Being mindful of the Self is about discovering how you perceive yourself in the world around you. To do this, explore your thoughts and feelings more deeply and the stories you tell yourself about what is true. This self-reflection is a good starting place for becoming more mindful.
You have probably discovered that there is very little that you control in the world, but you can control your responses to events and how you choose to show up. By diving deeply into your own thoughts, feelings, stories, and the places you get stuck, you can begin to become more empowered. The people around you can help create conditions for our empowerment, but only you can decide whether you are empowered to take action around the things that matter most to you.
To create enough stillness to become aware (of your language, your thoughts, and your stories that you have created over time) allows you to step back and question the road you are traveling. Here is a great example. If you say that you are not very good at climbing, it feels like a permanent condition. But if you say I am not very good at climbing yet, it changes your entire energy around possibility and choice. You may not choose to become good at climbing, but it feels like an option, which is incredibly empowering.
If one word can have such an impact, imagine how the stories about who we are in the world can influence our lives. So many people, even highly successful ones, struggle with a story of not feeling good enough.
Becoming aware of your thoughts is not just what you think, but the impact your thoughts have on your assumptions and actions. As you become aware of your thoughts, you will want to take a deeper dive into where the thought comes from. The tricky part of our thinking is that we often fool ourselves into thinking our perspective is “The Truth” when it is often a small portion of reality.
“Before the deed comes the thought. Before the achievement comes the dream. Every mountains we climb, we first climb in our mind.” ~ Royal Robbins, early pioneer of Yosemite climbing
Observe Your Thoughts Throughout Your Day
When you awoke this morning, what was your first thought?
Describe this thought without judgment. Just describe the thought you had. Write it down. Repeat this process three or four times throughout the day. At the end of the day, answer the questions below:
- Was there a pattern to your thoughts?
- Were your thoughts true?
- Were there other perspectives you had not considered?
- Were most of your thoughts opinions or questions?
It is likely most of your thoughts stem from stories you have created in your mind. We will get to those later, but for now, just pay attention to your thoughts without judgment as if you were simply observing them.
Keep in mind that your thoughts can be wide-ranging. Do your best to refrain from judging them as good thoughts or bad thoughts, but just observe and be curious about them.
The 12 Life-Giving Habits Program provides services and resources designed to help you experience an Amazing Year. Led by the founder and president Kevin “Doc” Klein, a thirty-five year veteran of Outward Bound, our team of passionate educators and entrepreneurs is constantly finding ways to help people of all ages thrive and flourish. It is our mission and our aspiration to create a movement of compassionate citizens who are in service of lifting individuals and communities up to their highest aim.
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