A Journey, Not a Quick Fix: Developing Self-Awareness is not a straightforward journey, rather one filled with wrong turns, kinked and forever veering in unknown directions. It's a journey for a life time and of a life time, a magical adventure to be enjoyed with mature eyes and child-like curiosity.
In my work as a Life and Wellness Coach, I like to focus on the importance of building self-awareness for achieving personal wellbeing at 360 degrees. Self-awareness is a term thrown around quite often nowadays, so before setting any foundations for our wellbeing, it's important to understand what self-awareness actually means.
What is Self-Awareness?
First and foremost, it means getting to know and understand yourself (looking inside), followed by then knowing and understanding others (looking outside).
The Importance of Self-Awareness
When we go through challenging times and face obstacles that we struggle to believe we can overcome, self-awareness offers what nothing else can. When we become self-aware we become awakened, empowered and transformational (our transformation never ceases). This in turn, allows us to expand, enrich and live our lives fully, regardless of the hurdles that come our way.
Why are we resistant to becoming Self-Aware?
Because as humans, it feels safer to remain in the comforts of the familiar. Building self-awareness requires resilience, inner strength, openness and curiosity. The journey ahead is not an easy one because we squirm as we explore new lands, but it is far more rewarding than staying still out of fear of the unknown.
The Major Resistances We Face
- Fear of the Unknown
- Fear of Pain (getting out of our comfort zone requires effort and unease)
- Laziness (or procrastination and avoidance, which are often symptoms of fear and self-sabotage)
- Fear of Discovering Who We Really Are
The Major Excuses We Make
- Lack of Money, Time and/or Energy
- Judgement and Skepticism
- Lack of Self-Love (which is required for Self-Motivation and Strength)
How to Start Your Self-Awareness Adventure
- Focus & Listen
Close your eyes. Set your focus inside and carefully listen to your thoughts, emotions and body. Is your life fulfilling you the way it is now? Is it motivating you to get up in the morning, bursting with joy and motivation? If not, ask yourself why. Once again, listen attentively for the answer from within. Day by day, as you practice asking and listening, the parts of your life that no longer serve you and the things that you want and desire for your life going forward will become clearer. With this clarity, you might find it's just the right time to start your journey of self-awareness.
- Sense, Take Responsibility & Let Go
Be mindful of all the internal and external resistances and excuses that might be manifesting themselves to keep you where you are. Recognising them will empower you with a choice to move on and leave them behind. One of more automatic self-defence mechanisms or negative and skeptical thoughts might try and block you at this point. They arise to limit and disempower us as we subconsciously squirm to stay in our comfort zone. Take responsibility for your life and let them go.
- Find the Motivation & Decide
Search for the inner motivation to start your Self-Awareness adventure. Be clear about it and then begin your search for a Life Coach that works for you. Make it happen, no more excuses. (See previous blog post, 'Do I Need Life Coach?' for more info)
- Jump, Trust, Enjoy
Now your Self-Awareness journey can begin. You have done so much simply to reach the starting point, congratulations. You've overcome all the resistances and fears that were keeping you stuck, few people make it this far. You have your coach, your guide. Take a deep breath. Uncertain but brave all the same, like a baby bird about to take his first flight, jump into the adventure. Surrender. Trust yourself. Have faith in the energy of the Universe and it's creator and for crying out loud, enjoy the ride!
I chose to begin my Self-Awareness adventure 20 years ago. I was full of resistance and fear just like you might be. Guilt and shame were deviously perched on my shoulders too. I chose to let them go. Instead I focused on fuelling my motivation and focusing only on what I wanted and not what I was afraid of. I looked forward to all the new that was on its way to me and committed myself totally to my dream of lovely myself and the world in a different way to how I'd learnt to. I saw myself becoming healthy and being a different woman, wife and mother to my own. I jumped into the unknown. I invested the money, time and energy and have never looked back.
My life transformed inside and out. My health has 180'ed and improved unmeasurably. My vitality double. My relationship with my daughter, family and friends and most of all myself, completely transformed. I finally found my real life's purpose: to inspire others and the world to find the courage and resilience to choose change.
What do you think? Ready to start an adventure?
Header image by Tom Mussak