ARE YOU RADICALLY HONEST WITH YOURSELF? 5 STEPS TO CULTIVATE SELF AWARENESS.
At the end of last week I re-launched my podcast with a facelift and had my amazing friend Anna Squelch on to talk all things radical authenticity (you can listen here, or find it on iTunes & Spotify by searching The Ground Up). We covered a lot of ground (see what I did there?), particularly around living and sharing your truth - and the power that brings in releasing any shame or guilt about the decisions we make and who we be in the world (that might not always look as we perceive it SHOULD, what society deems acceptable or what the glossy reels of Instagram tell us life looks like). Because the truth is, it's easier to live by what is TRUE for you than paper over what is not.
This got me thinking about how sometimes the hardest person to be honest with is ourselves. Studies show that 95% of people think that they’re self-aware, but only 10-15% actually are. You know the saying, ignorance is bliss? Sometimes I feel we apply that to ourselves - almost like there is a fear that if we take a real hard look in the mirror, we might not like what we see. But here's the 411, cultivating self awareness is NOT about judging what we find, making it mean anything or condemning ourselves. It's about noticing, getting curious and knowing it's the key to our freedom. Building an awareness of our patterns and habits is the FIRST STEP in creating radical and deep change because when we have awareness, we have choice.
So many of us want change and growth, but aren't even able to get honest with ourselves about where we are currently at - so we can't choose anything else. With awareness, comes choice and we can't intervene in a world we can't see. We are all our own individual worlds, and if we can't see it - we don't have a choice & are in complete autopilot.
So how do we develop self awareness?
1. Look at yourself, and where you're at in the various areas of your life, objectively.Start by identifying your current awareness by writing out your perceptions. This might be what you currently think you are great at, what you feel needs improvement, any habits you're aware of that may either support or hinder you. What are the thoughts that you have on a day to day basis? Are these serving you?
2. Take time to self reflect, and journal. Start taking 15 minutes a day to journal at the end of each day. What were the key thoughts that showed up? How did you FEEL throughout the day? Anxious? At peace? Did you say you were going to do something, and didn't follow through? Did any interactions trigger you? Just start to take note of any through lines or patterns that show up.
3. Stop asking WHY, and start asking WHAT. Remember what I was sharing about us being afraid to take a look under the hood? It could come down to the quality of questions we are asking ourselves. If we are asking why me, why am I like this, why don't I ever [fill in the blank], then self inquiry can be a bit f*cking grim to be completely honest. Asking more effective questions can make the whole process more fun, because as I have shared before our brains are wired to answer them. The more quality the question, the better the outcome. Switch up the why me's for what's. What could I do differently to change this behaviour? What would be possible if I created a new habit? What is most important to me? What is my top priority? What do I need in this moment? Feels lighter, right?
4. Practice mindfulness and meditation. This is a big one for me currently, and i'll tell you why. Last week I had a major breakthrough watching Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Ya wot m8? Yep that's right, it's not all cacao ceremonies and journaling around here for awareness. That breakthrough, was that I often allow anxiety to rule my day. Yes, I always thought I was a bit stressy, a worry wart perhaps. But never once was I TRULY willing to see my anxiety for the full fledged day ruiner it was, until I heard a real housewife share it in a way that I was like...huh, it me. From something I was clearly so unwilling to look at, this awareness has created a huge amount of choice and freedom for me because now I can catch it, celebrate I caught it (because yay, change and growth) and choose differently. What that has looked for me is a hell of a lot of mindfulness, breathing and daily meditation. Which has allowed me to be way calmer, tackle my days with a more grounded peace and eliminate my anxiety triggers.
5. Ask for feedback. As per my example above, sometimes we just can't see what we don't see. This is where asking our loved ones and people we trust to offer feedback on our blindspots is so helpful. Here's your challenge and the way to tee it up, let them know you are passionate about your growth and would love for them to provide you some feedback on your blindspots. All you can say in return? THANK YOU. No arguing back or defending. Just a simple thank you. Because guess what? YOU GET TO CHOOSE what you take on. This doesn't have to be your truth, and it's simply someone's perception.
Most importantly, if you DO catch something - CELEBRATE IT. Catching it means you're creating awarness and giving yourself oodles more choice and opportunity. Sounds happy dance worthy right? Hope you have an amazing week, Kirsten. If something resonated or supported you in this email, please let me know. If you want me to cover something in a weekly #confidencebite - let me know. Lots of love xo
Wan't to go deeper?
Watch: Increase your self-awareness with one simple fix by Tasha Eurich
Meditate: "I am SELF-AWARE" - Guided Meditation
Read: The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown
Do: Head over to my blog to find a clarity tool to support you to get honest where you're at, prioritise what you want to change and set a goal to actually do it.
PS - If you REALLY want to go ladyballs deep on creating self awareness and radical change, I have ONE x 1:1 spot open for coaching. Find out more & book a discovery call here.
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” ― Rumi