GOOD MORNING MONDAY –
AFFIRMATIVE THOUGHTS FOR A GREAT WEEK
Good Morning! I hope you had a GREAT weekend relaxing, refreshing, recharging! It is Monday once again, the week begins. Maybe before you dive in full speed ahead, commit to take a minute thinking about how you want to experience this week. Will you add more and more to an already full plate? Will you continue to fill each moment with an activity that you believe is required for success both personally and professionally; yet what happens in the end is you feel tired and depleted? It seems like there is no way out. What will you commit to do to slow down and reflect on what is happening to and within you; you can make change in your life.
Maya Angelou stated, “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” To me, this quote calls out to each of us to reconnect with self. It encourages us to spend time gaining a deeper knowledge of who you are and reflecting on your thinking, actions, and emotions. Slowing down (PAUSING) and becoming more aware of your thoughts, actions and feelings about a situation enables you to “think about your thinking.” It gives you an opportunity to try on different perspectives and learn from all your experiences (good and not so good). For any transformation of self or thought to occur, you need to be willing to examine your life. Socrates stated, “an unexamined life is not worth living.” Being self aware is foundational for your growth. You have heard the adage, “to thine own self be true.” But, if you do not know who you are (self-awareness), how do you know what you need to be true to self?
So, what is self-awareness? It is a conscious knowledge of oneself; who you are, how you think and what you do. It is about understanding your filters, fears, skills strengths, limitations, your beliefs and what “hooks” you, etc. As you begin to peel back the onion of your understanding, you are then able to act on those things and begin to make desired changes. It is about understanding the essence of what makes you tick. Remember, “we do not see things the way they are, we see things the way we are” (Talmud). One of the best things you can do to live a happier, healthier, more product life is to increase your self-awareness.
There are some things that you should be mindful of on your self-awareness journey:
It is your journey
It is a life time’s work
You are an individual – there is no “one size fits all”
It takes courage – it can be difficult to look in the “mirror of self”
It takes acceptance and love of self, as well as non-judgement
It takes “self-scrutiny applied with kindness” (Epictetus)
It requires desire and dedication
Becoming more self-aware will help you understand who you really are and afford you the opportunity to make choices about who you want to be so that you can embark on becoming the best version of YOU.
While I know that your journey will not be the same as anyone else’s journey, following are some ideas to incorporate into your self-awareness practice:
Create a habit of being self-reflective. At the end of the day, take 10-15 minutes reflecting on how the day went – what went well, what did not, how it made you feel, and what you would like to do different? Understand the role you played in the experience. What do you want to do about it? This process can help you start the next day (or next situation) with more clarity, better mindset and more aware of what you can do to improve. In fact, you do not have to only incorporate this practice in the evening, you can do this at different times throughout the day depending upon what is happening in the moment. Additionally, recording your thoughts/ideas in a journal may be helpful, so you can look back and learn from your written thoughts and ideas.
Understand your life story/narrative. Your narrative identity is the story of your life. It is more than a story. Bill George, author of True North, states that how you understand your story frames your current actions and future goals. Look at your early life story; what people, events and experiences had the greatest impact in shaping who you have become? How do you frame the setbacks in your life? Understanding this component of self may help you understand the foundation from which you react and operate day to day.
Seek Honest Feedback. Receiving feedback is hard. There are times you do not see what others see. You (we all) have blind spots. Find people in your life who you trust that will provide you constructive feedback that provides insight to help you grow. It takes courage and vulnerability to receive feedback. Remember, you are seeking to understand; not to be right. Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, you do better.”
Self-awareness is not a “once and done”. It is not a seminar you go to and check it off your list. It is a practice that you incorporate into your life. It is a muscle that you strengthen over time.
As your self-awareness grows, you will find that you will be more comfortable being open, transparent and vulnerable. The more conscious you become of self, the more wisdom you gain, which enables you to be more authentic and truly cultivate the best YOU in the here and now!
Have a GREAT week discovering more about the wonder YOU are!