When is the last time you’ve been on a date? I’m not talking about with another person, I’m talking about with YOU? Many of us have never really dated ourselves. Instead, we spend much of our time getting information about who we are and what we should do from everyone and everything external to our being. I want to challenge you to start the journey of learning and loving you from the inside out.
This process begins by first learning the art of self-awareness. This may seem like a concept that comes naturally; however, in my work as a marriage & family therapist, insight and self-awareness are definitely learned skills. Do you recall a time when you have made a choice and afterwards you thought “I knew better than that.” This is just an example of instances common to many of us, where our conscious being sent a message that we chose to ignore. Additionally, self-awareness includes the skill to identify and process our own behaviors, emotions, and experiences in relationships. Self-awareness allows us to determine how we manage our experiences in life. With self-awareness we begin to identify patterns, generational strongholds, and outcomes from any form of stressors or traumatic experiences. Self-awareness is power. It gives us the power to create new experiences, new perspectives, and new stories we get to rewrite from a place of more resilience and strength than we had before.
Are you ready to rewrite your story? Begin with self-awareness. Who are you? What are your experiences? Your realities? Your likes & dislikes? Your hangups? Your passions? Your desires? What are your goals and dreams? Follow these 5 steps to develop the art of self-awareness:
1. Be Still.
In today’s society we are always moving. From this meeting to that meeting, from cleaning to cooking, from shopping to eating, many of us are always on the go. The first step to self-awareness is to simply be still.
2. Sit in Silence.
Silence is difficult for many of us. Some feel the need to always have some kind of background noise in life. For some, it’s an avoidance of truly being alone with their own thoughts. To develop self-awareness, it’s important to get comfortable with silence and intentionally pay attention to your own thoughts in order to engage in self-discovery.
3. Accept Reality.
In moments of self-discovery and reflection, the true reality of who you are and how you operate comes to light. Sometimes you may like what you uncover, sometimes not. It’s important to avoid judgments, but just accept whatever is presented. Avoid fearful anticipations and anxious reactions. Some of the information learned comes from internal perspectives (your experience of you) and some information comes from external perspectives (other’s experience of you). Take a neutral stance and accept the reality of who you are. Acceptance also means accepting your strengths and limitations in a non-anxious manner. Acceptance is the precursor to change.
Always seeking validation from others is a sure path to self-doubt, disappointments, and low self-confidence. It’s important to validate yourself in ways such as celebrating your own successes, acknowledging your efforts, and prioritizing your needs. Self-validation means learning to value you and treating yourself with kindness. Self-validation eliminates comparisons, self-criticism, and regrets. Self-validation says you are worth-y and worth-it.
5. Plan for Better
Being still, sitting in silence, accepting realities, and self-validation are all the ingredients needed to plan for a better you. We cannot change what we don’t accept. Who you are now doesn’t have to be the same person that shows up tomorrow. Take advantage of every opportunity to grow. You are like a flower, with the right nutrients watering your life, you will continue to bring beauty to the earth.
Bloom where you are planted,