Developing self-awareness can be a lifelong journey, but there are several practices that can help, including using the SPACE model
It’s mid-January and most people are mainly back to normal by now. Two weeks ago they were filled with resolutions that they have probably already broken. I went a whole 9 days before I caved in.
Many are setting themselves challenges: dry January, Veganuary, giving up carbs, coffee, sugar, Netflix, and so on.
But if I was going to pick on one behaviour to take up than giving up I would suggest self-awareness. Self-awareness is the ability to recognize and understand one’s own thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. Developing self-awareness can be a lifelong journey, but there are several practices that can help.
Becoming aware of our triggers for negative thinking and self-sabotage is the first step to reframing those thoughts.
“We are what we think, all that we are arises with our thoughts, with our thoughts we make the world.”
This is a really cool cognitive behaviour coaching tool.The SPACE MODEL
S = SITUATION OR SOCIAL CONTEXT
P = PHYSIOLOGY
A = ACTION
C = COGNITIONS
E = EMOTIONS
Get into a habit of recording your responses and reframing them. It may be hard at first but with practice it will become easier.
5 other ways to develop self-awareness
You can achieve this by:
- Meditation: This practice involves focusing on the present moment and being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations without judgment. Mindfulness can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and behaviour. There are a number of excellent apps which can help you with this. During COVID I used Calm which is a very affordable tool.
- Journaling: Writing about your thoughts and feelings can help you better understand them and how they affect your actions. Reflect on your day and what you did, felt and thought, and how it affected you. The SPACE model would fit in here
- Self-reflection: Take time to reflect on your actions, decisions, and feelings. Think about what you did well, what you could have done better, and what you learned from the experience. This can help you understand your strengths and weaknesses and identify areas where you can improve.
- Seek feedback: Ask people around you what they see or observe in you that you might not be aware of, or what they think your blind spots are. They might have a better understanding of you than you have of yourself.
- Coaching or counseling: Sometimes it can be helpful to work with a coach or counselor to help you understand any deeper thoughts, feelings, and behaviours which may be holding you back.
It’s important to remember that self-awareness takes time and practice and that it’s also normal for initial progress to be slow. Experts vary, but it takes between 20-30 days to build a new habit. When you have achieved this make sure you reward yourself with whatever makes you feel great. This could be a walk, an outing with friends, reading a book, or taking some exercise. Self-care doesn’t have to be solitary.
However, as you continue to practice these techniques and develop self-awareness to build new habits, you will start to master your emotions so that you have greater control of the things that matter to reduce any feelings of helplessness. Control will make you feel more empowered and confident.
Don’t wait! Start today!