So you think you’re self aware eh? Part 1. Setting the foundation of self-awareness
Part 1 | Setting the foundation of self-awareness
I’ve read various papers and journals on self-awareness and although they carry the same theme one thing is evident, they are still very different from person to person and how they break it down. There are fundamentals to it but its easy to get lost in the search for self-awareness when you’re trying to understand it through an article from someone else point of view.
I always ask myself one question, how can we make this easier to understand? Whether you know what self-awareness is or isn’t honestly is the last thing that actually matters sometimes because that understanding of it doesn’t mean it will translate into you actually practicing it. Sure you know how to make a quiche but are you actually going to make the damn thing?
As you venture down the path of ultimate self-awareness realize that it won’t ever stop and you’re not going to get all the answers from one article. This is a daily practice but with the right tools, you can begin to learn how to control yourself in a world that wants to control you and exploit your emotions.
KNOW THE LEVELS OF AWARENESS
The Daywalker. You’re basically on auto
Have you caught yourself driving home and later thought, how in the hell did I get here? You ended up zoning out as your brain went on autopilot and you don’t have a recollection of what you just experienced because it’s become so mundane.
Realizing you’re not where you want to be – this is a touch and go area as we all at some point feel al little cloudy and not really sure what we want. Its important to understand and be aware of these times because they are one of the most vital times. This gives you contrast to be aware you can make a different choice for a new direction.
Woke. I’m an now expert and you must to listen to me
aware of the world on the outside of you and have become more caring about the world, the environment and generally more emotional. Although now you’re probably an asshole because you expect others to understand how it feels. If something isn’t vibrating with you well you tend to lash out emotionally and use force to get others to understand your perspective but you haven’t listened to anyone else.
Really Woke. I’m an expert and you’re the asshole
You’re aware you need to eat better and cut out those 3-day benders. You’re aware of your actions and how they are now negatively affecting your life. This is a place where you feel strongly about certain subject matters but your own opinions block you more than they help. This is a self-righteous period where your own awareness because harmful to others.
— The magic mushroom —
You’re sitting by yourself one day and it hits you. You’ve become more angry at the world and less tolerant of others because they aren’t woke enough. And then you realize you aren’t really self-aware because your emotions run your life, opinions, and choices.
Did you notice the patterns yet and the bs you tell yourself and others about why you’re at where you’re at? This stage is where we are fearful of the judgment of others while we judge ourselves. If you haven’t then you’re still “really woke”.
This is a CRUCIAL period before you can venture any further in this article or anywhere with your growth. Recognize the patterns you’re making in your life. If you can’t see you’re spinning in circles by your own choices then you’re not going to survive what comes next.
— Self-care of self-aware —
We live in a time where it’s become easier to run away from our emotions and pain because of the instant gratification society we live in and the choices for “social” platforms primed to give us escapism.
How can you listen to yourself if you are always distracted by the outside world? Cut out the distractions. Find some time to and just turn off your phone. You can cry about it later. Face it, you’re addicted to your phone and technology and that vanity likes you get on Facetube and Instatwit.
1. What do you spend most of your time doing? Is it creating clarity or causing more confusion?
2. Who do you spend most of your time around? Are they adding value in your life or taking it away and adding stress and drama?
— Honestly, someone throw me a bone here —
Take a second and be honest with yourself, about everything. It’s ok, this isn’t for anyone else.
This isn’t going to be easy. This is where you really begin to understand your emotions and realize the majority of the emotions you feel are worthless to your own well being and progress in life.
Acceptance of yourself
You’re enough. You’re more than enough. You are your own worst critic. Sound familiar? Because it’s all true! This is where you make commitments to yourself that no matter how ugly it gets or rough it gets, it’s ok and if it isn’t ok at the moment, it will be ok eventually.
—This is the fun part —
So you accept who you are, stopped judging yourself, stopped caring about others’ poor opinions and realize that the world as a whole doesn’t have a clue of what they are talking about so it’s time you go inward, right?
HOW TO BECOME MORE SELF AWARE
Perform a Self-audit by asking yourself not any question but ask yourself better questions about how you talk, the things you say and what are the situations when you say them.
- What common phrases and words do you use? Write them down or just go back and look at how you’re texting or writing.
- Ask yourself, do I say I can’t, that’s not me, that’s not how I do it, it’s difficult, I don’t know, I’m not sure, I can’t believe it, I can’t, I can’t even, I wish, I doubt, I hope, and so forth.
- The more you think about your thoughts, the more you can understand and them.
- At the end of each day, audit your thoughts and think back as to what you were thinking each time you had to make for small choices vs medium important and important choices.
- Go back to your language audit. Why do you think the way you do about each of those sayings you are guilty of? It’s important to dig down and find the root. I put this topic here in thoughts so you can see how your thoughts and language are linked together. Think about what you say and then why you say it. Are they stemming from a previous experience that’s conditioned you to use these words and think the way you do?
- I have worked with a lot of other types of people and professionals. We all agree that emotions are vital to our growth and connection to life but we don’t all agree as to how that applies. Some have argued you have to get angry sometimes and as much as that’s true it must also be applied correctly. It’s the difference form a stick of TNT and a carefully crafted firework.
