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It’s One Thing to Have Self-Awareness, Another to Change

Self-knowledge and having self-awareness of our styles and patterns are the only gig in town as far as I am concerned for those of us who want to be successful in any area of life we choose. Knowing and having an eye on our habits, tendencies, feelings, reactions, avoidances, failings, desires and the things that make us who we are is something that takes time and effort to achieve. The results can be priceless and infinite.


Self-Awareness is Vital

Self-awareness is key to change and personal growth but it is only half the battle. Real change and growth can only occur when we actually commit to changing some of the patterns which we have picked up throughout our lives.

Many clients of mine get the initial kick out of self-awareness of their patterns and are excited that they have noticed certain traits and tendencies. Frustration can kick in when they feel they have no power to overcome these tendencies and find themselves repeating the behaviours in the areas of their lives that they have committed to change. In my experience, the best tracking method I found was journaling and writing my thoughts down about my behaviours, thoughts, and patterns and then reading them back later on, but everyone needs to find their own best method of tracking.

There are many apps on the market now to help you track this and that, from what you eat to how many steps you take. If they work for you, great! Daniel Kahneman throws a curveball at the idea of well-being by shining a light on how our experiencing self and our remembering self are actually different referents. This is something to have some self-awareness of when thinking about the experience of our lives.


Life Can Be How You Want it

Changes and new choices for the sake of perceived better well-being are worth it even if they are hard-won. I can’t imagine a life where I would still be working in a job I felt terrible going to or being in relationships that didn’t work for me. Behavioural changes that feel like they will never be overcome can be overcome with effort and a commitment to the long game.


A Few Worthwhile Tips

    1. Seek the help of a friend by receiving some accountability from them. If you cannot find someone to hold you accountable, a life coach is a very good choice to hold your feet to the fire. A coach’s role is to continually empower you with your commitment to positive change. This relationship can help you see past your blind spots to where you may not necessarily see yourself falling down. Somebody in your corner championing your efforts helps push through the times when you feel hopeless about change and feel as if you are on a merry-go-round to nowhere.
    2. Write out your goal in positive wording. Goals such as ‘I don’t want to stay up past 11 pm’ are not useful. The brain cannot compute a negative so it sees ‘I want to stay up past 11 pm’. A better-stated goal would be ‘I am going to consistently go to bed at or before 10 pm on weekdays’.
    3. Tick your performance on a sheet of tick boxes. Write out a clearly stated goal and put a tickbox for the specific actions beside it. Tick them off as you perform the tasks. This is a subtle reward function that equips us with the feeling of efficacy. It gives us the sense that we are doing well which boosts our self-esteem.  We all want a feeling of being in control of our destiny. (My coaching program Mapping Your Mastery contains these kinds of documents)
    4. Journal your progress and try to remove the sensor from your mind. When you journal and track your progress well, you start to hone a better relationship with yourself. Your honesty levels with yourself can increase and you can minimise your tendencies to deceive yourself. We all make excuses for not following through on our obligations. Many times the issue is that we are not following through on actions because of our minds. The mind offers us beautifully crafted excuses why we shouldn’t take actions we have committed to.


The most important thing for you to do is take action. I like the 5-second rule by Mel Robbins. This is a great way to overcome the stubbornness and resistance to take action that many of us feel. Give it a go and take it slowly with small things you want to change. Out of the little wins come the big wins.

I am a Freedom Coach and Mentor – I help freedom-loving people in their early/mid-career create a Successful Mindset. If you would like to explore some of these themes and move towards achieving more freedom this year, let’s connect and set up a call.

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