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  • Writer's pictureSara

Exploring Awareness

Awareness is a subject that could lead you down many rabbit holes, there are opinions that suggest that awareness without a follow up of other activities is worthless or even dangerous. What are your thoughts?


Do we need to become aware as coaches and leaders?


Isn't awareness a method of self-protection, exploration and understanding? or Is it that awareness if used as a foundation is the stepping stone into greater knowledge?


Please do comment on what you think.


One of the aspects of coaching is to help others become ‘Aware’. Awareness is also a trait that is required in leadership to allow the ‘leader’ to react appropriately to the demands of the workforce structure.


What is awareness?

Awareness is defined as knowledge and understanding that something is happening or exists(Merriam-Webster,2023).


There is this concept that if you can gain understanding of what is happening you can make some efforts in deciding how you might deal with it. You could use the circles of control in an earlier blog

to help you make sense of what you can have an impact on.

WHY?

Awareness creates an environment where change can happen. This is based upon the premis of sharing knowledge in a manner that encourages the recipient to use this knowledge and make the change of behaviour.

To make a difference one needs to consider what the true aim is. Christiano and Neimand (2017) state that abundant research shows that people who are simply given more information are unlikely to change their beliefs or behavior, it’s time for activists and organizations seeking to drive change in the public interest to move beyond just raising awareness. It wastes a lot of time and money for important causes that can’t afford to sacrifice either. Instead, social change activists need to use behavioral science to craft campaigns that use messaging and concrete calls to action that get people to change how they feel, think, or act, and as a result create long-lasting change.


The HOW


How do you gain awareness?


Carl Jung is translated as saying “To achieve complete self-awareness, you cannot just focus on identifying the “good” aspects of yourself, you also need to be aware of the “bad” aspects, or which Carl Jung refers to as “your darkness”. Exploring your own stories and how you think are best represented using a journal to record your thoughts. Although I heard two attendees at a retreat state that they would not use a journal to explore their “bad aspects” in fear of someone finding them and judging them. I expect we have all had a thing that we would like to acknowledge that is probably quite disconcerting to face. I decided that I would still write down my thoughts on these darker thoughts and if they made me feel anxious or wary I would burn these papers as part of a letting go ritual that these behaviours no longer served me. Harvard Business Review reported on tips to help with raising awareness and these align with Positive Psychology. https://hbr.org/2015/02/5-ways-to-become-more-self-aware


Meditation – Meditation comes in layer formats so do not feel that you have sit and clear your mind and be still as the only way to meditate. I am a follower of the ‘mundane task’ style of meditation that allows me to consider things.

Keep a record of the things that you want to do, your goals and what you are doing to achieve them.


Get regular feedback – which entails listening to what people have to say. Feedback can be quite difficult to obtain and may take some effort to set up.


Talk to people and actively listen - it may give you some indications of what is occurring.


Alan Jones – Clear Mind blog suggests that there are three principles.


1. Begin with what you can control I see my blog on Circles of Control/impact.

2. Intentionally develop a process to build momentum.

3. View the world using a value-based model.



Depending on what the underlying issues are there are tools to help yourself such as being kind to yourself, Gabor Mate suggests that you should “Give yourself, as best you can, what your parents would have loved to grant you but probably could not: full-hearted attention, full-minded awareness, and compassion. Make gifting yourself with these qualities your daily practice.” https://drgabormate.com/culture-good-health/


What tools do you use or what have you read about. How big is your Hay House library?



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