Well, if you’ve beaten the Enemy Within into submission since yesterdays post, I raise my hat to you. No problems if you didn’t because I have a few more tools that you might try. It’s always good to have a box of tools handy to challenge the enemy within.
These tools I’m talking about relate to self-awareness, succinctly put, it’s about having conscious knowledge of our own character and feelings. That launches a question: How self-aware are you? Think about it for a moment.
Now ask yourself how much of your awareness came in from another source such as thoughts and ideas that you bought into during your experience of your relationships and events on planet earth. Over time, we assimilate the things we hear from other people and call them our own but, they don’t always serve our best interests.
So often we move through life on an automatic navigation system and don’t always realize how the past challenges the present.
As I said at the end of Success Tools, “Life and the ways we respond to situations feeds the enemy; take away the food and it starves”. We feed the enemy each time, we perform an action that lacks self-awareness.
Have you ever? I know I have reacted to a situation before putting my brain in gear or giving myself time to check the facts. Stereotypes are a good example.
Take the area of France where I live. It has a large British community scattered around rural areas. Some are retired, many are not. The majority are normal hardworking and far from financially wealthy people who came here for a better climate, a simple life, cheaper housing and the chance to live a semi self-sufficient lifestyle.
The stereotype is that some local French people think we are all financially wealthy and that’s reflected when we wish to buy assorted services and they try to increase the price. No, it’s not any form of racism, just an incorrect stereotype. Not all French people practice this so, there’s another stereotype.
British = Wealthy = Knee-jerk reaction = put the price up. And I’ve seen that provoke knee-jerk reactions from Brits.
Self-awareness enables logical and unbiased assessment of situations and avoids acting on perceived stereotypes or biases. So, the next time you feel the urge to “react”, step back for a moment and take a deep breath. Assess whether your response is the best one. Don’t allow anger or frustration to dictate your response.
Everybody has an opinion, their way of looking at the world and some people don’t see the need to change. Accept that because your own self-awareness is paramount. Learn to be happy in your own skin.
There are times when we need to be accountable to other people yet accountability to self is essential.
Are you perfect? I’m not.
It’s one thing to be aware of our flaws and another to be accountable for them and beating yourself up when a flaw surfaces is not going to help. Similarly, being critical of other people doesn’t help. They are who they are.
Turn the spotlight on yourself, recognize your flaws and if they need corrective action, look for positive solutions. Don’t allow excuses to justify anything and your self-awareness will take a leap toward growth.
Mr or Mrs Angry
We’ve all seen an angry person in full flow. Look at the guy in the image. Would you feel good about walking up to him and sharing a hug? It’s likely that you will react defensively and close yourself off from his anger. He will notice that in your own body language and may even try to push a perceived advantage if you were the fearful person in the second image.
There are many body postures that we adopt in life-situations without realizing that we do it because they are second nature. Yet they affect most of our interactions with other people.
Look at the people in the image below. Those in the low-power pose experience an increase in cortisol and that feeds low self-esteem. In the high-power pose, they are standing tall and testosterone is stimulated. This improves personal performance. Both poses affect the way people respond to them.
Being self-aware of our body language changes how people respond to us and how we feel about ourselves.
I wasn’t going to include this here but an article I was sent yesterday signaled that self-awareness is involved in this type of activity. I’m not suggesting that any of the points raised were incorrect although they did provoke this response from me.
“Psychologists have conducted studies into human psychology and brain science and proved that we don’t multi-task. What we do is more like spinning plates. You have different plates spinning on poles, but you’re only touching one at a time. Even with both hands on different plates, there wouldn’t be complete synchronicity. There would always be a time difference between one and the other. Other studies have shown that there are some activities that even us amazing humans can’t do at the same time. It would take another post to explain those but driving and texting crashes to mind.
In other words, we may be doing three things but what we actually do is switch between one and another task.
When we attempt to multi-task, we end up taking around 40 percent longer to finish than giving one task our full attention”.
Self-Awareness of the ways we do and respond to events and tasks is essential to our success in life. Practice develops excellence.
Self-Awareness doesn’t stop mistakes, it enables learning and growth.
There are many ways to effectively explore and advance your Personal Development. We need a box of tools to challenge the boundaries and move forward toward realizing success.
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I bow to the place in you that is love, light, and joy
Peace & Light
Steve Costello is a British Community & Youth Studies and Psychology honors graduate with over 30-years theoretical and practical experience in the Personal Development public and private sectors. He founded ExGro in 2018 with business partner, friend and clinical psychologist, Leo Faerberg.