When it comes to truly taking command of your life, an understanding of what helps you feel aligned is key. In my last post, I discussed the difference between control and command. Here, we’ll dive in to the value in being self-aware and how that plays an integral part in the personal growth process.
How self-aware are you?
Really think about that question for a minute. Are you fairly “tuned in” with what you need to feel good, happy, and healthy and the triggers or situations that derail you?
If your answer is “kind of, but not really,” you are not alone. Most people don’t take the time to ask themselves these types of questions. Without realizing it, they spend a lot of time on auto-pilot. They just react to the external world, day by day, doing the best they can.
Many of my clients come to me with things they have struggled with for years. It may be a troubled relationship, a bad habit, or a general unhappiness that seems to follow them around. They usually come to me with the realization that they need help to break the unseen patterns keeping them stuck.
Developing self-awareness is the first step in the growth process.
Think of this in terms of becoming a parent. The central task of parenthood is learning to understand and take care of our kids’ needs. At first, we simply react to the baby’s cries but we really don’t know what to do. We’re just guessing—hungry, tired, dirty diaper, tummy ache?
Through a process of observation, and trial and error, we become more attuned to our children’s needs and know how to meet them. As times goes on, we begin to develop a sixth sense—the ability to see the signs of a meltdown before it occurs. This allows us to intervene, course correct, and save everyone from unnecessary pain.
The same applies to us. It’s just as important to see the signs in our own lives and address issues before we cause unnecessary pain for ourselves. We do this by becoming observers of ourselves.
Self-awareness is the process of observing yourself, learning your personal triggers, desires, and overall needs. Of course, knowledge is not enough to make a change. We must also take action. The most import action we need to master is learning to press pause.
A pause allows us to respond rather than react.
It is an opportunity to take ourselves off of auto-pilot and really consider the next step. When we press play after a pause, we have more clarity to make choices about who we are, how we want to be, how we want to spend our time, and how we want to feel.
Here is a challenge for this month: Become an observer of yourself. Keep a record of what you observe (journal, Facebook group, video etc). The medium and the frequency is your choice. Do not edit yourself in any way. The more transparent the better. Remember, you’re reporting whatever you observe, not judging it.