Are You Self-Aware or Self-Critical?
Self-awareness is fire flames hot right now. We're shifting into a new realm where noticing your thoughts and feelings is all the rage, and it's becoming normalized to have awareness around your own unique wants and needs.
YES. I love this. I am so here for this. Keep reading.
I dove into this realm myself a few years ago and I have certainly become more aware of my own thoughts and feelings than I ever have been before. The other day though, I heard a friend say something like "I am so self-aware, trust me. I'll be the first to admit when I do something _____."
They said it as if it were a badge they earned in the self-help Olympics. I've definitely said these words before and thought I earned the self-aware super badge before too, so it was easy for me to reply:
Are you being self-aware or self-critical? There's a big difference!
With awareness, you're acknowledging and noticing. Awareness is neutral and it isn't connected to a meaning and carries no charge.
With criticism, there is an emotion or a charged thought attached to whatever it is you've noticed. The thing you noticed now has a meaning attached to it. It's bigger than what it actually is because there is a story being created about it.
Self-awareness is great, but now I want to be intentional about checking in to make sure my awareness is not coming with harsh criticism, judgement, or meaning. If that's the case, my awareness is a weapon being used against me, keeping me stuck.
Tune in, notice, FIND GRATITUDE. Not judgement.
The way I flip the criticism on its head is finding gratitude. A small little ounce of gratitude will help me acknowledge what I just noticed neutrally so I can move forward in an empowered way.
Judgement will only keep you stuck, or worse - add shame to your plate.
You're not a performance that needs to be judged or criticized. You are a human being that is innately whole. Don't forget it.