Building from my last blog, to dive a bit deeper into ways to increase your own self-awareness, I’d like to offer some tips on a few key aspects that worked for me in my own journey of awakening and that I have used to successfully coach clients to wake up – along with key insights from others who also have been on the same journey throughout time.
Contemplation, Observation & Study
Often the first and easiest step comes when you realize where you are, who you have become, what work you are doing, and/or how your relationship(s) aren’t offering you satisfaction, happiness, fulfillment or meaning any longer. You sense internal restlessness. Something about your life is tugging, rubbing, and not feeling right. You may have all your material needs met and more, yet with all your worldly successes, you do not seem as happy as you thought you would be by now or do not feel as fulfilled as you earlier had hoped. Maybe you feel stuck, afraid, or lost. You may find that you are questioning your sanity, because everything is going just as planned, yet something is missing.
Contemplation, observation and study allow you to take stock of where you are, to begin to address any uneasiness you are experiencing. You look at your career, your relationships, and your life. Be more open to honest reflection. Maybe you buy a book or begin reading the ones others have been reading and recommending. You may attend personal or professional growth seminars to obtain new knowledge. You may have deeper discussions with friends, spouses, siblings, or parents. You begin to ask a lot of questions and continue looking for answers, and slowly your awareness expands. This phase may seem to go in cycles where new information comes in waves and you are overwhelmed with information. You start and stop and repeat the cycle, possibly many times, maybe for the rest of your life, because it is an integral part of any intention to expand your self-awareness. Journaling here is very helpful, for it allows you to deepen the conversation you are having with yourself, and allows you to note progress along your path. I recommend you get more comfortable with yourself in the self.
Assessing Limiting Beliefs
I think the most important aspect of “waking-up” is to take a hard, deep, real, honest look at your entire belief system. As I stated in my book Wake Up, Get Real, Be Happy-Becoming Your Authentic Self . . .
“Beliefs drive our lives. Many beliefs are instilled while we are growing up. We have beliefs about life in general that allow us to experience safety, efficiency, and predictability. We have beliefs about people, society, and organizations. Some beliefs affect the way we see situations, ideas, and information. Most of the time, we do not realize that our beliefs drive our day-to-day activities and thoughts, but they always are there. The automatic tapes are running constantly in the back of our minds. Beliefs are the stories that run in the background of our minds. What are your old stories telling you, and how accurately do they match your current understanding of the world and your place in it? Listen to how negative your initial thoughts or reactions are, and see which belief may have triggered it.
“Some beliefs are limiting or negative-based. These beliefs limit our ability to succeed. They might be conscious or subconscious, true or false, and we typically have a few that do all the damage. They act like brakes on our ability to progress through life. Although we make progress, they can pull us back at any moment. We may base our entire lives on these beliefs. They were made while we were young or without the faculties, experience, and facts necessary to interpret events realistically. They are at the core of self-image, decision-making, and motivation systems, and they carry forward into adulthood. Past beliefs are not always true, yet they often have strangleholds on us unless we can be objective about them. Our challenge is to see that limiting beliefs are not the truth. We have an opportunity to consciously choose our truth, and then we can lead our lives with awareness, personal power, and authenticity. We can lead the lives we choose to lead, and let the old imposter be no more.“
Getting out of the vicious cycle of limiting beliefs requires us to do the following:
- Identify the beliefs.
- Eliminate them, consciously and continuously.
- Replace them with beliefs that allow us to be and do anything we desire.
“It can be a lifelong battle, but it is one that we can win! We have to challenge them consciously whenever they show up. We must reject any thoughts of limitations, and replacing them with a positive stream of thinking starves them and forces them to wither and die. Self-help guru Jim Rohn says, ‘You cannot take a mild approach to the weeds in your mental garden. You have got to hate the weeds enough to kill them. Weeds are not something you handle; weeds are something you need to decimate.’”
The following topics are addressed more in my book and can offer initial guidance into these very important topics that expand and deepen one’s self-awareness:
Understanding the Ego & Assessing Fear Patterns
Intimacy, Vulnerability & Shame Work
If any of these topics resonate more with you, take that as a sign and follow it, do some research, use the internet to connect with others working within that area and open yourself up to new insights.
Other programs exist that also enhance your journey inward, and we will be talking more about these over time:
Many are also tapping into experts who can offer personal coaching in this prime area of awakening to your authentic self. You may want to consider hiring a coach – someone who you really resonate with, who has expertise in this area, and who can offer you a process that your intuition can lean in to and trust. Many are finding that by hiring a coach they speed up their personal development, and find beneficial short-cuts that may have taken years to discover on their own. The first 15 years of my awakening journey were primarily solo, mainly because I didn’t know about coaching, and because I was protecting my own fears and insecurities about others finding out about what I was doing. I have hired numerous coaches, each having some specific specialty that I felt I needed at the time, and I am so much better for it. I hope you too will consider adding a coach to your toolkit for your own awakening!
So much to cover, so little space in this blog, yet my hope is to trigger something within you that will help you awaken more, be open more to self-reflection and self-assessment, and ultimately to self-realization!
I found this quote very helpful:
“What got me here won’t get me there!”