Friday, April 27, 2018

Self-Awareness: What People Really Think of You

There are many things you will do in your life that will serve to tell you all about yourself. Your struggles, how you handle stress and conflict, how you behave when inspired, excited, tempted, determined, or in love. I’d like to say that all you have to do is pay attention.

But there are the hidden things too, the nuances about yourself that you don’t see. There are ways that your behavior and your words have an untold effect on others. This is when a carefully selected interlocutor comes in.

An interlocutor is essentially a questioner, a man who stands in the middle.

Do you want to know the truth about yourself?
You will need to find someone whom you trust with your life and your ego. Someone who is willing and has the ability to listen to you attentively. Find someone who is honest and trusts you enough to tell you the truth.

Ask your questioner to tell you what they think of you.

Make them feel comfortable. Tell them why you want to have this conversation, and reassure them that you know some things will be hard to say and hard to hear. Perhaps you can compile a list of specific questions you’d like to ask them. Don’t interrupt when they are answering. Let them talk while you take it all in.

Through this illuminating and painful process you may find that you may have to do some damage control, work to correct your reputation, or regain trust.

Should this be a useful experience, ask them to act as interlocutor for you in the future. Tell them that you fully expect their brutal honesty when you need someone to check you.

You are giving this person a lot of power over you. If you are easily shaken, this tells you about yourself. Don’t get discouraged. From here, the only way us up. This is an important part of confronting yourself, acknowledging your shortcomings, and building a stronger and steadier inner man.

“I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses.” Johannes Kepler

This isn’t easy, but it is necessary. We think and tell an unprecedented number of half-truths and outright lies about ourselves and others. We need to “cut the crap” so to speak, and stop living in the shadow of willing ignorance of ourselves.

Don’t walk this path of self-discovery alone. You may think letting others close during this process is too difficult, but by doing so you are forging bonds that will support you and give you purpose for the rest of your life.

Warning Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Train track Photo by Jonathan Pendleton on Unsplash
Talking Photo by on Unsplash 
Hole Photo by Ian Chen on Unsplash 

Friday, April 20, 2018

5 Ways to Become More Self-Aware

One thing is for certain, the more you know, the more you realize you don’t know. When you are determined to know yourself better, you soon start to understand your actual position and that the first gifts of self-discovery is chagrin, deflation, and often humiliation or embarrassment.

In the grand scheme, most of us are ineffective and we overestimate our contribution and talents. Most of us consider ourselves an exception to the rules, and most of us are wrong.

The goal here isn’t to inflate your ego with overtures of false praise and empty reassurance of your social contribution. Real life doesn’t give credit where it isn’t due and nature herself is unpredictable and quite dangerous. You don’t want to start your upward climb from a deceptive sense of self.

Truth sometimes hurts. You aren’t a masochists, though, you’re here for a reason. The idea is to strip away any false sense self, get to the truth, and start your ascent to greatness one honest, strong, authentic foothold at a time; an expert on being firmly and certainly who you intend to be.

1.The first practical thing you can do to know yourself better is to write every day. Communicate honestly with yourself, judgement free. Record goals, plans, feelings, reactions, comments, concerns, disappointments, hopes, and regrets.

2.Consider daily meditation, with the goal of centering yourself. The quality of meditation tends to improve with practice. Meditation is a gentle, clarifying exercise in self-control, and the benefits aren’t only seen in a placid mind, but also has a cooling physiological effect on the body.

3.There are more distractions now with the modern pace and noise than ever before. Day-to-day, most people have to go out of their way to come into contact with nature and centering benefits from the tranquility of a natural environments. We often forget that we are a part of nature, and being separate from it is disruptive to our minds and bodies. Try to get out into nature every day.

4. Not completely unlike meditation, consider seeking at least 10 minutes of silence and reflection every day. Utilize silence to center your mind and reconnect with your body. Reflect on your position to the world and people around you. What does God expect from or ask of you today? What do others expect from you? What are you expecting from yourself? What are your needs today? Do you intend to care properly for yourself so you can show up well tomorrow and the day after for those who rely on you?

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”

Consider finding moments of silence within your every day schedule by arriving to class or church early to sit in silence, or by turning off the radio on your commute to and from work. Perhaps you could utilize ear plugs for a few minutes as you move about your home or while running errands.

5. Execute your daily duties with contemplative purpose. Menial labor can bring mental clarity, the strengthening sense of accomplishment, and a much needed disconnect from over-stimulation. Care for animals, fold laundry, tend a garden, wash dishes, paint a bedroom etc.

Consider all the tasks in your day that you need to attend to and “stack” them so you are accomplishing more than one thing at a time. Stacking your duties and desires forces you to take a serious look at the details of your busy life, to sort and strategize.

Need to spend quiet time in nature and also workout? Take your fitness regimen outside.

