Awareness. It can be really, really, hard to maintain awareness. Especially when trying to make improvements, because so many of our thoughts and behaviors are habits. Yes, we go on autopilot because daily living requires shortcuts in-order-to function effectively. We don’t have time to relearn how to handle life situations all day, every day, so we readily grab for the response that had sufficient results in the past and this becomes our “go-to” action. Not necessarily producing the best results, but just enough to get by. But is “just getting by” enough?
There is no passion to be found in playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.Nelson Mandela
For those, like me, who’ve asked this question, and have had a shift in self-awareness, we not only want to understand ourselves better, we want to produce optimal results for our life. The challenge that follows is, optimal output requires optimal input. And, optimal input needs an exceptional amount of focus to implement a new and yet unproved system of functioning for an outdated system of complacency. It’s like upgrading MS-DOS to Windows. It’s a whole new way to operate. It’s better and it will take time to adjust!
We’re trying to align our behaviors with our upgraded standards. The danger is the slow progress or thinking it can’t be done. According to Self-Awareness Theory (Silvia & Duval, 2001), people will more likely find success in their efforts of realignment if we believe we can make improvements, and the discrepancy between our standards and our behavior isn’t too large. Here is where it’s helpful to set reasonable expectations for our progress.
It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.Confucius
What I want to say is there will be ups and downs when we try to live differently from the past. We’ll have really great days of awareness going into a situation. Our intentions are so clear to choose differently this time, in action, words or thoughts. We’re determined to maintain self-awareness and self-control during the upcoming event and not revert to old behaviors. We feel strong and capable because we’re dialed into our intended outcome and guess what? We do maintain better awareness and consequently, we do practice our newly desired behavior. These days give us a high and also a glimpse of what’s possible. What we’re capable of.
Then, there will be days we’re barely dialed in to our surroundings. We may be tired, overwhelmed, sick, distracted, or stressed-out. Guess what? These days happen! Days like these, I do my best. Of course, I’m aware that I’m not satisfied. Of course, I’m aware I want to do better. And you know what? Tomorrow I’ll try again. But today, today was a tough day, and I’ll leave it at that.
Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.Napoleon Hill
At the end of days like these, I chalk it up to giving it my best with what I had and grow even more resolved to do better next time, and with this kind of determination, in some way, shape or form, I usually do better. The gift of ups and downs in awareness is proof of progress not perfection. The key is to stay the course for self-improvement because consistency, and effort, and repetition is the key to changing any behavior, and that, is progress! ❤
Keep it Simple,