Active self awareness will lead to better self control.

In life, there will be moments where we could continue doing something or going down a specific path.

Active self awareness will lead to better self control.

The Key to Better Self Control

This is the thought I had while having lunch with my wife on Saturday. We had just finished eating burgers from Hopdoddy’s and Errin (my wife) could not finish her burger. Normally, she would attempt to keep nibbling but this time she said, “I’m going to get a box so I can stop eating this.”

For those of you who don’t know, 2 years ago Errin had gastric sleeve surgery and she still can’t eat the amount of a “normal” person. Sometimes she feels bad for not eating everything that comes out so she will nibble until it becomes painful. However, this time she stopped herself.

I looked at her, smiled and said “Good job. I don’t want you to hurt yourself.” As she smiled back, that’s when I uttered, “that’s good self awareness.”

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, "Self-awareness is the ability to focus on yourself and how your actions, thoughts, or emotions do or don't align with your internal standards.”

When Errin made the decision to stop herself from eating, she was acting on the self awareness and was exhibiting self control. We, as a couple, often have discussions about self control and impulse control, and this felt like a great time to bring up the topic.

In life, there will be moments where we could continue doing something or going down a specific path. We could keep pursuing something we want, but it may not be the best thing for us. We must remain self aware and act on the awareness. We too must exercise self control.

It may not always be easy. The logical conclusions we come to may not be what we want, but taking the time to listen to that logic will provide clarity. Controlling our behaviors and actions will make us better in difficult situations.

How to increase self awareness

If you're not currently self aware, I have a few tips to help you get there.

  1. Slow down. In the beginning, one of the main things to do is slow down. Slow your breathing. Slow your thinking. Acting more quickly will come with time, but to be aware you must first learn how and the first step is moving slowly.
  2. Pay attention. Some people also refer to this as listening. Pay attention/listen to your body. Listen to your thoughts. What is your body telling you it needs or wants? What is your mind saying to you? Paying attention to these things will help you better understand yourself.
  3. Respond. From here you can choose to respond, not react. Responding is letting the negative things go, taking time to think about what your mind is telling you, or hearing your body and giving it what it needs.

These steps can be used in almost any situation to become more self aware. It can be used when trying to communicate a difficult situation with someone. It can be used to make decisions for yourself, your family, or your business.

Self awareness can help you set your internal standards so you have something to measure against when you make decisions. Building this muscle is imperative to self control.

Once you know what your standards or morals are, you can then compare your decisions or choices against it to make sure you are who you want to be.

Whether you are self aware, are working on it, or this is a brand new concept for you, I wish you continued success in your journey.

All the best,

Larry G.

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