Episode 45 – Episode 45
Self-awareness is the foundation of all personal growth.
TODAY ON EXPAND YOUR LIFE PODCAST
Join me today as we discuss:
- What self awareness is
- Productive vs unproductive questions
- The importance of being a good judge rather than being judgmental
- The definition of a good judge
- What self awareness will give you and why does any of it matter?
- Where and how to start being more self aware
- Steps you can start taking today
Welcome to expand your life podcast. This is Jc Jones and you’re listening to episode 45.
Welcome back everyone. I hope you’re having a great week. Today we’re going to talk about self-awareness. If you listened to last week’s episode, you know that self-awareness is pillar #1 of personal development. It is the foundation of personal development. It is the first thing that becomes necessary to start incorporating into your life and into your day in order to start the process of growth.
Self-awareness asks questions. It looks for answers. It’s an evaluation tool that you use in order to figure out where you are at right now and how you got here. To determine where you want to be. What steps are necessary to get you there. To close that gap from where you are now to where you want to be, and to really figure out what’s standing in your way.
One thing that I learned over several years of asking myself questions is there are good questions that you can ask yourself, and there are some questions that are very unproductive. And I’ll give you an example of an unproductive question versus a productive question so you can kind of see the difference between the two. First:
Unproductive. Why is this happening to me?
More productive – What can I do, what steps can I take to figure out what is causing this to happen and what I can do to change that?
Do you see the difference in the questions? So the first question is, why is this happening to me? It’s almost more of a victim feeling question. Why me? Why is this happening to me?
And while this question can work to find the answers, it generally takes a lot longer to get to productive answers by using this “why?” mode of questioning. Sometimes there isn’t a why. And if you get stuck on the why, a lot of times you won’t see that there’s more to this problem than just the why. Where’s the solution in the why? Where’s the cause in the why?
When you ask a question and you start it with what, “what is causing this to happen?” what is more of a cause and effect type of question. It’s more of an investigative type of question that gives you more options. It gives you more places to look for answers. But also looking for steps to take to get to the answer, to get to the solution.
So not only are you asking, what the cause is for the problem that you have, but you are then looking for steps that you can take to create a solution for that problem. You’re not getting stuck on the “why?”, or becoming the victim of the circumstance or event of your life that you’re questioning.
You’re asking more of a solution-based question first, looking for the cause, and then looking for the possibilities of solutions. Much more productive. And you’ll get a lot further, a lot faster with any problem that you’re trying to solve for.
If you try to remember to use better questions for yourself, after a while, it’ll just start becoming a habit.
The second thing I want to go over a little bit where self-awareness is concerned is judging. Judgment. A lot of people come to me confused about self-awareness because once they start questioning themselves in their lives and the things they’re doing, they get really depressed. And so they come to me for help with that. What am I doing wrong?
So, one thing I want to point out that’s really important about growing your self-awareness is that you do it as a judge, but not in judgment. And I know that sounds confusing. So I will explain what I mean.
I think Socrates defined what a judge is the best. He defines the essential qualities of a good judge in these four things:
To hear courteously, To answer wisely, To consider soberly and To decide impartially. So,
- To hear courteously means to listen with respect for, and consideration of.
- To answer wisely means having experience, knowledge and good judgment. Good judgment requires critical thinking and empathy.
- To consider soberly means calmly, thoughtfully, rationally, and seriously.
- To decide impartially means making decisions with neutrality, detachment, with no bias, being open-minded and fair.
Now, if we look at this example of what a judge is, and if we were to use that in judging ourselves, would that create depression? Would that create any kind of self-blame? Shame? Self-loathing? I don’t think so.
And remember that “Why” question? That why question is also the fastest way to get you to ruminating and blaming and feeling depressed.
To be a judge of your life means that you have to be kind, empathetic, impartial. Basically nonjudgmental. I mean, if you look at how we view being judgmental, then it’s the complete opposite of that.
I think it’s very fascinating that we use those terms, but they are so very different from each other as far as their definition. So make sure that when you are asking questions about your life, or how you feel, or your thoughts and the things that you react to. Whatever it might be, that you be that impartial judge that is empathetic, unbiased, impartial person.
Did you know, that studies show that even though most people consider themselves, self-aware that only 10 to 15% of people really are. That’s a surprisingly low number. But it also might explain the state of the world that we’re living in right now. Something to think about.
Self-awareness is going to determine how clearly we see or understand or know what:
- Our values are
- Our passions
- Our aspirations, and dreams
- Our reactions
- Our thoughts
- Our beliefs
- Our perceptions
- Our feelings
- Our behaviors
- Our strengths
- Our weaknesses
- The impact that we have on others
- How and why we view the world, ourselves, and others the way that we do.
So why is this important? Why is any of this important? Well, the beginning of that list are things that are going to help you to create a better life and world for yourself. And to take responsibility for your results to empower you, to create the life that you envision or desire.
The second half of that list is going to provide you with the ability to have a positive, expansive, fulfilling relationship with others, with yourself, to be able to impact and reflect positively on your community, on your country, on your world.
It gives you the ability to have understanding and empathy towards others. To know those things that cause you to be the way that you don’t want to be. And then gives you the tools and the enlightenment of knowing how to create something different. To create a different result in your life.
One thing I’d like to circle back around to from the beginning of this podcast episode is that self-awareness closes that gap between where you are now and where you want to be. Once you know what A is and what B is, you start to see the possibilities and see the steps you need to take in order to close that gap.
- Remember to try focusing on “What?” questions rather than “Why?” questions.
- Become that judge that Socrates spoke about.
- Hear courteously.
- Answer wisely.
- Consider soberly.
- Decide impartially.
And we’ll end this episode with another question I get quite often is what questions should I ask? When do I know I need to become more aware of something? And I think the best place that you can start would be:
- Anywhere in your life that you feel like you have a problem
- Anytime you have an argument
- Anytime you have a negative feeling about someone or yourself
- Anytime that you feel like you have failed
- Anytime that you feel unhappy with your life
Any of those times are perfect opportunities to become more self-aware.
To figure out a better way.
And just start paying attention. Start paying attention to what you focus on. Start thinking about how you do want your life to look and feel like. Start journaling. When I started journaling my personal development journey shot forward and moved so much faster. Journaling for me helped me to process many of the things that I was dealing with much faster.
Like right now, one of the things I’ve been dealing with are reactions. I have certain things that I do not want to be a part of my life anymore. And just becoming more aware of my triggers and what is inside of me that feels the need to defend myself, you know, journaling, those things brings those out of me. Brings the reasons I have those automatic reactions to the surface. It gives me more understanding, quicker understanding and quicker awareness or noticing of these things when they come up for me.
And the more aware you become of anything in your life that like, like a reaction that you might have towards something, the more aware you become of these things in your life, the less problems you tend to have with them. Just the simple act of becoming aware of some of these triggers or some of these behaviors or thoughts that you might have and gaining some understanding behind what is causing them tends to help your mind to understand that they aren’t necessary. Aren’t relevant to your life now.
Anyway, that’s my tangent on journaling. If you haven’t tried it, I would recommend you at least give it a shot.
We’ll go ahead and end this episode today. Make sure to check back next week. We’re going to go over pillar #2, which is identity. So be sure to subscribe to the podcast, so you’ll get updates and notifications when new episodes are released. Have a great week. Bye for now.
THANKS FOR TUNING IN!
Thanks for tuning in to this weeks episode of Expand Your Life Podcast. Join me again next week where we will be discussing: Identity – Pillar 2 of Personal Development
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