Know Thyself: Seven Steps to Self-Awareness
STEP 1: Each day write down one thing you have noticed about yourself. Yeah is a much better idea, but anything will do and not every day has to be a breakthrough day.
Over time you will collect a lot of personal information in your internal workbook.
Ponder the fact that your personality must be finite, after all it lives in the realms of time and space. Every authentic comment and insight into your character is a step toward self-awareness.
STEP 2: Observe yourself in social situations, when you are alone, at work, in your primary love relationship, and in all other settings, relationships, and circumstances in which you act and function.
We tend to behave differently depending on where we are and who we are with. Your personality is rich and diverse. There are so many sides to you. Sometimes you forget parts of yourself; sometimes you neglect certain parts and give yourself too much to others.
This exercise will help you get in touch with all parts of yourself and work towards integration and wholeness.
STEP 3: As human beings we are always in one of three realms. Awake, asleep or dreaming. Now examine each one and study, compare, and consider each one to see what you can learn about yourself.
Also look at the edges. The boundary between wakefulness and sleep, for example, is an extraordinarily powerful time to access the unconscious. Go into this with the excitement of a new adventure and be open to new discoveries.
By the way, stop calling the waking experience your “real life.” Dreams have a reality of their own, and since you will spend a substantial part of your life in the dream world, give it recognition and respect, because it is real too.
STEP 4: Self-observation is much more difficult than observing others, probably because it is less challenging than observing ourselves and because we have effectively become visual in our experience of the world. But this does not mean that observing others is necessarily useless for your inner work practice.
So watch others. Pick someone out at a party, on the street, or at work and see how much you can learn about him by observing his body posture, his speed, his tone of voice, his walk, his functionality, his attitude in general. Do they speak using visual images, mental abstractions, or maudlin terminology?
This will tell you a lot about them. How do they react with others? Privately collect a set of information, a profile of them, until you have insights that go far beyond mere knowledge. Now, the testing time: can you do the same with yourself?
STEP 5: Core Assumptions and Core Beliefs are your taken-for-granted moral assumptions, guiding principles, and expectations. They are like the water we swim in or the air we breathe.
Make them aware. They were communicated to you by parents, teachers, and authority figures, in home, educational, and social settings in your early life.
They dictate your attitude towards time, money, love, ambition, action, relationships, success and failure, and happiness. Bringing them into awareness over time allows you to reconsider and make new empowered decisions.
STEP 6: What do you do? What do you want? And what if your life purpose? For many of us there is a disparity between these three aspects of life. Can you see that when they are aligned and in the right proportion to each other, balance and success will surely ensue?
Make a table – make a list of your actions: work, relax, watch TV, read, spend time with your family. Make a list of your needs and wants: I want to earn money (how much?), I want to create a loving family environment, I want to learn to play a musical instrument. Finally, write down or explore your life purpose.
Now as you do this you will start to notice discrepancies; things he wants that he doesn’t allow time for, doing too much of it and not enough of it, procrastination, unrealistic expectations. Once you get the full image, you may want to change it.
STEP 7: One of the most life-changing questions is, “What do I honor?” So I ask you now. Spend a little time on it every day. Once you have refined your answer and it is accurate, sincere and true for you, live it every day and make it your priority and the central theme of your life.