Self-awareness: Beyond the “bottom line”
The integration of self-understanding and love of others is a powerful interface. It is a required journey for every human being regardless of occupation, economic status or belief system. Practicing self awareness, leads to consciousness, the proper awareness outside of one’s true self. This dynamic practice empowers it’s practitioners to fully embrace joy and purpose beyond task and obligation. It mitigates painful thoughts and emotions. Being self aware provides a new venue for the mind to free itself from imposed limitations and harnesses the power of dynamic and meaningful connection with others in all facets within one’s life.
1. Self observation and analysis:
How can your clients, friends and family understand your motives and ideals if you don’t understand them? Is the real you different than the identity that shows up in the world? Are you really “passionate” about your work, your life? These are just some of the hard hitting, self examined questions that expose our true selves beyond the fears and identities we hold sacred. Only asking ourselves new questions can we explore new possibilities in our lives. Being our own observer from a third person perspective, allows us to step outside of our emotionally reactive selves and gain an unbiased vantage point to uncover the hidden motives of our un- serving behaviors and ask the tough questions.
2. Understanding the ego.
The only one true obstacle to our self awareness, consciousness and freedom is the many devices and masks of the ego. Not necessarily the Freudian ego, but the inner opponent that is responsible for our every unconscious word thought or action. The ego convinces us to adopt false ideas, unsubstantiated fears and to operate in conflict with others. We operate in a system of hierarchies, and in this system (in most cases), we become polarized to see others as either less than or greater than ourselves. The constant emotional roller coaster of this philosophy creates active hindrances to our growth and furthers our disconnection with others. For instance, we might be challenged to think that networking with a competitor might be mutually beneficial or we might “rule out” an opportunity because of low self esteem.
3. Diversity: Embracing others
One great aspect practicing self awareness is that once the ego has been revealed it is automatically weakened. In its weakened state, one can start to embrace the uniqueness and diversity of all others. The diversity of the once “Other Person’ could not be seen as threatening anymore, but admired and respected. As we take responsibility for our fears that created the aforesaid “Us vs. Them” program, we can freely create relationships, business and new communications without judgmental boundaries, borders or unrealistic criteria. By withdrawing our investment in the ego’s social programming, we can elevate our business practices with new creative methodologies and new contributors.
4. Parenting you “inner child”
Weather you are a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, a world renowned athlete or a Nobel Prize winner, inside every human resides a “little boy or little girl” version of their adult selves. This “inner child” carries all the unresolved issues of low self esteem, fairness, abandonment and inability to let go of the past to create something better for them. When triggered, this child emerges and exhibits uncomplimentary behaviors that are a by-product from hurt emotions. The inner child, like most children, does not understand “place and time” appropriateness, makes poor decisions and can emerge at the most inopportune times. One of the tools for the practice of self awareness is to learn how to develop a line of communication with this “inner child”. By self observation, one’s “adult self” can learn to effectively become a powerful liaison, comforter and most importantly a parent for their “child self”.
5. Understanding the drive of conflict.
The source of all conflict is the concept that we operate in a world of lack and need to fight to pool limited resources (clients, money) to pay for our survival. To survive in this space and remain competitive we must protect our identities as the “The smartest”, “Most competent” or “I am a warrior” etc. When a co-worker, client or another figure challenges this identity, the ego will create an internal conflict which usually resonates into hostel external one. This “us vs. them” mentality can cause emotional disconnection from the world and can be responsible for having to live out our own painful, un-joyous self fulfilling prophecies of lack and separation.
6. Fear- the opposite of being present.
Fear is the belief that an unpleasant event from the past can or will reproduce itself in the future. This event can be something that was experienced personally or exposed to from third person observation or another medium. All fear exists outside of the present moment. It creates a false story about a timeline that isn’t real or happening and is a projection of loss, limitation and lack. By staying present and aware within each moment does annihilate fear and is a major component of emotional mastery and self awareness.
7. Releasing Attachment to Outcomes
One of the most liberating components to the practice of self awareness is the releasing oneself from the expectation and anticipation to outcomes. Expectation and anticipation are products of the future in the linear time line and though it can be influenced by our intentions, it cannot be controlled. How many events and projects have come to fruition exactly as planned? How much emotional energy was carelessly spent on attachment to its outcome? How can anyone create something better than they already know? Getting out of our own way creates a space for something bigger to unfurl. It is through the release of attachment and control that yields a natural more beautiful outcome. It is in this discipline, which I call the “art of allowing”, which liberates us to join with the collective conscious and create more powerful and exciting experiences beyond our own experience limited “inner world”.
