When I was in my teens, and even up to my early 40s, I had very little self awareness. I plodded along doing what I was told to do, manipulated by so many people. I was so totally not self aware I didn’t even notice that I was living my life on other people’s terms.
It is only since I began training to be a transformational coach thirteen years ago that I have really discovered myself and discovered my own self awareness. I have found that to be able to grow into my own self-awareness I have to be aware of my feelings and emotions. This was quite a difficult journey for me, as I have suppressed feelings and emotions for many years. The reason – I was conditioned by my parents from childhood that I should be seen and not heard. I was told that I should not express anger or display any emotion. And so I learned to repress them.
Having this understanding now after learning so much about my feelings and emotions and rediscovering who I am really am, I know that I can express my feelings and emotions. And this is a huge step for me towards self-awareness.
But what does self-awareness do for me? What are the benefits to me? Being self-aware has given me the opportunity and freedom to change those things I want to change about myself and create the life that I want. I now don’t allow others to manipulate me. I live my life on my terms. I am seen and heard and I do express my feelings and emotions.
The more clarity I get about who I am and what I want, and of course why I want it, the more I empower myself to consciously make those wants a reality. But, how do I get this clarity? I turn to the expert – ME. I know more about myself than anyone else, I know I have been manipulated and by whom. I know I have suppressed my feelings and emotions, and I know why. And I have got to know myself even better over the past few years by becoming so much more self aware. I am, of course, still learning.
To get the clarity I want I have learned to ask myself questions and expect specific answers. The more specific my answers, the more impact they have on my life and then I have a much clearer picture of me. Of course, there are times when my answer is ‘I don’t know’ and I know that is okay too. I give myself the freedom to take a wild guess and this allows me to carry on. What I have discovered is that I really do know more than I ever thought I did.
Honesty is vital in my answers to myself. It will lead to my true self awareness, but it does take a lot of courage. It is the courage to face my fears or to face something I find difficult to accept about myself. For instance, I know that I am impatient and want things to happen now. I also know that when people are speaking to me I used to get impatient to hear the end of what they were saying, and I tended to try to finish their sentences for them. I know this about myself and now take the time to listen when people are talking and not just to give them an answer, but to hear what they are saying beyond the words.
By being totally honest with myself I take ownership of my actions, beliefs, thoughts and feelings and find those beliefs that are no longer serving me. Those beliefs can then be discarded, altered or whatever feels right for me now.
I find that sometimes I do slip up and give an answer that perhaps I think I should give, rather than what I really know is right. That means I am giving answers from my head rather than getting in touch with my feelings and getting the answer from inside. To get out of my head again, I take several deep breaths, allow the brain to quieten and start to listen, to notice where the thoughts are coming from. This helps me to balance myself and to find the answers I need, and they come from inside me rather than from my head. I have learned that life only works one way, from the inside out.
I know that whatever I discover about myself I can handle with ease and acceptance. I trust that whatever I discover about myself will in some way lead to a greater sense of me and increased self-awareness.
And of course I am learning every day more and more about myself too.
If you find this resonates with you, get in touch with me for a free conversation about your thoughts on self awareness.