Posted on Jun 12, 2024

First awareness allows for choice and choice enables change

“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” ~ C.G. Jung

Welcome to a journey of self-discovery and transformation. Like you, I understand the desire to grow and the frustration of feeling stuck. Change often seems just out of reach, yet the key to unlocking it lies within us all. It's called self-awareness, and it's more powerful than you might realize.  It is a superpower that everyone already has, it just needs to be turned on or utilized. Read on to learn more.

The Universal Desire to Change

You are not alone in your quest for change. Many of my clients seek help to break habits, enhance relationships, or simply find peace. The common thread is the universal desire for change and the common barrier is often a lack of awareness of behaviors getting in the way.

No matter the intended outcome, the desire to change is universal. Additionally, the feeling of needing support because they find themselves hitting a roadblock is common among clients.

I have been in this position before. I have felt stuck and uncertain about how to move forward. And I am sure I will find myself in this same position again in the future. This is how I know seeking support can be extremely beneficial.

Looking at yourself to understand what’s keeping you stuck can feel like trying to see yourself in a mirror while your nose is pressed up against it. Working with a coach or asking for feedback from a trusted friend can be just what you need to back away from that mirror to see more clearly. 

The Subconscious Is Running the Show

Much of our behavior is driven by the subconscious, a part of us that operates below the level of conscious awareness. This can lead to actions that seem out of alignment with our desires:

  • Doing something and then questioning your motivation.
  • Asking, “Why did I do this? I didn’t want to behave this way.”
  • Saying, “I’ll quit [insert unwanted behavior] tomorrow.”
  • Regretting something you said or how you behaved.
  • Feeling like you have no control over your behaviors or what you say in a certain situation.

These are all signs that your subconscious beliefs are running the show, which is normal. It is difficult when the subconscious is driving your behaviors because you don’t know your beliefs and you don’t recognize your behaviors.

Self-awareness is the Catalyst for Change

To make a shift in a behavior that is being run by your subconscious, you must first be aware of what you are doing and the belief that is driving this behavior. Essentially, you must develop greater self-awareness. You must make what is unknown, known. You must bring what is unconscious into consciousness.

To change a behavior, you must first become aware of it. Self-awareness involves bringing the subconscious into consciousness and recognizing the beliefs that drive your actions. It allows you to see your true motivations and reshape them.

Your superpower, which everyone has, is the answer to the question you've been waiting for is self-awareness! According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of self-awareness is an awareness of one's own personality or individuality.

Self-awareness includes recognizing your strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, intentions, and emotions. Self-awareness allows you to understand other people, how they perceive you, and your responses to people and situations you experience.

Self-awareness MUST Come Before the Ability to Make a Choice

This ability to be aware is just the first step.  It is the most important step, however, because, without it, the other two steps cannot occur.  Awareness comes first and then you can choose.  For something to change, a different choice must be made.  

For example, if I am having the same fight with my husband about how much money we are spending, and I always accuse him of being at fault, the outcome of the fight will always be the same.  When I become aware of the habitual behavior, I can choose to approach the conversation differently. I have brought my behavior from the subconscious level to my conscious level.

First, awareness gives me a choice.  With this choice, I have the opportunity to change.

How Do You Build the Skill of Self-Awareness?

Start with your senses—sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch.  Use your senses to become aware of your experience interacting with others and the outer environment. Begin to pay attention to life going on around you in each present moment.  Gratitude is another doorway to building awareness.  Give this new 10-minute gratitude meditation a try.

Additionally, you have an inner sense of awareness.  This inner sensing is the message your body gives you.  It is your energy, feelings, and emotions.  This is a skill that meditation will help you build. Just like you may go to the gym to get stronger for life outside of the gym, you can practice self-awareness in meditation to improve this skill outside of your practice.

Check out this recent video for more information about building the skill of self-awareness.  

Start Right Now

Use these two exercises to start building your awareness skills.

  • Mindfulness of your outer environment: Look around the space you are in and name 3 things you can see.  Then use 3 words to describe each one. (This is a great tool to be present and send a signal of safety to your nervous system.)
  • Mindfulness of your inner experience: If it’s safe to do so, close your eyes.  Notice the first sensation that you become aware of and in your mind, use 3 words to describe how it feels. Next, notice one part of you that feels a little uncomfortable and use 3 words to describe how it feels. Finally, notice one part of you that feels good and use 3 words to describe how it feels.  (This is an exercise that will help you get out of your head and into your body.)

I’m not here to tell you what to believe or change how you think.  My invitation for you today is to practice using your awareness.  Consider what your life might look like when you bring what is unconscious into your conscious awareness.  What might change for you?

For a deeper understanding of mindfulness and meditation, join me for the FREE 7-day Foundations of Meditation Course.

Take good care,

Sara Raymond 

The Mindful Movement

P.S. For a more personalized approach, work 1:1 with Sara with Hypnotherapy or Somatic Transformational Coaching.