Most people skip this powerful process and never create the life of their dreams.
Awareness, Acceptance, and Intentionality
Have you ever been dissatisfied and launched into action to try to fix it?
I’m going on a diet. I’m starting an exercise program. I’m getting a new job. I’m getting a coach.
These are all examples of launching into DOING new or more or different things.
The problem is, if you haven’t gained awareness and acceptance, you’re basically throwing darts in the dark.
Einstein said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”
Gaining awareness, acceptance, and intentionality will help you level up your consciousness.
In science, there’s a phenomenon called The Observer Effect.
Basically, scientists noticed that by simply observing an experiment, it changed the outcome.
By simply observing things in your life, awareness, you can completely change your outcomes.
Observation is a powerful tool when it comes to awareness.
Position yourself as an observer and start watching and being aware of what’s going on in your life.
Awareness and the Self-Coaching Model
I love using the Self-Coaching Model from Brooke Castillo to help me develop awareness.
Here’s the simple process that I use.
Step 1. Do a thought download for 5-10 minutes and explore my thoughts. Often I will pick on specific circumstance and explore all of my thoughts on the topic. During the thought download, I try to pay attention to any feelings that show up.
You can use the Self-Coaching Model to gain awareness on anything from your circumstances to your results and anything in between.
If you are not living in awareness you are living in ignorance.
It’s easier to ignore what’s truly going on and hope that by solving other problems we can solve the true problem.
When I do my models, I like to have an Unintentional Model followed by an Intentional Model.
Acceptance Is Necessary
Sometimes when you gain awareness, it’s tempting to want to launch right into intention and to change everything that you’ve found that you don’t like.
You might find that once you have better awareness, you don’t like what you find. This might lead to shame and disappointment.
The key is to accept what you find.
I like to use the example of traveling by car from northern Utah to southern California. Usually, I like to stop in Vegas and rest for the night and recharge for the next day.
When I think about driving from my hometown to San Diego, it’s easy for me to wish I could start my journey in Las Vegas, shaving off about 7-8 hours.
But the truth is, I have to accept where I’m at and start there.
To truly accept, it’s important to drop the shame and judgment.
It helps me to understand that I am where I am because I was doing my best and this is where I’ve chosen to be.
It’s okay. Nothing has gone wrong.
If you cannot accept where you are and what you’ve learned from awareness, it’s because of your own judgments about it.
Intention Is Power
Once you’ve gained awareness, and once you’ve accepted what you’ve found, you can now move into intention.
Most people live in a reactionary state. This is one of the things that keeps parents stuck when it comes to BEing the parent of their dreams. They are so busy reacting and putting out fires that they don’t have any mental and emotional bandwidth to be intentional.
In Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he describes a quadrant of things that are Urgent & Important, Important but Not Urgent, Urgent and Not Important and Not Urgent and Not important.
When people are too busy putting out fires, Urgent and Important, they try to balance the stress by engaging in things that are not urgent and not important, like buffering with TV, food, and social media.
The goal is to be intentional with our energy and to do the important things that are not urgent.
Sure, there will still be some urgent and important things that come up, but as you become more intentional, you will find that you have fewer fires to put out.
The BE-DO-HAVE Model
You’ll find that as you develop awareness and acceptance, and move forward with intentionality, you will find it easier to operate from the BE-DO-HAVE Model.
Typically, when you try to parent from a place of ignorance rather than awareness, you try to focus more on the DOING.
When you try to parent from a place of judgment rather than acceptance, you tend to focus more on the HAVING.
When you follow the simple pattern of First Awareness, Second Acceptance, and Third Intention, it shifts your focus to your BEING.
My coach Jim Fortin teaches that “You are not your thoughts. You are the thinker of your thoughts.”
This awareness separates you from your thoughts and gives you power over them. As the thinker of your thoughts, you have the power to intentionally choose which thoughts will get your attention. You get to choose which thoughts you will foster and work to believe.
When you become aware of old ways of BEING, you can now explore new ways of BEING.
As you accept who and where you are, you will have the power to choose new ways of BEING.
The Power of Awareness, Acceptance, and Intentionality
One of the things that I’ve found is that this simple process of awareness, acceptance, and intentionality makes life easier as a parent.
It positions you as the hero rather than the victim. It will help to be responsible for your results rather than blaming or accusing others.
This will help you be more intentional about how you think, feel, and act, rather than simply reflecting the thoughts, feelings, and actions of those around you.
- Do you find yourself blaming others for how you think, feel, or act?
- If “Yes,” what are some examples of you doing this?
- Who are you blaming?
- If “No,” what do you do instead of blaming?
- Does your mood reflect the moods of others in your family?
- If “Yes,” what moods are you most likely to mirror and why?
- If “No,” what do you do instead of reflecting their mood?
- What are some circumstances that often lead to you BEing reactive?
- When you are BEing reactive, what are some typical thoughts that support that way of BEing? (“I’m not good enough,” or “I give up,” or “What’s the point?” or “I should . . . “)
- What are some common feelings that you experience when you are BEing reactive?
- What are some circumstances in your life where you are proactive?
- When you are BEing proactive, what are some typical thoughts that support that way of BEing? (“I’m treating my boss nice because I want a raise,” or “I want to be healthy,” or “I just want to love my teen.“)
- Why are you proactive in those circumstances?
- What would be the biggest benefit in becoming more proactive and less reactive in your life?
- What would be the biggest benefit in becoming more proactive and less reactive in your relationship with your teen?
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