Awareness is an awakening to who you are and to your blind spots.
Today’s Wisdom Bite about awareness begins to mirror back who you are beyond a number on the scale. If you picture a mirror attached to a car, you can appreciate you’re going to have some blind spots about yourself. We all have them. Limiting beliefs that keep us stuck. Habitual behaviours that have us on autopilot. We’re constantly feeding ourselves a narrative about all this. But we rarely pause to consider the language and framing we’re using to deliver that narrative and how it affects our resistance. Your self-talk, the words you use, either deaden or awaken you to your authentic self. Disabling or enabling perspectives make a huge difference in your behaviours and your growth.
Your self-talk can help you see links to your weight loss struggle you never realized before…
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Here’s what you need to know
Your self-talk can help you see links to your weight loss struggle you never realized before. That’s because your focus has probably been on the physical aspect – through diet, through exercise. You might be pouring a lot of energy into your weight (e.g. starting-stopping programs, preoccupied with food, obsessing over the scale). This is attention not awareness. Trying to control your weight is stifling not enlightening.
My guess is you already know what to do to lose weight…but you resist doing it. Terrific I say! Resistance is just misdirected energy. Consider it a teacher to help you unpack your choice points and understand what is influencing you in those moments. These observations may appear at first to have nothing to do with your weight but it’s all connected underneath (e.g. creativity feeling blocked? hmm, there you go reaching for food). Putting words to your experiences helps with your awareness of these links.
Maybe your current narrative uses ‘must’, ‘should’, and ‘have to’ language and you push back against this. There is more supportive ‘want’, ‘like’ and ‘get to’ language available that can help you lean into things. Your self-talk plays a significant role in tightening or relaxing your resistance. Here are three guidelines for developing your awareness:
- Everything’s accessible. In the spirit of Thomas Edison, “There are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something.” If you want to learn about choice, you can’t start from rules or restrictions. That means all foods and all forms of movement are on the table. It also means letting go of any notions of what’s good-bad, right-wrong or even healthy-unhealthy. Any experimentation that helps inform your choices going forward is useful. Curiosity and objectivity are the fresh perspectives to practice here.
- Have present moment experiences. When you’re reaching for your favourites, especially comfort foods, you’ll typically eat from memory and what that memory is telling you the experience was years ago. Having a present moment experience gets you off autopilot. You become aware of subtleties and nuances that never registered before. This level of awareness can actually be curative for simple habits. You’ll even start to find the quality of the food surprisingly lacking. This would have been inconceivable before, when your psyche was relying on that comfort food to be the solution to your problems.
- Learn from every experience, positive or negative. So you read an inspiring article, set out to get some movement in every day last week and only made it to Day 2. We tend to live from a limiting belief that says when we know better we will now always do better. Then we misstep, label it a failure, beat ourselves up and quit. This is actually a gift of contrast to help us clarify what helped and what hindered our efforts. All this has to land in our awareness before we can adjust our efforts. Every experience informs. Edison tested over 1600 substances in developing the light bulb. Personally, I’m grateful he didn’t quit at 1599.
Here’s what you can expect in Module 1: the Awareness stage
“I’m getting back to who I am as a person, not just a dress size.” – L.D., Peace Officer
Core Value: Choice; Primary Skill: Non-Judgement
Awareness is the inner work that turns your resistance into insight and progress. It helps you awaken to yourself as a multi-layered human being with legitimate needs, not some black and white, idealized version of yourself. The focus of this stage has you managing your emotions and your internal state better. This self-regulation enables you to maintain your composure better when under stress. You start developing a sense of choice you didn’t know existed.
You begin to understand your resistance and struggle have manifested for valid reasons and they don’t warrant the judgement you’ve brought to them. You can now see judgement as the barrier to your learning. Learning that is showing you the kinder words of Soul go much further than the harsh criticisms of Ego. This gentleness of Soul is the beginning of self-like. You shift from “I am my body and I must control it” to “I have a body and I’m learning to relate to it.”
