What is Self-Awareness, Exactly?
Literally, awareness of self.
Well, gee, thanks, Alissa. That’s about as clear as mud.
I know, I'm sorry.
Simply, self-awareness is just understanding yourself on a really deep level. (and you guys know I’m all about that.)
It’s recognizing your hopes, your dreams, your fears, your desires, your motivations.
And that’s kind of the easy part.
Because we usually have some conscious idea of what these things are. It may take a bit of thought to uncover them, but we’re at least dimly aware of their existence.
It gets a lot harder when you get to things like understanding your habits, your defense mechanisms, your coping strategies, and your idiosyncrasies.
Many of us go through life with blinders on when it comes to these things. We simply have no clue what they are or even that they exist.
For instance, do you twirl your hair or chew the inside of your cheek when you are thinking hard about something?
Do you cross your arms in front of you when someone says something you don’t like?
Do you get sarcastic when someone offers constructive or gentle criticism?
Do you overeat when you’re anxious?
Ahhh... I see a few lightbulbs turning on. ;)
Here’s another thing self-awareness means.
Understanding your own character. Whether you’re a good person or not. Whether you take shortcuts. Whether you’d rather be kind or right. Whether you have integrity,
Being aware of your automatic responses is challenging. These things are so ingrained in us.
Being aware of your character can be downright terrifying.
So, why bother with all of this crap? What difference does it make?
Let me tell you what. It makes a HELL of a difference.
Once you become self-aware, you become the director of your life, instead of just a marionette, letting your unconscious pull your strings.
Trust me when I tell you your life improves a thousand-fold in every way when you gain self-awareness.
It’s an incredible awakening.
You begin to choose your thoughts and emotions, instead of letting them run roughshod over you.
And they’ve done that, haven’t they?
How long have you been trying to lose weight?
How long have you hated your job?
How many relationships have you been in?
How long have you felt stuck in your life, but you don’t know how to get unstuck?
Changing all of these things, and so many more starts with gaining self-awareness.
So, how do you become self-aware?
Let me tell you this first. It ain’t for the faint of heart.
Are you ready?
The first step in self-awareness is becoming an observer of your thoughts instead of a participator. I think of it like putting up a plexiglass shield between yourself and your thoughts.
It’s a woo-woo concept, I know. But it’s the best way to conceptualize it.
You’re standing there silently observing as your thoughts and feelings are passing in front of you.
You start to think of them as tangible things outside yourself. This will help you to get to know your triggers, your automatic responses, and your long-ingrained patterns.
Yeah, it’s challenging. And it takes practice.
If you’re not committed to making some changes in your life, or if you’re too invested in the stories and lies you tell yourself, you won’t be able to push through this.
But if you are ready and you do push through, you will have a whole new understanding of yourself and what’s possible for you in the future to look forward to.
And doesn’t that sound like a good thing?
I'd love to know your thoughts!
Sending you all so much love.