In my last post, we discussed how to feel self-worth, using what I call, “The Pyramid of Self-Worth.” Today, we get to start working through the steps of the pyramid, toward our ultimate goal of increasing our sense of self-worth.
Before we start, let me say, I realize this is just a blog, and we certainly won’t be able to cover every aspect of discovering self-worth for every person, but I believe in these principles, and I’ve seen them work before. Following The Pyramid of Self-Worth, we can discover, or rather uncover, who we really are. We can feel our true potential. We can grow in self-worth.
What is self-awareness?
Before we can practice self-awareness, we first must understand what self-awareness is and what gets in our way of being more self-aware. For our purposes, self-awareness means “the ability to allow yourself to see all of you—including the good, the not-so-good, and yes, even the ugly.”
What blocks self-awareness?
For many, self-awareness is difficult. Some simply have no interest in self-awareness, but most start out aware but then block self-awareness. Why is this so? Bottom line…I think it all boils down to fear:
1) Fear of seeing something really ugly if we dig too deep.
2) Fear of feeling worse about ourselves because of what we see.
3) Fear that, once we see, we’ll have to make change, and changing can be scary.
Watch this “3-Minute Therapy” YouTube video on “Feeling Self-Worth: Step 1–Practice Self-Awareness.”
Self-awareness requires courage.
It certainly can be challenging to become self-aware. Self-awareness requires courage. You may be saying, “But I’m not courageous.” Yes, you are. It takes courage to read this article. It takes courage to get honest with yourself and how you are, and who you are. It takes courage to desire to change, to work on that desire. Yes, you are courageous, and that is great news, because self-awareness requires courage.
Self-Awareness dispels the fear and brings peace.
Sure, it might be tough to see what we see at first, but eventually, as we see all of who we are, we become free of it. As we courageously take a deep breath, open up our heart, and step inside, we find the truth, and as the bible says, “the truth shall set you free”—free of fear. It’s easy to fear the monsters hiding in the closet, but seeing them in the light takes the fear away. The more of us we expose to the light, the less there is to fear, because the more we know.
Self-awareness opens us up to the truth, and that gives us the opportunity we need to accept that truth, as we will discuss in the next post. This is the ultimate gift of self-awareness—peace. No longer do we fight against the dark parts of who we are; instead, as we see and name the darkness, we bring it to light. And who’s afraid of the light?
Self-Awareness can be exciting.
Hard as it might be to practice self-awareness, it can also be exhilarating. We not only see the “negatives;” we also get to discover our strengths. We get to understand who we really are, and not just who others, or the world, tell us we are. We get to grow toward our true potential. That’s why self-awareness is such an exciting endeavor: It opens the door for lifelong progress.
The Pyramid of Self-Worth: Step 1–Practice Self-Awareness
1) First and foremost–Leave the judgment out of it. Self-awareness is not self-judgment. It’s looking, and seeing, and discovering who you really are. So, check your judgment at the door. Let yourself open up and freely see it all.
2) Take a searching look at who you are. Ask yourself, “Who am I?” Then, listen. You will likely hear all kinds of answers–from the outward descriptions, like “I am a teacher, friend, and runner”–to the inward, “I am hopeful, happy, hard-working”–to the very deep, “I am God’s child. I am a spirit, an eternal soul. I am love. I am filled with divine potential.” Whatever you hear, take note. You are beginning an important process, one that will last a lifetime. Take your time and listen to what your heart is continually whispering about you.
3) Take a closer look at how you are. Ask, “How am I?” I’m not talking about how you feel; I’m talking about how you are in the world–with other people, in your daily life, in your relationships. How do other people see you? What strengths or weaknesses have you seen through other people’s eyes? What have other people said about you from which you might learn something? We’re not interested in judgments of who you are as much as opening your eyes to see all of who and how you are. So, be willing to open yourself up. Be willing to see how you are in the world. Gather the evidence like a detective. Lay all judgment aside. Simply open your eyes and take a courageous look.
4) See your weaknesses. We all have them, you know–weaknesses. Some of us can easily identify twenty, while others might struggle to see even one or two. Whichever end of the spectrum you’re on, it’s time to get realistic. See the things with which you struggle. See the areas that need more work. You might have a quick temper, be extremely shy, have debilitating fears, suffer from depression, or be extremely sensitive to hormone changes or sleep loss. Whatever weaknesses you discover, remember this: Weaknesses do not make you a weak person. They make you human. With time and work, your weaknesses can become your greatest strengths.
5) See your strengths. Some of us struggle more to see our strengths than our weaknesses. Some reject compliments or any words of kindness or praise. But we have strengths, too–all of us. You might be a great listener, an excellent cook, a talented musician, gardener, or computer genius. You might be great with kids, a natural leader, extremely compassionate, or responsible. Search out your strengths. They are your best assets–the ones you’ll eventually want to develop and share with the world. Seeing your strengths is an important part of self-awareness, for they are an important part of who you are and who you are destined to become. (More on strengths & weaknesses, read this.)
Be sure to check out all of this 5-part series:
Build Your Sense of Self-Worth–
Try one or more of these “tools” to help you begin your practice of self-awareness.
1) Practice self-awareness. As you go throughout your day today, open your heart and your eyes. Notice how you interact with others. Notice how you feel inside. Notice the things that come easy to you and those with which you struggle. Work on leaving the judgment out–simply see. When it gets hard to see these things, stop and take 10 deep breaths. Remind yourself that self-awareness is a courageous act, one that will lead you to a stronger sense of self-worth and purpose. At the end of the day, write down what you have discovered.
2) Create your “I Am” List. Imagine you’re a detective, out to explore and gather the facts about who you are. Start with two lists: “I am,” and “I am not.” The more you uncover, the more you keep adding to your lists.
3) Start a list of “strengths” and “weaknesses.” Again, no judgment. Your job is merely to uncover the truth–to see all parts of you. Add to your lists as you learn more and more about yourself. Read this article for more on Strengths & Weaknesses.
Leave a comment below with your thoughts on self-awareness, and be sure to join us next time as we work on “Self-Acceptance.”
Be sure to check out Dr. Hibbert’s Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow–
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