The truth is that some of us are alive and yet not living. Some people have even fabricated different versions of who they think, they need to be and live under that facade. Others have been through a chapter of terrible pain, leaving behind a withdrawn version of who they once were. Then there are the individuals, who as children due to trauma never had the opportunity to learn who they truly are. There are many reasons why we have drifted from true authenticity. As a therapist, I’ve discovered that many individuals experiencing depression and other ailments all have a common denominator, lack of Self Awareness. In this article I will be sharing one-powerful technique that will elevate your self-awareness, in order to live the most fulfilling and authentic life.
As you read this article, I want you to ponder this question… WHO ARE YOU?
You would be surprised how many people; I’ve asked this simple question to and the most common answer is: I don’t know! The question then becomes… How do you embark on one of the most amazing journeys you will ever take? Knowing who you are is deeper than knowing your favorite color and food.
This journey begins with Self-Awareness. Self-Awareness allows you to function with a higher level of consciousness. Raising your level of consciousness empowers the “internal self.”
Adults with higher level of self-awareness (higher consciousness) typically:
*Believe in themselves
*Know what they want or need
*Poses high levels of self-respect
*Are emotionally honest about their thoughts/feelings
Adults with a lower level of Self Awareness (lower consciousness) typically have a:
*Difficulty identifying their strengths: “I don’t know what I am good at.”
*Setting personal boundaries: “Well I really don’t want to, but okay.”
*Developing healthy relationships: “Everyone takes advantage of me.”
*Negative coping skills: “I feel lonely, I should call my ex?”
*Destructive inner critic: “Nobody loves me, and nobody ever will.”
*Unmet emotional needs: “I’m always sad.”
People always ask me, “Does therapy really work?” My answer is “It works, if you work.”
Plucking negative core beliefs, muting the inner critic and creating new thinking patterns all require personal growth (work).
Part 1: As painful as it may be for some people, it is important to SIFT through your childhood, because whether you like it or not that is where it all began. On a sheet of paper answer the following questions: A. Were your emotional needs met as a child? B. What were the unconscious messages your received from your parents/caregivers? C. How do you think your childhood has influenced the person you are today?
Step 2: Is unforgiveness or hatred renting space in your head? Is there a person from your past that that still has the ability to trigger you? Does this person still have the ability to either make you angry or cause you pain? On a sheet of paper write them a letter, and release the anger and hurt they caused you, allow yourself to use any words you want and make it as long as you want. Give yourself permission to cry and be vulnerable while writing the letter, (do not mail letter) instead give it to God (the universe). I want you to find a safe place and burn it, the ashes represent all the negative feelings disintegrating away. This exercise will produce the emotional relief your mind needs.
Step 3: There is only one of YOU in this world. There is something you contribute to this world in a way, no other person can. On a sheet of paper, I want you to write down some of your strengths, what is one thing that makes your heart sing? Identify your life’s purpose by identifying things that you are passionate about. Your passion leads to your purpose.
I am confident that this exercise heightened your level of self-awareness, thus giving yourself the permission to be the person you were always meant to be.
Will the real you, stand up!
Marriage & Family Therapist