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How Aware are You of Awareness?

Since my last post on Friday it’s been great to receive feedback on my blog via email, LinkedIn and even Twitter.  Thanks to all those who have contributed thus far and for those who haven’t please take this as a big dig in the ribs!  One of the topics suggested was to write more about self-awareness (thanks Anna!).  This is an initial post, but I’ll certainly be exploring it in a broader sense in future posts.

So why is self-awareness so important?  NLP is all about becoming aware of patterns in your own thinking and behaviour and in the thinking and behaviour of those around you.  Those patterns may have been unconscious until you became consciously aware of them.  By increasing your awareness you can learn how to effectively influence the results you achieve – not only at work, but also in life generally.  And quite simply you will be more successful at achieving your desired goals/outcomes.

What is self-awareness and what does it mean?  If we take the dictionary definition of self-awareness it’s the conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires.  It’s about being consciously, and I stress consciously, aware of how we communicate verbally and non-verbally with ourselves.  In NLP awareness also covers those around you and being aware of their thinking and their behaviour.

Then how does self-awareness and awareness of others work?  Let’s take an example.  Perhaps every time you have a presentation to do you think… “I’m no good at presentations….”  Hmmmmmmm…….so when did you decide that?  Well, awareness is about increasing your sensitivity, turning up the volume, to recognise when you think or behave in a less than positive or constructive way.  Self-awareness means becoming aware of things you do unconsciously and taking conscious action.  It’s about challenging yourself and asking, is it reasonable you think or behave like that?  It doesn’t matter ‘why’ you think that way, what does matter is how and when you’ll choose to change your thinking.  Right now?

When it comes to awareness of others, consider testing yourself by switching off the internal dialogue in your head when you’re talking to someone.  Instead of thinking about what you’re going to say next (or what you’ll be cooking for dinner!) and not really listening, you could choose to focus on the words someone is using, the tone, tempo and timbre of their voice and, if you’re face to face, their body language.  After all we should calibrate on behaviour – what a person DOES (their behaviour) rather than what they SAY (their words).

So what if you consciously invested over the next couple of days testing this out for yourself and actively increasing your self-awareness and awareness of those around you?   What could you learn?  What questions might you have?  What do I need to know?

[Picture credit – from the wonderful www.savagechickens.com.]

© Jacqui Gatehouse and NLP THIRTEEN, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jacqui Gatehouse and NLP THIRTEEN with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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2 responses to “How Aware are You of Awareness?

  1. Pingback: Worrying is the Ultimate Waste of Time… | NLP THIRTEEN

  2. Pingback: 13 Ways NLP Helps You Achieve Success in Business | NLP THIRTEEN

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