Self-aware, mindfulness, or living in the present moment are words you might hear and might be words you understand, and still they reflect a state of being that you strive for, yet you seem to miss the mark. You might even be someone who is “too busy for that” or “unable to focus or meditate” and so avoid the discussion all together.
Think about this for a moment. Mindfulness has been found to be a key element in stress reduction and overall happiness. Couldn’t you use a little more of that?
No matter what state you might find yourself in right now, if you are able to stop, take a breath, and focus your attention on the present you will begin to trigger some basic beneficial results.
What it is not
Mindfulness is not simply introspection. Although, introspection is definitely a component of mindfulness, it is not in itself enough for self-awareness. The reason introspection fails is that this is often an act of looking for answers and you ask yourself why.
- “Why did I react that way”
- “Why do I feel this way”
- “Why did I show up that way”
- “Why did this happen to me”
Because your subconscious mind’s primary role is to protect you and part of that protection is being sure you are always right, the answer to this question “why” is usually untrue. Your thoughts are created with judgment, beliefs, and bias and you fabricate evidence to fill in the gaps of any unknown aspects of a situation based on this framework.
Your brain needs information to draw conclusions and when that information is lacking, it Makes Stuff Up (MSU), creating a fabricated version of the story.
What it is
Being self-aware is an exercise that requires practice and perspective. At its best, it represents how clearly you see yourself from an unattached, non-judgmental point of view. It’s knowing and accepting your values, passions, and aspirations. It’s knowing that your beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors should be examined. It’s being honest with your strengths, and weaknesses with an awareness of how you impact yourself and others.
When you practice self-awareness, you acquire the ability to understand your emotions, strengths, and weaknesses. You give yourself permission to question your drivers, values and goals. You develop the ability to reflect, respond, and make conscious choices that are important to you.
You have the power to choose your perspective on life. Choose to appreciate who you are and learn to live in the moment. This is a practice of conscious choice and being present in the uniqueness of the moment. Take control, accept responsibility, and be aware that your perspective, response, and results belong to you alone. You know it’s time for even more.
If not now, when?
You don’t have to go there alone.