8. Identifying Self Limiting beliefs / Insecurities
Another device of the ego is the internal dialogue it uses to perpetuate our fears, false beliefs and feelings of inadequacy. It is that little voice that whispers “You’re not good enough”, “You don’t deserve that kind of success.” or “They will think I am imperfect.” This voice of false self-limiting ideations that can only be undone by identifying the neuro-program’s origin, challenging its credibility then redefining it to serve one’s desires and full potential
9. Forgiveness of Self and others:
Another powerful technique for self awareness is forgiveness. What are we judging about ourselves? What act or past deed are we still hanging ourselves for and refusing to forgive? These are some of the questions we need to ask. The old saying “hurt people, hurt people”, exemplifies that people in their own perceived survival will do whatever they need to do to survive. Similar to the idea of a drowning man getting rescued will, in his fear, inadvertently drown his rescuers.
The act of holding grudges is an act of war against oneself. Anger and sorrow towards another or oneself is carried internally as emotional pain and can only be released through forgiveness. This emotional pain, if prolonged, is scientifically proven to manifest as physical illness. The target of one’s anger or pain (the enemy) is not at the affect of this covert attack and is free from assault. It is only when one forgives themselves for partnering with the ego to create an enemy does the healing begin. Forgiveness of ourselves and others in “survival” depersonalizes the “crime” and frees the self aware practitioner and peace seeker from shame, anger and emotional illness.
10. Acknowledging our False realities.
Part of being self aware is understanding that everyone shares a different neuro-program based upon their unique life experiences and beliefs. The ego’s need for self validation causes us to impose our thought systems and ideals upon others. Simply stated we look for validation by finding or creating others to be just like us and we rid ourselves of those who refuse to comply. This can cause us to live in a world of false beliefs about others and greatly limit our business and social lives.
11. Meditation: Freedom from stress, connection to infinite self
We live in a world of five sense reality where everything physical can be observed from all of these senses. Our consciousness lives in this state of materiality even when we sleep. One of the best practices for stress management is to bring your awareness to a place of non materiality. Meditation is that very place. Meditation has been proved to have many beneficial physiological effects. Meditation lowers blood pressure, lowers oxygen consumption, decreases respiratory rate, increases blood flow and slows the heart rate. It increases exercise tolerance in heart patients, leads to a deeper level of relaxation, reduces anxiety attacks by lowering the levels of blood lactate and decreases muscle tension (any pain due to tension) and headaches. Meditation is a practice of silence of the mind. In this space of “nothingness” a quiet mind can open up to new solutions to age old personal issues, help redefine old ideas and reshape how one perceives oneself and the world. Without restricting beliefs, all possibilities are open and new information flows in. Many of the world’s most famous contributors have attributed their breakthrough ideas and inventions to visions they encountered during meditation.
The practice of the methodologies of self awareness is a difficult practice. It requires the self aware seeker to look at themselves and their external world in a manner that challenges their sacred beliefs. It is only through shifting ones focus from a self centered “I” perspective to a third person “eye” perspective that one can see a reality unveiled from the protective masks of the ego. This experience transforms and releases old ideas, opinions and believes into new more expansive, infinite perspectives that empower the seeker to outperform in every facet of their lives. It frees the seeker from fear and limitations and creates a more joyous, stress free, peaceful existence in and out of the workplace.
About Marshall Zale:
After a powerful vision during a four hour meditation in 2007, Marshall saw how he was living his life in fear, stress, insecurity, co dependency and self-limiting beliefs. From that moment on, with the help of some great teachers, he learned and developed a practice that gave him the tools to overcome these issues and become a bigger, more empowered, "life player." After seeing the effectiveness of this practice, he shifted his focus from being a successful leader in the health care field, to coaching individuals and consulting companies internationally.
His dynamic presentations inspire people to examine their internal selves and behaviors and challenge them to evolve past their self limiting beliefs. By drawing from his past experience as a sales trainer, regional sales manager, community workshop facilitator and talk radio host, he gives his audiences insight and skills that empower them to develop to their full potential.
Contact him at email@example.com or visit http://www.marshallzale.com