Mastering your emotions
Let’s start with a few key common emotional blockers because it’s important you understand the emotions you commonly find yourself repeating.
- Trigger warning
- Do you find yourself easily getting offended, hurt or insulted? We all had our lines in the sand but is it happening every time? Remember when I said to be honest. This is certainly a time, to be honest with yourself. For you to be aware of your current emotions you must also understand the emotions that are tied to past experiences and limiting beliefs.
- This isn’t a common emotion other coaches include and I feel it is widely overlooked because it is a very limiting emotion and behavior. We tend to concern ourselves with the opinions of others whether it is good advice or bad advice.
- Are you afraid of the judgment of others and why?
- Are you judging yourself? Some people suffer from imposter syndrome where they feel they are never good enough despite the obvious level of success they have reached.
- Are you being kind to yourself or are you beating yourself up over something you would have done differently the next time around?
- Before we can move to other emotions that involve manifesting or our future, we must first question what it is we want and if we want it for the right reasons.
- Do you want that new car to prove something or for a sense of self-accomplishment?
- Do you want that new seasonal collection from Marc Jacobs to show off your wealth or because you appreciate the craftsmanship?
- Do you want to be loved because you give so much of it and you want someone to show the same level of love, validating that you’re worth it? Or do you love it because you feel the world needs more of it?
- Are you afraid of your own success because it means you’re going to have to work harder and it opens you up for more judgment in case you screw up? Or are you afraid because your past hurt you so much and you don’t want to go through that again, forgetting that emotional pain is never permanent if you’re just willing to let go?
- Trigger warning
- There are over 27 different human emotions. How many do you think you’re actually using on a daily basis and repeating?
Mark off which human emotions you’re using each day. I would suggest you print out the emotions here and keep a weekly chart and see where you’re at when the week has ended.
- Aesthetic Appreciation
- Empathetic pain
- Sexual desire
— Take your time —
Many people rush the process wanting answers right away. You must really understand each item and why you’re doing it so you can learn to identify it at the moment versus the next day when you say, I can’t believe I said that! As you being to understand your emotions and thoughts, you will undoubtedly need the time to process them and accept them. All too many times I witness people who uncover their underlining selves only to not forgive themselves for not realizing it sooner.
They end up feeling guilty for who they were. Remember that who you were and how you act is not who you are. Who you are is always evolving and if you want to argue that if you’re doing the same things day in and day out you’re not evolving you’re not actually right. Your physical body and chemical make up are changing every day with the food you eat and the fact time doesn’t stop means you’re aging.
— The Power Move —
Do you want to kick this into high gear? You’ve done the soul searching and done with the past because you realize the past literally doesn’t exist?
I have had the privilege of watching some executive leaders dig in and pull out courage waiting to be called on to make a leap forward and find their calling as leaders. They found courage in two very big and easy ways.
They stopped giving a fuck what anyone thought. They realized that there are two forms of opinions. There are the opinions of others that come from a personal place of judgment and resentment. This type of opinion comes from people that have yet to deal with their own trials and tribulations.
What these people discovered was the art of listening to value-based feedback. This is what we used to call constructive criticism. I am very grateful for my experience in college attending an art-based program. As a designer, we were subject to each project’s harsh and direct critiquing. This made us better designers and helped us develop a thick skin to an industry ready to toss your art aside if it didn’t bring in dollars.
There is a big difference between not caring and not caring when it counts.
— The myth step – side note —
Hey Jus, what about meditating? I’ve heard more and more about this. I am certain you have but that’s later in the stages of self-awareness.
Many people will try to tell you to start meditating and practice mindfulness. I am a firm believer that those are still leaps ahead unless you’ve done some very core internal repairs. If you try to meditate for the first time before you have done some personal repairs you will most certainly become overwhelmed with the emotions that are sure to come to the surface through meditation. I have seen it countless times where someone tries to meditate and never come back to the practice again because it was so overwhelming.
— Recap —
This road is not for the faint of heart. This road to self-awareness is grueling yet empowering and is what anyone must practice if they want to get better at their relationships and growth. Pick one area at a time and start to remap it.
- Language – become a communication expert
- Modify your language with yourself
- Modify your language with your beliefs
- Modify your language with others and how you convey ideas
- Thoughts – Think about what you’re thinking about
- Think about it and don’t confuse it with overthinking. Overthinking is the hesitation of your thoughts. A precursor to your choice. After you have made a choice or had a conversation, audit your conversation and be honest with yourself to determine if you acted and spoke differently based on that person.
- Emotional kung fu
- Did this article make you angry, sad, motivated or did it send you into a thinking cycle again?
- Find how why you feel the way you do before you try to understand your emotions in the current state of mind. It’s easier to audit something that has happened and still affects you over trying to catch it in the moment.
I recommend going over this article several times as a reference point. Bookmark it if you must because you’ll need to check back in and it’s good to have a good resource. This is part 1 of several to come as self-awareness is an ever-evolving journey. In part 2 I will go over how to apply each skill set.
You have everything you need to get to the next level of your journey. Most people try to power through to shortcut the system but find themselves right back here. They have reached success in many ways but along those journeys tend to get lost because you can’t outrun your anchors.