be controlled by them. Freedom is to love yourself just the way you are and to truly see your inner perfection.
But, your mind is filled with stories, which might be helpful or hurtful; loving or not; true, but mostly untrue. These stories dictate your emotions and reactions. Mostly, you become a slave to it.
For example, when your mind says "you're not good enough", you will back away from learning a new skill, speaking to a live audience, or publishing your artwork.
Self-awareness is the antidote. With self-awareness, you take a step back. You observe your mind without reacting. You can have a conversation with the mind and ask critical questions. With self-awareness, you can choose to ignore or to take action. At the very least, you do not mindlessly react.
Unless you have self-awareness, you can never be free.