Self-awareness means the conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives and desires.
When I first heard of self-awareness, I thought “oh yeah I am very self-aware.” “I know all about me, how I feel, why I feel it and so on. But little did I know that self-awareness was not that easy. In my opinion, self-awareness is the toughest part of this whole growth journey.
It doesn’t matter if your feelings, actions, motives, and desires are good or bad, comfortable or uncomfortable, self-awareness does not allow you to hide from any of it.
Of course, the discomfort of self-awareness is what makes it the hardest. No one likes being uncomfortable, and that applies to me as well.
However, there came a time in my life when I had no other choice but to look at myself in the mirror and figure out what I could do to make myself better. It’s extremely hard trying to overcome the challenges of mental health.
I’m sure it’s impossible to overcome it without being self-aware.
Without the presence of self-awareness there is no chance for growth.
Every single day I look through my newsfeed on social media, hear in the news, or on a podcast and I find so many people who are suffering mentally. This suffering has been and will continue to spread like wildfire.
No, my life is not perfect and I still suffer and I honestly can say that I’m still the cause of the majority of my suffering. Just a week from me writing this entry I had an anxiety attack. The difference now with me practicing self-awareness is that I never stay down for too long.
I thought it might be helpful to others by sharing how practicing self-awareness has helped me out tremendously in hopes that it can help the next person who is struggling mentally.
Here’s My 8
- Don’t Stay Down – When you are in a dark state, it is so easy to sit and just wallow in your sorrows for days on end looking for excuse after excuse to justify the way you are feeling. I used to create, (and still do) have that negative feedback loop playing over and over in my head convincing me that I have the RIGHT to feel how I feel. But being self-aware does something different. It allows you to stop, breathe, and take a step back. I reflect on my situation and although I may be able to justify the way I feel, I can also see that it’s not the end of the world. That can’t be done without being self-aware.
- Finding Solutions to My Problems Faster – If I spend a week being depressed and upset about something that has happened in my life. I have spent a week wasting good brain energy, when I could have been thinking of solutions. Now I let myself feel what I’m going to feel. The likely hood of me going back in time to change the event that has dramatically changed my life in some shape or form is not going to happen. So, I need to move on and come up with my next plan.
- Able to Identify Triggers/What’s Causing Bad Feelings – In the past when I had anxiety attacks I would think they came out of nowhere and just explode. But now I can identify when one is coming and what is causing it. Ekhart Tolle calls it your “Pain body” self-awareness allows me to see when my pain body is out and what’s causing it. When life starts happening to me and my pain body is out more than likely I know an attack is not far behind.
- No More Playing The Victim – I had a friend tell me one time that I was playing the victim and I was in complete shock, and disagreed at that moment. Looking back on the situation, I was indeed playing the victim. Once I became aware of all the times in my life I played the “victim” in something that was going bad in my life I started being able to own up to the part I played in my own suffering.
- Taking Responsibility For My Own Mental Health- There is not one person in this world who doesn’t have a story of pain and suffering. I use to put the responsibility for my mental health on the people that I felt contributed to the bad things that happened in my life. Whether or not they played a part, it’s still my life and I have control over how I respond to things.
- Clearly Communicate My Needs- When life is crazy, and you feel like everything is crashing down, its hard to think in those times so its almost impossible to tell someone what you need. When I practice self-awareness, I can identify why I feel a certain way and what I need to do in order to make me feel better. I first need to communicate that to myself and then my loved ones. Often I felt alone when I was surrounded by love and people who were willing to support me in any way they could if only I just told them that I needed help. With self-awareness I can, I communicate with my husband when I need some time alone, when I’m feeling emotional and need him to be more caring. I also communicate my needs to my daughter so that she is also aware and learns how to communicate her needs.
- Change Toxic Behavior – If you are aware of your toxic traits you can change them. Once I became aware of mine, I have worked into overdrive to change them. I do everything I can to try and treat people the way I want to be treated and just be an example of kindness, love, and grace. I can’t do that if I am causing pain and suffering to others and myself. I can’t do that without being self-aware.
- Cherish My Happy Times- I have now realized that good things never last…. but neither do the bad ones. I understand there will be ups and downs in life because after all that has been proven time and time again in my own life. However, there were so many good times I had and didn’t even cherish them to the point where they are just a faded memory. But there are bad things that I have held on to and can remember vividly to this very day. With self-awareness I am now able to cherish the times I have true happiness in my heart and the moments where suffering is nonexistent, even if its just for a moment.
Practicing self-awareness is something life-changing and a step in the right direction of growth. I hope me sharing my experience helps bring you some value.
Do you practice self-awareness?