Do you know, most of our decisions and behaviors are reactions to external events based on unconscious patterns?
Our experiences, during the formative years, design these patterns. Learning and experiences later in life add to them as we draw conclusions and form judgments. Genes and collective human experience also contribute to the reservoir of unconscious patterns of behavior.
There is nothing wrong with drawing conclusions and making mental notes to refer back later or counting on our ancestor’s experiences to keep us safe.
It becomes a problem when growth stops because we unconsciously re-cycle old patterns to react to life.
No wonder we feel stuck! Recycling ideas and behavior without conscious choosing is not progress.
By nature, we aspire to grow, make progress, be creative and achieve dreams. These aspirations are powerful for Entrepreneurs, people choosing to walk the unbeaten path.
Releasing the unconscious patterns and consciously responding to life are the only ways to achieve long term progress.
It requires persistence and consistency as it changes paradigms and habits.
Let’s break it down in simple, smaller parts for better adoption.
The very first step is to become conscious of how these patterns are working in our life.
Becoming conscious of our feelings and how we react to them based on patterns from the past is Emotional Awareness.
No long term, game-changing personal or business growth is possible without this awareness as the first step.
Emotional Awareness is a skill, a muscle that has to be developed over time and continually exercised throughout life.
Awareness, over time, enables us to release the reactionary patterns and choose different, empowering responses.
There are a few things when done daily will help build this skill.
1. Become Aware of Feelings: Notice what you are feeling at different times during the day. Just ask yourself ‘how am I feeling?’ At first, the answer will be simple. Perhaps ‘happy,’ ‘excited,’ ‘angry,’ ‘sad,’ ‘bored,’ ‘anxious,’ ‘worried,’ ‘fearful.’ Just notice, try not to explain, judge, or change.
With time, you will start to uncover layers of emotions and connections between them.
2. Become Aware of Bodily Sensations due to Feelings: Notice how various sensations arise in your body to different feelings. For example, the feeling of ‘not being good enough’ creates heartache and discomfort in my chest. I feel shame in my throat and neck area as choking.
3. Notice what actions you take for relief from the pain or to extend the comfort created by different feelings. Do not judge the actions or yourself. Just notice.
These steps will peel layers off emotional life to help you progressively understand feelings and the patterns affecting your life.
Procrastination is also a pattern. Some tasks trigger emotions in us that we do not like. We are so used to those feelings; we are not conscious of their existence. The reaction to this discomfort is avoidance. Thus we do not understand why but we endlessly put off such tasks.
Some tasks create emotions we like so we get obsessed with those activities, getting to addiction levels at times. It is not the activity; it is the emotion, it creates in us, that is addictive. We sometimes use actions we like to procrastinate the ones with feelings we do not like.
For example, I watch Netflix, when I feel the heartache caused by the feeling of ‘not being good enough’. This way I run away from the pain instead of taking action to resolve the anxiety. I run towards an activity that helps me escape into an alternate reality with feelings of excitement. I enjoy Excitement. Feeling ‘not being good enough’ is one of the reasons why I procrastinate.
The knowledge gained from Emotional Awareness will be used to change the patterns of behavior for personal and professional growth.
We will discuss how to bring about this change at a later date. Do not be surprised if while observing the emotions and reactions, you find yourself giving up the patterns and choosing to act consciously.
To summarize, we have to develop Emotional Awareness to break reaction cycles and act deliberately, consciously. The first step is becoming aware of the emotions that trigger the reaction cycles.
This skill will free us from self-created limitations and open doors to abundance in business and life.
Each one of us is different – our stresses, motivators, and patterns are various. Please take what resonates with you and build upon it to create what fully works for you.
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Remember, growing yourself will help grow your business! Happy Growing!