Ladies, I am going to get very real with you today.
We are going to talk about something that does not come up a lot in conversations and that is self-awareness.
So, what exactly is self-awareness? According to Merriam Webster, self-awareness is “an awareness of one's own personality or individuality”. I want to STRESS the word “individuality”. A lot of people in this world are copies. They copy hairstyles, body features, characteristics, etc. You name it someone is already googling how to purchase it in 2 days or less all thanks to Amazon.
Now, do not get me wrong I have copied other people’s styles, hairstyles, etc. We have all done it! BUT there is a huge difference between copying and being inspired. When you copy someone you just do whatever it is unconsciously and/or for all of the wrong reasons. For instance fashion trends, a lot of times people rock the latest just to fit in and/or stand out and that’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. This is not in every situation, but in most cases this holds true. Now, when you have a fashion trend that you are inspired by you look at it from a different angle. Hear me out! You could be inspired by a new line that launched for plus size women of color for example because it resonates with you morally, physically, spiritually, etc. Ultimately it aligns with who you are authentically and not who the world thinks you should be.
The difference between copying and being inspired is literally being aware of who you are, what you indulge in, what you don’t indulge in, and what you value most. When you are aware of yourself you are less likely to take BS. Now, I am not saying that you become an almighty, all-knowing, and powerful being. I am simply saying that once you realize who the f**k you are, the BS either 1. Does not phase you OR 2. Misses you all together.
Now, I am not exactly sure where you are in your journey of being a more conscious and self-aware being, so I wanted to give you a few things to reflect on and/or stick in the back of your mind when you are on your journey. Here are some things that have helped me along my journey and are still helping me on my journey of being a more conscious, self-aware, badass woman. So, let’s hop right in…
GEM #1: EDUCATE YOURSELF
This one is a BIGGIE! Educating yourself literally means EXPLORING YOU through learning, analysis, reading, watching, listening, etc. It is being present in an environment that is challenging for you. It is listening to podcasts on personal development, growth, evolution, and so much more. It is reading books that are way above your vocabulary but explore new opportunities and adventures. Educating yourself is not easy at all. It requires you to be a forever student. I know you might be thinking SIS, I graduated I am DONE with school. Well...you might be done with our corrupt, brick-and-mortar institutions, but in no way are you DONE learning. Learning never stops. So, get used to it, honey!
GEM #2: PRACTICE SELF-REFLECTION
This one is going to require you to be honest with yourself. Like brutally honest with yourself. Well...maybe not brutally honest, but honest enough. If you get my drift. It is going to require you to sit down ALONE and really write out and/or say out loud the things that are working and are not working in your life (both past and present). At this very stage, you are taking inventory of EVERYTHING. It is going to hurt. It is going to suck. It is going to feel good one moment and feel shitty the next. If you feel that way, then you are on to something. I know you may be thinking, what?! LISTEN, self-reflection is not easy because you are telling on yourself and really getting into the nitty-gritty. So, brace yourself when you begin. Also, grant yourself grace if it becomes too much. I know it was for me. So, I did this over a period of time and I am still doing this. No shame here.
GEM #3: LOOK AT YOURSELF OBJECTIVELY
This one accompanies and flows with self-reflection. When you look at yourself objectively you are literally stepping outside of yourself and placing yourself back into the situation(s) that you ran from and situations that you would gladly run back too. Now, what do I mean by this? For instance, if something happened in your childhood that you totally want to forget, you have to place yourself into that situation and really dig deep to figure out what actually happened, what made you feel XY or Z. Now, my best advice when doing this is to seek professional help. You do not have to do it in all cases, but it helps to talk things through and out with a trained professional, so I recommend going to therapy. Again, you do not have to go to therapy to look at yourself objectively, you can totally do this alone or even with a partner. Write things down and/or say it out loud in order to really unravel everything.
GEM #4: IDENTIFY COGNITIVE DISTORTIONS
This one might be something you may or may not know. TBH, I had no idea what a cognitive distortion was as I embarked on my journey, but I am glad that I learned it quickly. Cognitive distortions are “biased perspectives we take on ourselves and the world around us”. Basically, it is the lies that we tell ourselves based on what is projected and/or normalized in society and it becomes a reoccurrence or theme in our lives. There are so many things that we believe to be true and in reality, are NOT and thus we have created habits and patterns of thinking around them. We begin to think of the world in a very black or white way or an all or nothing way. We have created so many false ideas in our head that our mind does not know what is real and what is not. So, when you go on this journey of being more conscious and self-aware you MUST deprogram yourself and drop the facade. It is literally stepping in front of a veil. You are no longer ignorant of things (some not all) and you begin to operate in YOUR truth and not the so-called truth that everyone has projected onto you. One thing that has helped me is writing down the lies and rewriting MY truth. For instance, my lie was “you are not beautiful because you are a size 16”. My truth is “I am beautiful and a size 16”. Notice how I used “was” for my lie and “is” for my truth. My lie is something that I no longer carry with me. It is in the past. My truth is something that I carry with me now in this very moment. You have to affirm your truth every single day because again society will find any way to filter what you think about yourself. A great way to get started affirming your truth is saying and/or writing down your affirmations. REMEMBER ladies the two most powerful words to exist are “I AM”. Fill in the blank and watch your truth reveal itself.
GEM #5: ASK FOR FEEDBACK
This one might be the hardest, but one of the most rewarding. Let me tell you why. When you ask someone their feedback and/or opinion of you, you can really see the common themes among the people you are asking. Now, I will always say this: tread lightly and take everything with a grain of salt. The first step in asking for feedback is actually choosing the right person or group of people to ask. You do not want to ask just anybody. You want to ask the people that you trust the most and have your best interest at heart. These people will be honest with you, even if it stings. They will do it because they see you working towards something and want to be right with you on your journey. Never be afraid to ask for constructive criticism and feedback
Ladies, these are just a few things that I have learned on my journey. I urge you to do your own research and find exactly what resonates with you. You are not me and I am not you, so some of this stuff might seem totally bogus to you and some of it may not. Take whatever little nuggets you can from this read and apply it to your own life.
If you enjoyed today’s read, get ready for Sunday’s read where I will give you some more amazing gems and nuggets that can fit into your toolkit. Stay connected with us on Instagram at @shetalksmovement.
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