I have to inform you of something important. It’s time to start being truthful with yourself. I understand that you may not want to hear this, but you’ve been deceiving yourself. The worst part? You might not even be aware of it.
But that’s okay. It’s normal to lie to ourselves to some extent. We must find a way to align our values with our actions. We don’t want to feel like we’re going against ourselves, so we rationalize our actions so that they’re less painful.
To make real changes and live the life you want, you must break this pattern. You must take complete responsibility for your life and develop self-awareness. Without self-awareness, you won’t be able to make real progress because you aren’t even aware of the problem.
For instance, if you’re more than 30 pounds overweight, and you keep saying, “I don’t eat that badly,” or “My diet isn’t that bad,” then you need to recognize that your diet is 80% of the equation for losing weight. You also need to realize that you’re the only one who has the power to change anything.
As Nathaniel Branden once said, the first step is awareness, and the second step is acceptance. Without self-awareness, you’ll hardly realize that there’s anything to change, or what’s holding you back from reaching your goals.
So, how do you cultivate self-awareness to live the life you desire? Here are five practical practices to try:
Have an Accountability Partner, Coach, or Trainer:
One of the best ways to increase awareness is to work with a coach or expert in the area of life you’d like to change. Working with a coach has been invaluable to me over the years. It’s been able to show me parts of myself I don’t want to look at but are essential to my growth. A coach creates a safe space for you to be honest with yourself while holding you accountable for achieving your goals. Whenever you get off track, they guide you back.
Meditation is an excellent way to start observing your thoughts and actions. It slows down the moment and increases your present awareness. The more you practice meditating, the more you’ll begin to watch your thoughts as they show up. You can then ask yourself if you would like to change them. I use meditation to review my day and let go of the thoughts and actions that no longer serve me.
Clear Goals and Measure Behaviors:
If you don’t know where you’re going, it doesn’t matter what you do. By having clear goals and outcomes, you’ll notice if you’re getting closer to your goal or not. One fundamental tenet of this is, “You’re responsible for everything that happens in your life.” When you take complete responsibility, you have the power to change it. If you aren’t getting the results you desire, what do you need to change? From there, measure the behaviors or actions that bring you closer to your goal. I recommend tracking with MyFitnessPal for this reason. It’s less about tracking and more about gaining awareness. You must increase your awareness of what you eat and how often. You’ll also learn a lot about the foods you eat, such as calories, fats, carbs, and protein.
Journaling is an excellent way to review your day, record your thoughts, and answer questions about yourself. People have been journaling their ideas and insights for ages. Use this tool to help you uncover your blind spots and expand your awareness. I like to use sentence stems. For sentence stems, create a sentence that you fill in the blank with five to ten answers that you’d like to “uncover.” Try them out for yourself and see!
In conclusion, cultivating self-awareness is crucial for personal growth and living the life you want. It requires taking full responsibility for your life, acknowledging the areas you need to work on, and aligning your values with your actions. By practicing meditation, journaling, setting clear goals, and seeking feedback from others, you can increase your self-awareness and transform your life. The journey to self-awareness is ongoing, and it requires commitment and dedication to make real progress. So, take the first step today and commit to one of the practices mentioned to start your journey towards greater self-awareness.