What I’ve learned from my self-awareness journey and some lessons for you too!
Self-awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life without any attachment to it being right or wrong, good or bad -Debbie Ford
A self-awareness journey is a journey that every human being should undertake in their life. It’s the most liberating journey full of valleys and uphill climbs but once you embark on it, you will never be the same. This self-awareness journey happens in different moments of our lives and it may take different periods. For some, it takes a month, a year, or a lifetime.
When you choose to go through this journey, it’s important that you leave no stone unturned. Failure to do so means you have not explored all then nooks of yourself and you will not have got the best out of it. You may have to start all over again to achieve a better position in your self-awareness. I can’t say I have achieved full self-awareness, it’s a desirable position, but I am far ahead of the journey than I was a year ago.
What is this self-awareness journey?
It involves a lot of steps which all lead to self-awareness, the liberation of the mind and freedom. It involves reflecting on your past, self-reflection and asking some really deep questions to explore your innermost self. Here are some steps involved in this self-awareness journey.
Self-awareness involves reflecting on your past
It involves going back to your past and identifying things that you feel still hurt you. The events hurting you from your past vary in their nature. You might have had a past that involves a broken family which affected your childhood but you never dealt with it. It could be that you fell out with a friend you loved dearly due to broken trust from either party. It could also have to do with past emotional or physical abuse. Other stuff in the past that you may not have dealt with are such as;
- Feeling of unworthiness due to unaccomplished goals
- Emptiness due to over accomplishment in some areas and failure in others
- Broken trust and relationships.
- Unaccomplished goals due to financial incapability
- Failure to live up to societal expectations
- Peer pressure
- Heavy workload
- Poor pay
- Dealing with long term illnesses
What are you doing about your past?
You can’t undo what happened in the past, but you can choose how it affects you. A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. A young black man saw a gap in his society and decided he could bring change by altering the way things were historically done. However, he knew that he had to put in a lot of work for him to impact on a racist society. He started from the grassroots by doing community work and talking to people one on one to understand their needs and their mindset. Eventually, he decided to run for the presidency.
His campaign slogan ‘you can be the change that you want’ resonated not only with Americans who so desperately wanted political change but to people from all walks of life who were silently yearning for change in their lives. After a lot of hard work, endless campaigns and sleepless nights, this man went ahead to be voted in as the first black president of the United States of America.
What does this teach us? If you don’t like something about yourself, should you work on it or live with it and complain about it for the rest of your life? Rome was not built in a day but they had to start building it one day. You can do anything if you put your mind to it. You might not see a change in a week or a month but if you work on something consistently and relentlessly you will eventually experience liberation.
How to deal with your past
The big question is how do you do something about it?
You can’t change everything about yourself instantly. Devote time to changing one thing at a time and once you are done with it tackle the next one. The first step is facing your demons. Woo woo wooh! … Easy. I am not telling you to go to hell. Easy. It’s about facing your past that dark past. We all have a past what varies is the pitches of darkness. For some its pitch dark you can’t even see through. For others it’s moderate but hey, if it still bothers you, work on it.
Most of us would love to ignore or erase our past but it’s a part of who we are. All we need to do is make peace with it to a point where it stops interfering with our current life so that we can have the energy to work on our future. Own your past, embrace it, make peace with it but don’t get stuck in it. Deal with your demons one by one till you are at peace.
You cannot accept all of you or be kind to yourself unless you are aware of your strengths and your weakness. You can’t make meaningful decisions or even understand what makes you happy unless you are aware of yourself.
This can be done by taking time off work, going on a vacation, seeking counseling, meditating, praying and fasting, researching on your area of interest on the internet. Working out regularly will give you a clear mind as you go through this journey.
The whole idea is to get time alone to reflect on your inner self to understand yourself better.
Self-awareness involves self-reflection
Self-awareness allows you to self-correct -Bill Hybels
The following reflective questions will help you reflect on different areas of your life and identify which ones you need to work on.
- How is my relationship with myself?
- Do I love myself?
- Is there something I would like to change about myself?
- Do I find it difficult to spend time by myself?
- Do I blame myself for other people’s mistakes?
- Do I blame myself when things don’t go as planned?
- Am I too hard on myself?
- Do I like the person I am becoming?
- What’s other people perception about me?
- Do I care too much about what people think of me?
- How is my relationship with others?
- Do I love my friends?
- Do my friends reflect on my character?
- How much influence do they have on me?
- Do I succumb to peer pressure easily?
- Do I try too hard to be loved or to fit in?
- Do I want to be like my friends?
- What are the negative traits I dislike about my friends?
- What are the positive traits I love about my friends?
- Do my friends build me or break me?
- Do I see myself with the same set of friends in the next 10 years?
- If I think we will have grown together or stagnated?
- How was my childhood?
- Was it a happy one, sad or terrifying?
- Did I go through any kind of emotional or physical trauma?
- Do I blame my shortcomings on my parents or siblings
- Did I have many friends?
- Was I outgoing or shy?
- Did I struggle to fit in?
- Did my childhood experiences play a role in the person that I have become?
- Have I let go of all my childhood scars or do I still hold on to my childhood experiences
- How is my love life?
- Am I in a healthy relationship?
- Am I respected?
- How do I want to be treated?
- Am I in an abusive relationship whether physically abusive or emotionally abusive?
- Do I feel like I try too hard and get nothing in return?
- Is there something I would want to change about my current relationship?
- Am I willing to do something about my current situation?
- Am I satisfied with my life as it is?
- Am I content?
- What areas of my life would I want to work on?
- Do I enjoy what I do?
- What is my talent?
- Am I utilizing it?
- What am I good at?
- How much time and effort do I put to develop my talent?
- Do I let others know of my talent or am I shy about it?
- How do I want to use my talent?
- What are my hobbies?
- Do I love doing it alone or with others?
- Why do I enjoy doing it?
- Does it bring me joy?
- Are there more activities I would like to pursue to bring me more joy?
- What makes me angry?
- How do I react when I am angry?
- Do I have anger issues?
- Do I get angry when around other people?
- Am I mean when I am angry?
- What calms me down?
- What stresses me?
- Do I recognize stress triggers
- Do I do something when I notice signs of stress to deal with it adequately?
- How do I treat the people around me when I am stressed?
- Do I love the company of others or do I isolate myself when stressed?
- What vices do I engage in when stressed?
- Does this leave me filling fulfilled or empty?
- What can I do to manage stress better?
- What are my regrets?
- Are there actions in my past that I regret?
- Did I come to terms with it or am I still stuck on the mistake?
- Did I learn from it?
- Did I become a better person?
- Will I do it again?
- Am I still doing it?
- What can I do to ensure I stop doing it?
- How do I measure my self-worth?
- Is it by the money I have in my bank accounts?
- Is it by the number of friends I have?
- Is it by my achievements?
- What’s my goal in life?
- Do I know my goals?
- Are my goals realistic?
- What have I been doing to achieve my goals?
- Have I stopped growing?
- Do I feel like nothing will ever change?
- Am I willing to start now to work on my goals?
- Am I at a happy place?
- What is my definition of happiness?
- Am I happy?
- Is happiness achievable?
- Do I consider myself worthy of happiness?
- Am I willing to work on being happy?
- Have I let go of baggage to achieve peace of mind?
- Have I harmonized my past with my present to achieve peace of mind?
Guest post by Marci Shiro.
Mercy loves to travel, fashion, decorating and wine.
She’s an aware and proud ENFJ.
You can follow her travel and fashion chronicles on Instagram @marci_shiro
This article originally appears on her new blog https://marcishiro.wordpress.com/