It Begins With Awareness

Thursday 29 August, 2013

Awareness is the beginning. It is the foundation upon which personal development is built. Significant self-improvement is only possible with self-awareness. This post has been written before, but I was moved to write it again by a line from a journal entry I read recently. And besides, awareness is so fundamental to development of any kind that it is always worth repeating.

That journal entry contains one paragraph in particular which looks at my thought process as I consider the Child and Parent ego states and how best to behave. It is also a good example of conscious incompetence, the second of the four stages of competence. (See the four points near the bottom of the post, The Lifecycle Of Development, for more information.) The paragraph concludes:

Karaj said to me that in order to make the move towards Parent ego state, I had to witness and experience who and where I am.

It means that until we see and acknowledge what is clearly there, we will be hindered in our development. It is the awareness which unlocks our real progress. When we become aware of our behaviour, we see it more clearly and are able to experience it on a conscious level. As a consequence, it transforms itself naturally and effortlessly into a more effective, enriching and congruent experience.

It’s not as easy as it sounds because we are capable of self-deception, as with the Above-average effect, whereby we think we are better than we are. This is highlighted beautifully by the Dunning-Kruger effect, which states that incompetent people lack the competence to recognise their own incompetence. Such examples of cognitive bias mean we are unable (or unwilling) to see our reality. However, awareness offers the chance of improvement through recognition.

Ultimately, what is required is a desire to seek the truth, no matter how difficult or challenging that might be. The search for truth compels us to look to others for their input and to listen to them, because we cannot travel this road alone. We need the contribution and insight of others because they see us more clearly and more objectively than we are able to see ourselves. Their observations and feedback are the signposts to our true behaviour.

Two further journal entries, listed below, both contain an example of the kind of critical feedback which can be difficult to hear, but which assists our progress because, when we know what to look for, it is easier to see. And we need to see it ourselves because unless we witness and then experience who we are, any transformation we undergo will be incomplete.

Related post: Awareness Is The Key
Critical feedback: Not Ready To Give In | If You Weren’t Good, I Wouldn’t Have You Here

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