Sunday, 19 August 2012

How To Know Yourself and Become Fully Aware. Live Life~Love Life WK 34

When you read magazine articles, newspapers or watch T.V. Lifestyle programmes, you can always find one which tells you how to look better, feel better, take challenges, push the boundaries- so you can be someone other than you are! Trying to turn yourself into someone else is both stressful and unsuccessful, especially when you are working against your nature.

The other view which also gets in our way is the belief that you can, 'be who you want to be.' I would have loved to have been a ballet dancer but I was actually too tall and a little too plump; plus I couldn’t dance! My mother, who hated me to be disappointed, thought I wasn’t working hard enough to be a ballerina and used to get cross. This didn’t help either of us. I could not express myself in terms of dancing but later, found that I could be creative in other ways which were even more fulfilling. It took me well into my forties to find this out but if you are able to develop self awareness earlier, the sooner you can discover the 'real you' and save a great deal of frustration.

It’s really important to take a reality check about what you want to do with your life- so many ideas/ideals are thrust at us we have forgotten how to listen to our core selves and if we don’t write our own script then someone else will write it for us.

If you have been subject to a neglected, abusive and deprived childhood, then listening to your core self will have been attached to survival issues and the messages received tell you to freeze, run away or fight. I won’t address these responses here as you will need more time and dedication than this article provides, however you can read up on the subject.
QUESTION what is our core self?
Our body is the place in which we live, our mind is how we think and feelings are changes within our bodies that we can sense as a response to emotions or circumstances.

A unique part of being human means we have the ability to stand outside ourselves and self reflect. I teach people to have an ‘invisible friend on their shoulder' who can observe their thoughts feelings and actions. This is the beginning of becoming self aware.

Self awareness is different to being self conscious; which usually means we are shy or worrying that other people may be looking at us critically or in a judgemental way. Actually, you are doing this to yourself. We all have those nagging voices inside our head! I now tell mine, if they are not useful to me to shove off and bug someone else!!

Many people have not been taught how to become self aware and lacking self awareness might mean we struggle to be empathic. When you develop the skill of 'feeling for others' you also become more accepting of yourself and the negative parts of your personality. You can learn how to express anger without being violent and disappointment without feeling a victim. You can learn to celebrate your achievements without being a bighead. Most importantly, you can love and be loved.

If you do the same old thing in the same old way you get the same old result.
For example, in my childhood visiting the dentist was unpleasant- the sound of the mechanical drill frightening and the treatment often painful. Consequently for years, even though dentistry has advanced, just thinking about a visit would give me a dry mouth, raised heart rate and an all over perspiration which was a challenge for my deodorant! I had developed a learned response and got stuck.
School can often be a problem. For instance, if you didn’t get the right help at school because when asking questions you were made to feel stupid, then you will probably still hold back from asking new people for help in case those feelings surface. Feelings can be uncomfortable but they are a signpost to many different things.
I finally moved forward when I realised I needed to ask my dentist to reassure me about pain relief and step by step treatment– without the gory details! This was a big move forwards and I no longer get super anxious.

Human beings get stuck with habits and these habits form our comfort zone and ‘our personality’. We can then think this is ‘me’ and I can’t change.

Now, you were not born with these habits, you picked them up along the way in your childhood and at school. To release ourselves from these habits needs self awareness through reflective thinking. You also need to ask whether you were trying to change someone else’s behaviour without asking them to change it, or attempting to control circumstances over which you had no control. We only have the power to change ourselves, we do not have the power to change others – they have to be willing.

So here are Allie's Tips to get started!
1)Think of a recent problem you had.
2)What was the problem?
3)Who or what did it involve?
4)What did I feel inside my heart?- scared, angry, frustrated, sad, depressed, anxious, worried, lonely, rejected
5)What was I saying inside my head?
6)What was my body saying?- did I have a headache, were my shoulders raised, teeth clenched, legs twitchy or foot tapping
7)What did you want to happen?
8)Did you ask for help?
9)What was the result?

These are just some starter questions to help you get to know yourself a little better and raise your choices for the future. To know yourself is to be fully alive – to be you.

By Allie Stewart
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