How to Develop Self-Awareness and Create Wellbeing in your Life

Woman sitting in a labyrinth

A powerful reason to develop and cultivate self-awareness is that as we become conscious of our limitations, we can self-regulate, choose another way of thinking, responding, and managing emotions.

Self-awareness is an ability that each one of us not only can but must develop and cultivate every day if we really desire to live a meaningful, abundant, joyous life. When we are self-aware, we can change the habits, patterns, emotional reactions, and attitudes limiting us. There is so much that is under the tip of the iceberg: the subconscious where beliefs, routines, and habits that activate automatically make their way into our daily lives, creating conflict and giving us a sense of dissatisfaction, discomfort, discontent, emptiness, and separateness.

We cannot become experts in our fields if we do not practice our craft, right? It is the same with self-awareness. We must learn about it, but we mostly have to form the habit of self-awareness. When we do, we either replace or add a subconscious program that supports our efforts, which is possible with repetition.

I will use a metaphor to explain the workings of our subconscious mind that not only makes up 90% of our minds but influences our behaviors 95% of the time. We know that our computers contain a hard drive and software, right? Since the brain is the instrument at the service of the mind, we will say that it is the hardware and the subconscious programs are the software.

If our software is full of outdated programs, our computer will not work for us but against us. It is the same with our brain, subconscious mind, and the programs contained therein. If our subconscious mind is full of habits, patterns, beliefs, attitudes, and emotional reactions that do not support what we want to create in life, how can we achieve our dreams, goals,  and purpose? How can we handle an impasse with our colleagues, clients, and a boss in a way that serves us both? We might get there with a lot of struggle because that is one of our core beliefs: life is complex, and the battle is part of success. What if I tell you there is a subconscious program that does not believe in the struggle? Would you upload it? Or would you rather keep the outdated one because you are habituated to struggle and even identify it with your own value?

A powerful reason to develop and cultivate self-awareness is that as we become conscious of our limitations, we can self-regulate, choose another way of thinking, responding, and managing emotions. According to Dr. Candace Pert, emotions are not only electrochemical signals that transmit emotional information through the neurotransmitters of the cells, emotions run every system in the body. Our brain never stops scanning the environment for signs. If our brain detects something like the body language of people around us, or gestures or comments that signal a threat such as a criticism, it creates emotions that communicate to our whole body that something is wrong and we become reactive.

We can only recognize emotions in our bodies that manifest as  tension, palpitations, and aches if we are aware. Feelings are the mental experience of situations and events. Again, if we are aware, we can identify them. When we do, we bring them to the surface and they cannot control us. The same goes for thoughts, the mental stories, the mental movie. If we can identify the message our mind holds, we can choose; if not, we simply believe every thought and make decisions based on it and our emotional response.

If we engage in a daily practice to create the habit of self-awareness, we can detect the signals our bodies send to us, and we can consciously choose how to respond because we can elevate our thinking, breaking the vicious cycle of body and mind in conflict. If we are not mindful, we act in habitual/subconscious ways that turn us into reactive human beings incapable of using emotions to create the life we deserve.  Which approach do you choose?

Related content:

Why You Should Embrace All of Your Emotions

The Practice of Receiving

How Meditation Can Give You an Edge in Work and Life

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