Do you want to spend more time with your spouse and do yard work? Work together in the yard.

Don’t get discouraged by the personal deficiencies you may uncover while courageously confronting your inner self. Most people don’t even have the audacity to come as far as you already have.

There is untold profit to be made and unprecedented inner peace to be gained by following this through. Truth be told, you will probably find self-awareness to be a lifelong practice and a level of consciousness that becomes integral to your lifestyle and eminent success.

Glasses Photo by Dmitry Ratushny on Unsplash
Milky Way Photo by Štefan Štefančík on Unsplash
Road Photo by Felix Russell-Saw on Unsplash
Dirty Hands Photo by jesse orrico on Unsplash
Free Fall Photo by Julian Paul on Unsplash

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Self-Awareness- Cultivating Emotional Intelligence

To know thyself seems to mean something unique to each person. The value in the words comes directly from the process of self-reflection.

Folks who have the most need of increased self-awareness are the least likely to know it.

As you move forward in your journey to become more self-aware, you may find your emotions often standing in your way. We are both rational and emotional beings, and a part of our goals in life should be to meet our emotional selves, fearless, and grow in emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is one’s ability to identify, analyze, process, and modify or influence one’s own emotional state to produce a rational result. The importance of growing your emotional intelligence cannot be overstated.

Mastering and harnessing your own emotional reactions to stimuli is key in good decision making, leadership, conflict resolution, and debate. Having the skill to identify your own emotional state and react rationally is the fastest way to achieving your own goals.

So how do you cultivate emotional intelligence? You might have heard this before, but step one is to silence the negative, useless self-talk. Mute that inner voice that delivers nothing but baseless and arbitrary judgments on your own status and worth. That voice doesn’t truly know you or want what is best for you. That is why you are here, to change your inner dialogue to reflect the truth about yourself so you can move forward.

To know your emotional condition, it is essential that you change the questions that you ask yourself, especially when under duress.  

Exchange the “why?” for “what?”

Try “what is happening?” instead of “why is this happening?”
Instead of “why am I feeling this way?” ask “what am I feeling?”
Maybe the reason you’ve not been getting answers in your own life is because you’ve been asking yourself the wrong questions.

This is a simple, basic place to start.

It is imperative that you withhold self-condemnation at this stage of investigation. To become the master of your own emotional intelligence, resist self-judgment and just observe your own condition.

“Know thyself, and be temperate." -Plato

It should be noted here, that what you find within yourself, you may not like. Stay honest. Self-discovery can be a heartbreaking and nasty process. The truth is, underneath our foolish belief that we are all basically good, lies the reality of what we are all capable of.

Everyone with influence over another life is capable of doing great harm.

To truly “know thyself” has been said to be the art of precise communication. Start with your own self, then you’ll be free to ethically, efficiently, and effectively communicate and interact with others.

Girl Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash
Man Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash
Heart Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash 

Friday, April 6, 2018

5 Life-Changing Benefits to Becoming Self-Aware

When you grow in self-realization, it’s like waking up slowly.

1. When you are growing in self-awareness you are better able to understand and empathize with others. You have in that place the opportunity to become more patient and forgiving of others foibles.

When you invest your time and effort in developing self-awareness and you learn to relate better with others, you find yourself trusting more, forgiving more, and deepening the human connections you’ve made.

2. A curious benefit arises from this however, and it comes from the fact that it is through quality relationships with others that we find out the most about ourselves. Our true selves are revealed as we allow those special few to draw close to us.  

Whether we choose to acknowledge it or not, most of us are in positions of leadership.

Stop reading and think for a moment who looks up to you, is guided by you, or even relies on you for survival (children, friends or family dealing with addiction or depression, elderly parents etc.)

3. Self-awareness makes your leadership skills closer to what they need to be for each person that depends on you. You become better able to understand what their needs are and you can more clearly see the path to providing what is best for them.

We, in turn, are each guided in some way by our spouses, our siblings, our parents, bosses, friends, ministers, and law enforcers. The list goes on.

4. Knowing yourself well means you are open to appropriate and honest correction and instruction, are willing to learn, and are open to course correction. It means you are more gracious, humble, teachable, and that you will never travel life alone.

Because of your natural sense of public self-awareness, other people’s opinions about you will always matter to you. This is especially true regarding those in a close relationship with you.

There is a great deal of fear of judgement and condemnation that needs to be overcome if we wish to cultivate the relationships in our lives.
Knowing the inner man is one of the best ways to silence this fear of critique.

5. When you have come to a full knowledge and understanding of yourself, you will better be able to accept and process another person’s or group's opinions of you. You already know the truth, and there is nothing to fear.

“When there is no enemy within, the enemy without can do no harm.”
-African proverb-

Children Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Leader Photo by Jehyun Sung on Unsplash
Navigation Photo by Jehyun Sung on Unsplash