Self-awareness

Write - then RIGHT your BELIEFS

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I’ve been writing about self-awareness, inner monologue (Reality IS Your Friend) and how we can improve our connections to others through better self-knowledge.

This next exercise builds on the previous exercise where you simply write down your inner monologue. It is a little harder because it requires you to pay attention to your beliefs and write them down. During a week or more, write down about a dozen beliefs or interpretations gathered from your self-talk.

We generally don’t notice how our minds work with beliefs. For one thing, they are embedded, we take them for granted, and we assume they are universal truths. But beliefs are a way the mind filters out information. So as not to be overwhelmed with incoming perceptions, the mind forms a mental model or a representation of reality for a purpose.

Most people confuse their perception of the environment with the actual environment, concluding they can’t change things because that’s the way things are. If we remember that our perceptions are the map and not the territory, then we realize we can be flexible in changing our beliefs and considering alternatives.

As a believer in God’s Word it is amazing how often we act in a manner that does not match what we say we believe! A classic thought that is common for many is that our work doesn’t matter to God. Often the actions of leaders in the workplace are disconnected to Jesus. Those actions overtly display character traits that are not aligned with the Christian faith. The most common are pride, greed and anger. The beliefs that may be central to this kind of thinking and acting could be WIN or INFLUENCE. Could such beliefs be more foundational for you than the beliefs of SERVANTHOOD or SACRAFICE which Jesus declares? Scary!

Unfortunately, most of us pride ourselves on quick thinking and the ability to size up people and situations, and thus we forget that our interpretation of reality is not reality.

What to Do

1.      Carry a notebook, smart phone, tablet, or recording device.

2.      When you notice a belief or interpretation of reality, write it down as best you can, a few lines at a time.

Some beliefs that you notice will annoy you and others you will defend vigorously. The idea is to raise your awareness levels, not to make judgments. Try connecting your actions to your faith. Is there alignment?

This exercise led me to explore my beliefs around independence and dependence. I had to replace my striving for independence with striving for dependence on Jesus and those around me. My actions were centered in seeking independence. I believed I could only trust myself, depend on myself. So, my actions supported those beliefs. However, God calls me into a dependent relationship with Him and others.

What are your actions and the beliefs behind them?

Reflection and Learning

Next, reflect on your beliefs.

·       What did you notice most?

·       Did you notice any trends?

·       How hard was it to be non-judgmental?

·       Can you identify the link from your actions to your beliefs? Ask a friend or work with a coach!

Our actions all stem from a core set of beliefs. Take the challenge to look at your actions and identify what beliefs they are attached to.

Many people are resistant to changing life-long beliefs and yet often discover that their beliefs are not grounded. God offers to every person the grounding and the invitation to truth and from truth we can step into the foundation to become the leader we are called to be with our teams, our families and our selves. Leading yourself well will have a huge impact on those around you and bring you peace.

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”   Matthew 7:24-27

The journey to becoming your best and maximizing your potential is for the courageous. Find a mentor. Meet regularly. Be open to share what you are thinking and you will find you make better decisions more quickly leading to growth and freedom. If you cannot find a mentor, hire a coach. I can coach you or help you find a coach.

I can be reached here marc@moleadershipcoaching.com and on LinkedIn

or text me at 714-267-2818

I’d love to hear from you. Here is my CALENDAR to make connecting simple

Self Talk - The Journey to Your Best

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Self-Talk: What We Can Learn About Ourselves

It’s not always easy to uncover our blind spots and gain real self-awareness. One way is to write down your self-talk, recording the exact words you use. Do this several times over the course of a week, and you’ll uncover a lot about how you think and perceive your world.

The exercise is even more valuable when we learn from it. Reflect on your inner monologue.

·       What did you notice most?

·       Did you notice any trends?

·       How hard was it to be non-judgmental?

If you’re like most people, you might be surprised at the amount of negativity and critical content of your words. But here’s what’s important to know: you aren’t necessarily a negative or critical person. Everyone is negative and judgmental; that’s the way the human brain works.

