Excellence University Blog

Self-Mastery Tip: Enhance Your Awareness/Attention/”Mindfulness”

by Dr. Brian Higley

January 14th, 2010

Being more aware of what is happening within oneself, others and the surrounding environment can have a great impact on Self-Mastery.  The more you know about what influences you and how it does so, the more influence you will gain over your own thoughts, feelings and behaviors.  Blocks to personal and professional growth are much easier to overcome when we experience more awareness of ourselves, others and the environments in which we live and work.

There are many ways in which to enhance awareness, including the following:

  • Noticing thoughts, feelings and behaviors that you appreciate and those that you do not. Sometimes self-awareness is blocked by a desire to “not have” certain experiences.  Many change experts agree that the first step in changing certain aspects of ourselves or our experience is to be aware of them (or “own them”).  We can enhance such awareness by simply noticing aspects of ourselves that we you do not want to own or acknowledge, such as being short-tempered from time to time, having a large ego or simply struggling to take accountability when we make mistakes.
  • Journaling about your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. People are often surprised at how much impact writing or talking about themselves can have on awareness.  Even writing about just a few genuine thoughts and feelings in relation to 1-2 of the most impactful experiences of the day can help us become more aware of what is happening inside and outside of ourselves.
  • Participating in awareness-enhancing exercises. There are many experiences that help people becomes more aware of what is happening within them, with others and in their environment.  Sign up for an interesting course, read a book by a credible author and/or talk with someone who helps you expand your awareness regularly.  Making a commitment to expand our awareness on a regular basis can bring about truly amazing results if we stick with this commitment over the long haul.

NOTE TO THOSE USING THE MISSION FULFILLMENT SYSTEM: You can facilitate your awareness by adding a new Objective to your system by using the “Add New Item” link (for example, “Increase my awareness”).  You can then develop a SMART Goal related to that new Objective by using the “Add Subitem” link to the far right of the new Objective (for example, “Make a list of 12 experiences that could enhance my self-awareness in meaningful ways and participate in one per month.”).

FOR THOSE WHO ARE NOT ON THE MISSION FULFILLMENT SYSTEM: Click here to for more information and click here to sign up.

FINAL NOTE: If you were linked to this article by a video or email, please return to that link and proceed with any other instructions that you deem helpful.  For more Execution Excellence tips and tools visit our site at: www.excellenceuniversity.net

Article Filed under: 1. Self-Mastery Tips

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Excellence Tree Journal &&hellip  |  February 5th, 2010 at 9:11 am

    […] other hand, if we stay unaware of this, we remain unable to address this block to self-influence.  Click here for more on self-awareness […]

  • 2. Excellence Tree Journal &&hellip  |  February 24th, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    […] periods of time.  The ability to stay focused on one’s mission can be cultivated by a deeper self-awareness, more peace of mind and the ability to cope with stressful […]

  • 3. Briana de Cola  |  February 5th, 2018 at 10:31 pm

    What could possibly be more important than knowing oneself? Without knowing one’s self entirely, is it feasible to successfully master it? Taking a step back and observing (without reservation) what travels through our minds, behaviors, and environment are imperative in understanding the emotions, judgments and inferences that follow. It is quite true that the desire to “not have” particular experiences hinders the validity of the experience itself. As theorist Viktor Frankl so beautifully states, “Personally I would not be willing to live for the sake of my defense mechanism, much less to die for the sake of my reaction formations” (273). Rather than using a defense mechanism, i.e. ignorance or unaccountability, one should bravely acknowledge all that they are. Is there any other path to self-acceptance…self-actualization?

    Making this “commitment to expand our awareness” will evoke one’s innate desire to learn about oneself and naturally about the world around them. Simply being is just not enough, it is a stagnant frame of reference. This is why journaling is essential in learning about ourselves. Think about a chapter in your not-so-near past, imagine what your journal entry would have looked like. Now look at where you are in your life, have any of your views changed? Why? What happened? What was the meaning in the learning curve for you? This unprecedented power in becoming aware of your situations, inside and out, is the gift of self-awareness. “Meaning sets the pace for being”, being aware of our meaning, through perceived change (journaling), permits us to strive for self-actualization (273). Our meaning should define our being, not the other way around.

    We should never block our professional and personal growth because of reservation(s). “If we take man as he is, we make him worse; if we take him as he ought to be, we help him become it” (274). Never remain stationary due to fear of the unknown, we should certainly participate in awareness-enhancing exercises, journal and observe. Without knowledge of the entire gamut of pain, how can one viably experience every frequency of bliss?

    Schustack, M. and Friedman, H. (2008). Readings in personality. 2nd ed. Boston, Mass.: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon, pp.271-274.

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