Here’s a great video and transcript from Brendon Burchard
We lose self-awareness when we are:
1. Directionless. How can we feel and sense life if we don’t have the intention to do so? Bring more conscious choice into your days and you will feel enlivened.
2. Detached. If we detach from all negative feeling, we also risk losing connection with positive feeling. You have to feel your experiences and moments again. It’s time to connect to the reality and sensations of life once more.
3. Disassociated. It’s easy to go through life and look at our bad behavior and say, “Well, that just wasn’t the real me.” But that was you. Your actions are who you are just as much as your values and hopes and dreams. And it’s time to own it, to stop trying to disassociate parts of who you are. To feel aware, we must own our entirety, the good and bad, and we must strive to live into our ideal selves.
4. Distracted. Distraction is the ultimate thief of life, of light, of human awareness. We must do all we can do to minimize the inconsequential in our lives. If we are constantly scatter brained then we can never sense or immerse in the magic of each moment. Distraction kills presence, joy, and gratitude. Let us make presence, real focus and the immersion in the moment our aim.
It’s so incredible to see in the popular culture, people talking about mindfulness and about self awareness and being present again, because those things are so vital to our ability to feel engaged, happy, joyful and fulfilled in life.
But, a lot of people are struggling with those things. About feeling that sense of self awareness in their life, that real connection, that real presence, that vitality in the Now, that experience of the moment.
Let’s talk about that, because so many people really do feel detached from that. They kind of feel numb as they go throughout the day, or so frustrated or stressed that they aren’t feeling that bliss or connection of vitality that could be experienced every single moment. So why?
I call it the death of self-awareness or the Four Horseman of Self-Awareness. If these things are at play in your life then it’s a lot harder to experience the day as magically as it can be experienced. It’s hard to feel that sense of the charged life.
So let’s talk about this. The first horseman of the four horseman of self awareness is…
1. Lack of Direction
People are somehow directionless. During the day they’re going through the motions.
They’re showing up unconsciously to the world in a reactive state, all day long without any of that proactive more conscious or intentional idealization of what they want, who they are, what they want to achieve, feel or sense that day.
It’s like you could walk across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and be like, “I’m at the Golden Gate Bridge; let’s walk across it.” Or you could say,“This is going to be amazing, I can’t wait to see the things and have a real sense of aliveness, vitality, enthusiasm about the experience, to really sense it and feel it.”
I know you’ve been to landmarks, or you’ve been in relationships that happen where something was amazing.
Maybe you had a wedding and you can remember every single momentbecause you looked forward to it and you said, “I’m really going to experience these times.”
Maybe you had the birth of a child or you dropped a child off at school and everything played in slow motion. Because you made the moment meaningful you were mindful to it. You were attentive to your senses. You were attentive to what was happening around you. You were attentive to details and moments and just the experience.
It’s bringing attentiveness to the moment that is mindfulness. It’s being alert and aware to what’s happening around you and engaged with it, allowing it, accepting it, feeling it, and sensing it in a way that life starts to pick up its sense of aliveness. It’s what makes life so magical and meaningful for people when you can get to that state, but you have to have the direction in mind. You have to say, “Okay, this day I’m going to experience this day. I’ve been ho-humming through the days, been going unconsciously through them. Today I’m going to experience the things. I’m going to experience and sense and feel and understand what’s happening around me. I’m really going to connect with the Now.”
You have to give yourself that gift. It’s a direction in your mind that says hey,experience this world. It’s getting in it, sensing it and feeling it.
This is the second horseman. It’s detachment from any feeling, emotion or even sometimes expectation to the day. It’s not feeling anything or allowing yourself to feel things even when they’re good.
A lot of people have done so much work in their life to blot out negative emotion, that they aren’t letting in positive emotion.
Or so many people feel like they’ve been failing so much in their lives they don’t have a connection things when they do succeed, so they aren’t integratingsuccess. They might have a good series of things happen to them but they don’tfeel them. They don’t allow themselves to take that success in, that win in, really internalize it and say, “Wow, I did that!” and sense that moment of satisfaction or pride to doing something amazing. They never allow themselves any of the positive emotions of life and they don’t allow those positive emotions to stick or settle in.
That’s why, one of the first things a psychologist will do in working with a new patient is making sure at the end of the day they start journaling positive things that happen throughout their day.
It’s scientifically proven that you can essentially start a gratitude journal and lift up your level of happiness in life. Why? Because now you’re paying attention to the things that bring you positive emotion and happiness in life. You’re recording them, writing them down, physicalizing that memory and feeling and sensing it, and allowing it to come in. Try that.
If you feel like you’ve been detached from emotion in life it’s time to allow that back in, to allow yourself to feel passionate and excited about things again. To allow yourself to get dorked out about a new learning opportunity and new things you’re going to see, to allow yourself to say, “I did that, good for me,” and have a sense of pride about some things. You deserve that – you did some good things.
It’s also allowing yourself not to be detached from negative things. So many people are scared to experience a negative thing that it’s like they never develop any strength or capability of dealing with those things.
Do you know anybody who can’t handle conflict they’re always running from conflict? It’s because they’ve always detached from that emotion. Ooh, I’m scared.