God encourages us to capture every thought and make it obedient to Christ – 2 Corinthians 10:5

Knowing how your mind-chatter works enables you to influence it.  It explains much about how we perceive and react to the world. It also influences how others perceive and react to us. It is the pathway to change.

This self-awareness exercise helps us manage ourselves emotionally. It also enables us to manage others’ perceptions of us. Imagine how much easier it is to acknowledge how we can misperceive and misjudge situations when armed with enhanced self-awareness.

Don’t miss the link between what we think and how we feel. God gave us feelings as a doorway to Him and our soul. When you examine your thinking, what do you feel? Take that feeling to God and ask Him to reveal what He wants you to learn.

God wants you to be your best you possible. He will help you get there. Seek and you will find is a promise from God to all.

The more we understand our own minds, the more easily we can understand others’. This enables us to feel more empathy and compassion for others. It’s the reason why self-awareness is so valuable. We can’t connect with others well without self-knowledge and acceptance. Of course, when we connect to others and move towards acceptance, we come face to face with the need to grow our forgiveness muscle. Forgiving others and forgiving yourself is the most powerful force in the universe and creates the pathway for remarkable change and freedom!

Self-awareness – Self-knowledge – Forgiveness – Acceptance

Where are you on this journey? Are you ready for change? Change towards your best self?

What do you think? I’d love to hear from you.

I can be reached here marc@moleadershipcoaching.com and on LinkedIn

or text me at 714-267-2818

I’d love to hear from you. Here is my CALENDAR to make connecting simple

 

Two Exercises to Build Self-Awareness

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Two Exercises to Build Self-Awareness

Our inner monologue runs nonstop, whether we pay attention to it or not. It is a valuable source of self-awareness and a key to knowing our blind spots. Some call it self-talk, mind chatter, or inner voice. It often tends to be negative and judgmental.

Even though our inner monologue filters, interprets, and gives meaning to our perceived experiences, we rarely acknowledge it―perhaps we don’t like to catch ourselves being critical.

Yet, becoming consciously aware of these inner thoughts liberates us from being controlled by them. It is a first step toward greater self-awareness because it enables us to use our thoughts and beliefs to improve our lives.

Since self-awareness is so important to becoming emotionally intelligent―as well as being a foundational asset for leadership―it is worth our time and energy to learn how to listen to our inner monologue.

An Easy Exercise

Here is an exercise anyone can try that will reveal what goes on in our minds. This is suggested by author Joshua Spodek in his book Leadership Step by Step: Becoming the Person Others Follow (Amazon Digital Services, 2017).

1.      Carry a notebook, smart phone, tablet, or recording device.

2.      A few times a day, write or record the words of your inner monologue as best you can, a few lines each time.

Each time you record a monologue will take about a minute. Do this exercise until you’ve got a few dozen passages. It’s important to do it for several days, under different situations. For example, write down some self-talk at work, at home, alone, with people, and when feeling different emotions.

Simply record your dialogue without making any judgments. Judgment clouds the ability to be observant. The goal is to raise awareness of the words we use. If you find yourself being critical of someone, write down the words, not how you feel about the words. Later on, in a follow-up exercise, we can examine meaning, beliefs, and what to do about them.

Remember, this isn’t as easy to do as one might think. We can’t write as fast as we think. The very act of writing changes what we say and feel because we can’t help but interpret at the same time. Persist and practice, focusing on getting the actual words we use in our self-talk onto the paper or screen, one line at a time.

A good reference for this exercise is Proverbs 20:5 “The purpose of a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.”

And

1 Timothy 4:16  “Pay close attention to yourself (concentrate on your personal development) and to your teaching; persevere in these things …”

In my coaching practice (www.moleadershipcoaching.com) I’ve seen a number of people experience “a-ha!” moments of self-discovery. They tell me it’s an eye-opening exercise. If you’ve haven’t tried it, go ahead. Let me know what you think. I can be reached here (marc@mocoach4ldrs.com) and on LinkedIn

I’d love to hear from you. Here is my CALENDAR to make connecting simple