What is self-awareness?

Life coaching has A LOT to do with self-awareness so let's talk about it for a minute.

Google defines 'self-awareness' as the "conscious knowledge of one's own character and feelings".

This plays a huge part in knowing what to do with your life, from the small day-to-day doings to the big life goals. What you choose to do with your life, needs to align with you, otherwise you will feel that internal clash and that can wreak havoc for your mental and physical health.

But self-awareness can be a hard thing to achieve.

On top of that, you are always changing, so your self-awareness is going to be an ongoing, dynamic thing.

There are 2 parts going on here that I like to use to make self-awareness a bit more tangible to work on.

The first is the listening part. Listening to your gut, your body, on a constant basis. There's clues everywhere - a hesitation, a pimple, something constantly on your mind. These are your body's notifications to you that something's not quite right. How you respond is another thing; this is just about listening to yourself; noticing, observing.

The other is the questioning part. Being curious about yourself instead of just running on autopilot. Why do I do this? Do I really actively enjoy this, or am I just going along with it? What do I value in life, and is what I'm doing actually aligning with this?

These can both be practiced.

In regards to the last one: so often we do things simply out of habit or upbringing, and until questioned, don't really realise that oh, we're not ok with it. It's one of the reasons people can't see animals being slaughtered yet are happy to eat meat; that people can disagree with sweat shops yet still buy fast fashion; that we complain we don't have time yet can binge 5 hours of Netflix in a night. Some people are truly unaware of some of these things. And these are the more obvious ones. The subtler ones - recognising when you're too far beyond your comfort zone, burnout, or a physical sign that something's not quite right for you - these are even harder to pick out on your own.

Sometimes it takes someone else to notice something about us and say something in order to see it for ourselves.

This is what makes coaching so powerful; good coaches are trained to do this. One of the main outcomes of life coaching is increased self-awareness. Helping you see things about yourself, which is the first step in knowing whether you want to change something or not.

After all, if something is out of sight, it's out of mind too.

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