by Jenny Hester
What are your dreams? What is your purpose? It seems these questions are asked often these days. Yet, for most women they are not sure how to answer either one of them. I have heard from many middle aged women that they are not sure what they want to be when they grow up. This is a reflection of a lack of self-awareness.
Self-awareness is an understanding of those deep rooted beliefs about our spirituality, our emotions, our fears, our strengths, our weaknesses, our likes, our dislikes, and our core values. To find these beliefs we have to be completely honest with ourselves. Completely honest.
Self-awareness can be a scary place to go poking around in, as there may be things we have locked away for protection from past hurts or trauma’s. If we are to move forward in life and find out what our dreams are and what our purpose is, we have to acknowledge who we truly are, this means being aware of the self. As women, we are usually putting ourselves on the back burner to take care of our families.
Here are 5 simple ways to begin to increase our self-awareness and not neglect our other obligations.
- We need to pay attention to our thoughts. When we meet someone for the first time, what goes through our mind? Are the thoughts negative toward this person, do we immediately start comparing ourselves to them? This could be a lack of self-confidence on our part? If so, why do we have low self-confidence? Our thoughts will tell us an enormous amount of information about ourselves, but we must pay attention to them and then ask ourselves very honestly, why did I think that? See what Farnoosh Brock of Prolific Living has to say about comparing ourselves to others in this post.
- Watch our reactions. Do we react or respond to situations? There is a big difference. If we react to a situation, it is usually a knee jerk reaction that is a habit. Someone who is quickly angered is usually doing so as a reaction and likely has unresolved issues that need to be addressed. If we respond to a situation, then we act after we have given the situation some thought and move forward with a plan. If we are a reactor, instead of a responder, we need to take the time to find out why? Zen Habits shares their insight to this.
- Read. Reading non-fiction books can open our eyes to issues that we didn’t even know existed. How can we fix something that we are not even aware that’s broke? Educating ourselves in the many areas of life will improve our awareness. Read Brian Tracy’s thoughts on being a continual learner.
- Learn to be still. We were not made for this continual bombardment of incoming data/information. Living on Facebook and reality TV is not food for thought. We need to allow our minds to slow down and rest as well as our bodies. Mediation is a great way to accomplish this goal. You can learn more about meditation from Dina Proctor.
- Journal. Journaling is one of those times where we can let it all out. The more we write, the more comes out. Our mind starts to relax and the ideas begin to flow. Sometimes the ideas flow so fast that we can’t keep up, it’s like a run-away freight train. Our mind seems to have been waiting to release all of this information but never had the format to do it. We need to give our minds the opportunity to release all the greatness that it has stored in it. You will love what your mind has to share with you. Charles Sue-Wah-Sing shares some very good insight on the benefits of journaling in this article.
Becoming self-aware is an ongoing process and does not happen overnight. As we start to learn about ourselves, it’s as if we peel layers off. We soon discover new and exciting things about ourselves. We may discover talents and passions that we never knew we had. This is more of a journey than a destination. At first, it can be scary, but eventually it’s fun and exciting. We have to be willing to be open minded and forgiving. Learn to laugh at the faults and love them for making you unique.
As you become more self-aware, the real you shines through and you will like what you see. This is called becoming our best self. Be honest and forgiving of yourself and others on this journey. As we become our best self we see our relationship with ourselves and others improve. As we learn to love ourselves, that love will flow through in all of our relationships. This allows us to become the women we were made to be and live that true authentic life.
Jenny Hester is a wife, mother of 3, beach lover, blogger, coach, and the author of the Amazon #1 Best Selling book, “21 Ways to Invite Excellence into your Life”. After years of living behind self-imposed emotional walls, Jenny knocked those walls down when she discovered the key to living an authentic life. Her study of self-awareness, personal development, and positive mindsets unlocked the potential inside of her that she never knew existed. Today she loves to share with other women the keys to finding our best self and living the life we were created to live.