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Why do some people keep doing damage to their bodies when they’ve seen all of the information on how bad something is for you? I call it ignorant intelligence, you know what to do but just don’t do it. Don’t get me wrong, I fall into this trap also, we justify our actions one way or another. So why do we keep on doing it? I ask myself that question all the time.
One of the things I’m aware of is my insatiable sweet tooth? (I have a bag of gum drops on my desk right now.) I know that I should have a healthier snack. I even force myself to walk past the candy aisle, just to stand at the checkout drooling over the candy bars. Now, I’m aware of why they put candy in the checkout line. Not only for kids to bug their parents, but for my subconscious to convince my conscious that it’s sugar time, or is it the other way around?
What I found interesting about awareness is that your subconscious doesn’t have the ability to discern what is right or wrong. If you tell yourself something your subconscious believes it and secretly acts on it. Yes, that even means bad things. If you tell yourself that you can’t do something then you won’t be able to do it. You’re negative towards yourselves if you say crazy things like;
I’ll never be able to buy a new car.
I don’t like cheese.
I’m fat and will never lose this weight.
I won’t be able to get the new position.
Etc, etc, etc.
We beat ourselves up and wonder why we stay stuck in a rut, but it’s where we tell ourselves to stay by using negative self-talk.
Jim Rohn said “Words do two major things: They provide food for the mind and create light for understanding and awareness.”
The most important conversation you have during the day is the one you have with yourself.
Change the negative self-talk to positive and tell yourself;
I’ll be able to learn that.
I’m saving money now to buy that new car at the end of the year.
I’m not a finicky eater.
I’m at my idle weight (even if you aren’t)
I will be successful.
Once you become aware of your negative self-talk you can change it around to be more positive, even if you might be telling yourself a little white lie. Your subconscious doesn’t know that it’s a lie and will automatically start to guide you toward making it a reality.
“What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.”
~ Abraham Maslow
So back to the opening comment, “Are you who you think you are,” and I would say yes. As James Allen in his classic book “As a Man Thinketh” states ;
“Mind is the Master-power that moulds and makes
And Man is Mind, and evermore he takes
The tool of Thought, and, shaping what he wills,
Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills:
He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass,
Environment is but his looking-glass.”
The internal thought process has been written about over and over, from the Greek philosophers to Napoleon Hill, to Stephen Covey and Dale Carnegie to John Maxwell. If you think that you won’t amount too much than you probably won’t amount too much.
How do you become more self-aware? I can think of a couple of ways;
1. Study the success classics like As a Man Thinketh (there are versions called As a Woman Thinketh) and Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill are two of my favorites.
2. Ask yourself a series of questions around these three questions;
• Who am I?
• What am I?
• Why am I here?
“To become different from what we are, we must have some awareness of what we are.”
~ Eric Hoffer
3. One way to learn about yourself is to take some self-assessments like the Myers-Briggs, Strengthfinders, DisC, or the John Maxwell Leadership Assessment. Once you read the reports you may become aware of why you do, or don’t do, certain things.
4. Find a personal coach. A coach can not only help you build on your professional career but they can also help with your personal life. A coach’s job is to ask the right questions so that you can find the answer within yourself and become more aware of the person closest to you, YOU.
I can understand why some people prefer to not learn more about themselves, it’s a tough subject, especially when you learn that YOU are your biggest problem.
What do you do to become more aware of the impacts your behavior and actions have on others and your own success?