Part of the way we’ve become mature enlightened adults is we start to face the things we are fearful of or we are scared of and we allow ourselves to feel it and sense it. It’s okay to feel the fear.
It’s okay to feel uncomfortable about something. It’s okay to feel vulnerable. It’s okay to feel what other people might call negative or scary or uncertain emotions. The more comfort you start to have with uncomfortable emotions, the more comfort you have with uncomfortable situations, the more you start developing a consciousness about how to deal with them. The only way you’re going to develop comfort with them is to allow yourself to accept that and to acknowledge, “This is the feeling I’m having about this. Why am I feeling this way? Is this how I want to feel? Will this add or contribute here? Is there anything I can do to shift or generate a new emotion that would be more positive or healthy for me?”
That’s consciousness, but you can’t do that if you’re detached from every emotion, every opportunity and every experience that comes into your life. You have to feel again.
The third horseman that steals away our own sense of self awareness is so simple and obvious.
It is disassociating ourselves and identities with situations. Not just detaching from things, but going through experiences of our lives and saying, “That’s not me.” Showing up every single day and doing something going, “Well, the realme wouldn’t do that. That’s not the real me. The real me is more passionate than that.”
Or maybe you go out with your friends and you go home at night and you’re like, “The real me is more fun you didn’t give me a chance, we needed another date before you’d realize how much fun I am.”
There’s this disassociation that you’ve gone through experiences and saying that’s not you, but it is you. The good news and bad news is that what you’ve been showing up as in this last week, this last month or last year that’s you, even if you disassociate from it and say, “That’s not me.”
That’s what a lot of people try to do they say, “Brendon, that’s not the real me.”No, that’s the real you. That’s what has been showing up and that’s the real result, real effect, real behavior that was you, so stop trying to disassociate from it.
Part of awareness is accepting who we truly are, not just in our mind but in our behaviors in the world. To accept and say “Gosh, that was me. I did do that. I am responsible for myself. I am responsible for my actions, emotion, attitudes, how I treat other people and I need to evaluate that and ask…Is that the person I want to be? Am I happy with that? Am I proud of that? Is there something I could shift in my character or my behavior or beliefs that would make me a better person?”
If we always disassociate and say, that’s not the real me that’s okay, you don’t understand. The real me is like this.
If you haven’t been showing the world the real you than you have not been practicing self awareness or demonstrating consciousness, you’ve been demonstrating the opposite, dissociation. So it’s time to reconnect, take ownership and responsibility for the person you’ve become, even if some of that is negative for you. Say oh gosh okay, I have to change this.
I remember in my own life I would find myself as I hurried sometimes that I would be rude to people. I would say, “I’m not a rude person, but wait, if I’m being rude to people than I am a rude person.” I had to take that to heart and say, “Brendon, that’s not the real you but it is because that’s who you’re showing up as, so I need to shift my behavior in the way I experienced those moments of hurry and how I treat people in those moments of hurry to become the person I know I could be versus the person I was being.”
I know you follow that and it’s so important. I hope you’ll find some inspiration there to really take a look at your life and ask, “Who’s been showing up and are you happy with that person?” If not, then show up in a new way, change, find something within that enlivens you and puts you in a more positive attitude and character that you can be proud of.
This is the final horseman. Distraction steals people’s awareness. We know from the art and science of studying flow or that neural connection in which we can see that people are freely engaged in whatever activity they’re doing. We know for sure that the more distractions that come in the less engaged they are. And the challenge is we’re all distracted in a million ways right now, and with all this distraction we’re experiencing we aren’t having the opportunity to have any full awareness to a moment because our phone is texting us or our cells going on here or our computer is over there or the kids need this or that.
We’re lacking the ability to bring our full essence and energy into the moments that are meaningful in our lives, and to create meaningful moments in our lives by bringing our full essence and energy into those minutes and moments of our lives.
So you have to say, “Okay, can I minimize distraction?”
The biggest art of developing more awareness in our life is knowing how to deal with distractions, and having a focal point of what we desire, what we intend to feel, give, contribute or create and be focused on that and be aware to it, feel and experience and be part of that and not allow 50 things.
There’s a reason when you go into an artist’s studio that it’s the artist sitting there alone by themselves painting or by themselves working. There’s a reason there are these moments in our lives when we need to create something significant that we need to get away. That’s because we need to apply our full awareness to it.
Look at your life and ask, on a scale of 1-10, how distracted am I? Ten being so distracted nothing is felt, experienced, moved or progressed in life and one being hey, you’re good, you’re totally focused. So 10 is a problem whereas one is not. If you’re at a 5-6-7-8-9 or 10 in distraction trust me, you aren’t going to experience the magic, the joy that is a sense of presence. You aren’t getting that experience of consciousness, of vitality and real engagement with life, because you’re being pulled in too many directions and at some point our energy, the more it’s dissipated by all these distractions the less we feel in life.
The good news about all these things is every one I’ve just mentioned are under your command. These are things you can control.
You can get more direction in your life just by choosing to have it.
You can choose not to be detached to the experiences, but rather engaged with them.
To not be disassociated as a person but rather choose the person who’s experiencing and creating those things.
You can minimize distractions in your life.
When you do that an entire new level of life opens up to you. It feels incredibly engaged. You’re so enthusiastic to experience it every single day and that’s what we call The Charged Life.