SELF-AWARENESS - WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
"YOU ARE THE UNIVERSE ITSELF." If that were true, could self-awareness become the new rage...
I am a sucker for self-development, continuous thirst for knowledge, and learning about the vast universe!
Today's topic is my current hook. As I work my way through levelling up in my business, self-awareness is high up on the agenda.
It's an expansive, holistic question. In this Blog I hope to skim the surface by breaking down a few thoughts into micro nuggets for your to ponder on...
I'm going to start by quoting what my 3 favourite power houses of wisdom, say about self-awareness, and what it means to them.
Deepak Chopra "Awareness is all about restoring your freedom to choose what you want instead of what your past imposes on you."
Tony Robbins "Self-awareness is one of the rarest of human commodities. I don't mean self-consciousness where you're limiting and evaluating yourself. I mean being aware of your own patterns."
Oprah Winfrey “As you become clearer about who you really are, you'll be better able to decide what is best for you - the first time around.”
Each quote describes a process of acting from the point of the present moment, rather than basing actions on external influences and past conditioning.
It sounds simple, yet self-awareness is still seen as a buzz word or the focus of mastery in esoteric circles, and not considered a worthy characteristic for 'Joe public' to embody.
WHAT IT MEANS TO ME…
Nazoorah “Being in control of what you allow into and out of your energy.”
Being in control may sound like a sweeping statement that is nigh on impossible to harness; when we live in a society of rules and expectations.
Uncovering and understanding where those limiting beliefs and negative expectations kicked into our psyche, may be the path to becoming SELF-AWARE.
WHERE DID IT BEGIN?
As adults we love to play the blame game! No child would ever repeat the words “It’s your fault”, unless an adult had imparted that phrase into their world. Adults like to think we are above blame, we can quickly assume the sloping shoulder dance when it comes to having *agency.
‘I didn’t have a choice’, ‘they made me do it’, ‘there was no other way’ are all stories we can tell ourselves to avoid taking responsibility for what we put out into the world.
Responsibility - Is it an obscene word? It's a word that we may have feared as children. As adults it’s a word that we automatically assume we must have in our persona, even when we have no prior experience of what it truly means to BE RESPONSIBLE.
In the outside world of: Politics, Psychology, Economics, Science, Sociology, it’s often used as the not so indiscrete word, slotted in when a scape goat is required. With one fell swoop; it pinpoints the poor soul that will take the hit for the team when the shit hits the fan. A blame, shame, and guilt trophy, that no one wants to be awarded with!
Most of us are aware of the theories of ‘conditioning’ developed by the Psychologist, Ivan Pavlov, (1885-1974). One of Pavlov’s most memorable experiments was where his dogs were used as the subjects of the experiment.
He devised experiments that showed events or objects could trigger a conditioned response in his pets and later went onto produce theories where children were the subject matters.
Pavlov's work illustrated that when two stimuli are linked together it can produce a new learned response in a person or animal.
What does that mean for self-awareness?
Is the thought of having ‘self-awareness’ associated with the fear of being responsible for all the shades of good, bad, and slightly bat-shit crazy; that we ALL filter out into the environment; for everyone else to breathe in, absorb and become infected with..?
‘Responsible’ being associated with either blame, guilt or shame, or a burden that no one else wants to take on.
Is it any wonder that we as people have identified self-awareness as uneasy - worst case - dangerous, or best left to the side, as it means we are responsible for ourselves!?
IS IT A BAD THING?
Is that a bad thing, to take ownership of our sh**? To instigate a traffic light system into our thought processes; where we are responsible for our actions, thoughts and motives and how that filters out to those around us? How many times have you acted out of a knee jerk reaction, or made choices based on someone else’s needs, then years later you still carry it around like a beast of regret that eats away at that relationship or memory?
What if you had stopped and acted from a point of present self-awareness; as to how it would impact you, to think about it, discuss it, or say it might not be the best option for you right now…
Self-awareness gives you options, choice, and time. Bringing you more sanity, freedom, and inner peace into your life.
I don’t believe it is a bad thing, as do those three awesome people that I mentioned at the start of this Blog.
Here’s a few reasons why I believe having self-awareness in all of our actions can only be a good thing for each individual, collective societies and the population of our world!
BENEFITS OF SELF-AWARENESS
First and foremost; having self-awareness is empowering, you begin to think from the needs of yourself, what you require and what feels good for you. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs can illustrate that beautifully. It may be viewed as a bit old school, however in this case, old is gold!
When you make decisions based on your own health, well-being and needs, the outcome can only be a good thing. Those decision need to come from the context of integrity and healthy habits.
Not playing the blame game is liberating, it frees up a heck of a lot of energy that you can spend on high vibe, feel good actions.
When you stop blaming others, you start living YOUR life, by your rules and for yourself. The life purpose of every single person is to be unequivocally and unapologetically YOU, what that leads to; is up to each individual. Leaving out the not so great personality types that revel in masochism and domination of course!
A fun known fact – it takes more muscles and energy to frown, than it does to smile! Taking blame out of the equation leads to the same benefits, you oversee you. Your decisions are coming from a place of knowing what is right for you. Therefore, you have more energy, your health optimises as you are putting your needs first. Filtering out past stories and standing in the present; is the most peaceful, joyful, and effortless place to decide from. Imagine that? Deciding purely for you – without the voice of your Mother, Boss, Partner, BFF in your head – bliss!
Self-awareness is not the same as SELFISHNESS, they are at opposite ends of the scale. That could be a whole other BLOG! Going back to the quotes, in particular Mr Robbins, “…it is being aware of your own patterns.” That is not in the same realms as being selfish.
DO YOU CHOSE SELF-AWARENESS TODAY?
If we all took that little bit more notice of what we put out, I honestly believe the result would be a more caring, thoughtful, and kinder environment.
Less, blame, shame, and guilt – as people would systematically consider what is important to them, which is primarily to be safe, cared for and loved. Empathy, compassion, and kindness would ramp up as people would not feel hard done by. They would feel compelled to spread the love so to speak!
It blows my mind when I take a step back from the notion and really see it. To see how one person taking ownership of their actions would stop a domino of chaos unravelling in day to day life, take that image and magnify it to see the events that are going on in the world today, in a different light. Better still, if adults empower children to become self-aware, it would be THE GAME CHANGER!
Whilst holding that thought, what can YOU get self-aware about, right HERE, right NOW?
Grab that notebook and pen (not an electronic device; writing by hand involves the engagement of intricate motor neurones, which fire off nerve responses, igniting memory synapses...in other words, it exercises your brain muscles! A quick hack on ways to ward off dementia 😉)
I hope you enjoyed reading this Blog as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Sources and useful links
*Agency is the degree to which an individual has the ability to make decisions about their life. To have agency means to have control over your life and the decisions that you make.