Self-Discovery Or Self-Awareness?
Before writing this post I never gave idioms much thought. Why would I, they’re just a bunch of sayings that randomly pop out when you need to quantify meaning in fewer words. However, I did find myself this morning pondering “A leopard can’t change its spots.” I’m sure Jeremiah when spawning this saying in the Old Testament was talking about changing evil, not people, but like a game of Chinese whispers I believe the meaning was lost to time.
So please forgive me for being a little pedantic here, but “human beings” are not the spots on a leopard! Let me ask you this: Have you ever changed your mind? Of course you have! Who hasn’t? So when you think about it, the above idiom doesn’t make any sense (you may also want to look into (NLP) Neuro-Linguistic Programming). In fact, the more I thought about the above saying, I began to see it’s limitations.
If you keep telling yourself something, over time you ingrain and re-enforce a belief within you’re unconscious mind. That’s just basic psychology.
So when people say “a leopard can’t change its spots”, they’re telling their unconscious mind that they can’t change. The same can be said about “finding yourself” or “I’m going on a journey of self-discovery.” Hmm. Did you lose yourself somewhere? Maybe you think you were born missing key elements of your soul. If that’s you, you may want to check under the sofa cushions. I’m always finding my car keys, loose change and all sorts of stuff under mine.
Look. I’m not saying don’t go on a journey. Everyone should explore themselves. Just do it without thinking you’re lost. After all, what’s not lost, can’t be found! So lets put aside this nonsense about being lost, and take a look at something with a bit of weight behind it, self-awareness.
Self-awareness is the understanding of one’s own character and emotions.
Of course, there’s more to it than that. So to help you understand I’ve put together 3 different video’s using a ted talks theme:
- Self-Awareness, Influence, and Partnerships | Anton Rabie (24:18)
- Self Awareness: The Key to Success | Danielle Brown (13:48)
- The art of being yourself | Caroline McHugh (26:23)
- Bonus (just because I love her message): Waking up to your wonderful life | Michelle Courtney Berry.
It should be clear by now that self-awareness comes from growth. You’re not lost! The only discovery you need to be on, is to find a brush to sweep away old broken patterns which block your awareness.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Lao Tzu
All it takes is a moment. An attitude of trust and innocence filled with adventure and wonder of what could be. To dare the risks what others won’t. It’s to be fully immersed in now.
Be brave! You maybe stepping blindly into the future, but truly knowing yourself is a state of perfect and balanced trust. Take a risk on who you our. That’s the moment where fresh starts leave behind past patterns of thinking. It encourages you to take a leap of faith in yourself and to jump joyously into the unknown.
So I leave you with this question: How can I expand my own self-awareness?