"Each time you meet an old emotional pattern with presence (awareness), your awakening to truth can deepen." Tara Brach
Being aware of ourselves is more than just being alert or paying selective attention. When we practice self-awareness we are not afraid to look at our strengths and weaknesses. In fact, we can be very interested in knowing more about what makes us strong and how we limit ourselves or let others impose limitations on us. Being more aware we can challenge how we are limited and promote what helps us thrive.
"What I learn when I practice self-awareness is that I can over-rely on a few of my favorite strengths. In the past, I avoided facing up to a few of my limitations and allowed them to oppose my potential for several years. I paid a higher price than was necessary for allowing myself to remain limited. When I was ready to face the limiting beliefs and behaviors head-on - I felt brave. My desire to overcome the limits outweighed the fear of where they came from and how deeply rooted they were." -D. Daigneault
Practicing self-awareness can become an asset. We still need to be brave but that is preferable to feeling afraid and surrendering to old programming that isn't serving us well.
Image by Mathieu Stern - Unsplash
Dr. Leslie Becker-Phelps has written about Compassionate Self-Awareness (CSA) in two books available on Amazon. On her website drbecker-phelps.com, she states, "There are many therapeutic approaches that can help. However, they all begin with some form of increased self-awareness. This is essential because, as in any other area of life, to solve a problem, you must get to really know it."
Dr. Becker-Phelps explains that, "One powerful way that you can gain a richer appreciation for yourself and begin to change is by increasing your self-awareness in 5 basic areas called STEAM: Sensations, Thoughts, Emotions, Actions, and Mentalizing. The last domain, Mentalizing, is essentially the ability to understand people’s behaviors by understanding and connecting with underlying thoughts, feelings, desires, and other inner experiences. Importantly, you can mentalize yourself and other people."
I appreciate the work that Sim at Unstoppablerise.com is doing on self-awareness. His focus is on the impact awareness has on men but the following excerpt from one of his articles is applicable to all of us. He shared three things that come from self-awareness.
Self-awareness gives rise to three things:
Appropriate levels of action – An individual with high levels of self-awareness will be able to calibrate his or her responses to any given situation. An example would be lowering your speaking voice while in a library or church. An individual without any level of self-awareness cannot do that.
Areas of adjustment – A person can adjust his or her response to their environment by noting the distinct thoughts and feelings in response to that environment. This, in turn, can shape self-development.
Preservation of self and group enhancement – At any given moment, an individual is on a spectrum of pain or pleasure. Self-awareness allows the individual to adjust themselves relative on this spectrum to be a more effective person in their family, community, and the world at large.
The following articles are a great place to begin learning about self-awareness.
1. What is Self-Awareness and How to Develop it. https://www.developgoodhabits.com/what-is-self-awareness/
2.What is Self-Awareness and Why is it Important? https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/self-awareness-matters-how-you-can-be-more-self-aware/
3. What is Self-Awareness, and How Do You Get It? https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/click-here-happiness/201903/what-is-self-awareness-and-how-do-you-get-it
4. Worksheet to help gain Self-Awareness Through STEAM by Dr. Becker-Phelps.
To gain more self-awareness, look for our So Worthy Apptivity book coming in 2020.
The book is a companion to the So Worthy App available soon.