Here’s what you can practice
It’s been suggested we have over 60,000 thoughts per day and about 35,000 of those result in choices we make each day. So let’s start from the premise you have plenty to work with! When you’re on autopilot and tipping from one habitual behaviour to the next, it’s hard to examine your choices and their impact. The key is to slow down your thought process and get present.
This starts with dialing down the Doing part of you so you can dial up the Being part of you. Be willing to first observe and learn something about a choice you’ve made, before trying to change it. Note: judgement and learning cannot co-exist, so if you choose to judge the choice (and yes, that IS a choice), you will cut yourself off from the learning. You’ll be stuck repeating the choice until you opt to start seeing it through a lens of curiosity.
Any choice point where you notice yourself being: reactive; impulsive; indecisive; perfectionistic; compliant; avoidant; or disconnected are all rich moments for developing your awareness. Keep in mind too, insight comes to us more often like the pieces of a puzzle, not always as a single Aha. So at this early stage, success is…the speed at which you apply your learning. By taking each bit of insight and looking for your earliest opportunity to apply it, you’ll be turning it into wisdom and making this process your own.
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How did it go for you?
Don’t just take my word for all this. When you simply adopt someone else’s approach, you are trying to control your way to an outcome. It’s important that you test what resonates with you, to ensure it works for you and your circumstances. When you go through this process by adapting what you’re learning to your own life, you’re also demonstrating critical thinking and your ability to live from choice as you begin to address your struggle.
Select an early insight about yourself or one of your blind spots and share it in the Members-Only Comments section below.
Explain how this new awareness is helping you see yourself in a different light.
Be sure to check back in too, to let us know how it’s going!
Conscious Weight Loss®
New to Conscious Weight Loss? Continue to this next Wisdom Bite
Truth (Module 2)
Interested in more? Check out these related Wisdom Bites
Ego and Soul (Members-Only)
Deep Truth (Module 3)
Alignment (Module 4)
The part about having present moment experiences really resonates with me. This is something at whichI’d like to become better. I tend to spend a lot of time on social media which I feel is the opposite of being present.
You mention that “The key is to slow down your thought process and get present” – YES YES YES to this, it would be great to not feel like I’m on autopilot so much.
Great observation about social media. Some great ways to experience more of the present moment are: to simply get out from behind your phone’s camera; admire your meal & its presentation for a moment before eating it; really listen to another person without thinking about what you’re going to say next.
The part of this article that caught my attention was the one about how if I am being indecisive it is a rich moment for developing awareness. I definitely stress indecisively and agonize when I have an important email or phone call to make in business or socially, particularly if I need to follow up/nag somebody that hasn’t been responsive or if in response to somebody not doing what I would like. I play out endless different approaches I could take to the conversation and sometimes take an hour or more to write a fairly short email. Is this a blind spot? I am not sure how to take this from a moment of awareness to a moment of insight.
Indeed, endless debate is the hallmark of Ego which keeps you stuck while relaxed trust is the hallmark of Soul which enables progress. The insight is, operating from Soul doesn’t guarantee you’ll come up with the perfect solution first or make the right choice all the time but rather, you trust you have what you need to address things however they unfold.
A huge “WOW” moment for me in a counseling class a long time ago was the 4 quadrant window with (1) What I know that I know, (2) What I don’t know that I know, (3) What I know that I don’t know, and (4) What I don’t know that I don’t know (BLIND SPOTS). Learning about blind spots and the fact that we all have them explained a multitude of places where I felt stuck and kept repeating counterproductive patterns. It seemed to me the more I could shine a light on those dark corners and actually see what was in there – become AWARE of them – the less they would run my life. I love that that concept is being brought in here.
Counterproductive patterns are certainly flags that some unnamed – & often irrational – fears & limiting beliefs are running things. So yes, get out that flashlight!