It’s that time again… HOLIDAY TIME! I’ve got to admit, this time of year makes me feel like Will Ferrell in that movie Elf – I get pretty jacked up.
Know what? Just call me Buddy for the next couple of weeks.
In honor of the holiday season, I want to chat about something that may seem like an odd topic – gifts you should give YOURSELF!
Yup, you read that right.
In life, we’re taught that giving gifts to others is a great thing to do. It shows them that you care.
And I absolutely agree with that. There are very few things that fulfill me more than giving gifts – especially well thought out ones.
But while giving gifts to others is all well and good, what about yourself? When are you going to give yourself something?
If giving gifts is an indication that we care about someone, what does it say about our level of self care if we never give ourselves gifts?
I get it… this is probably paradigm shifting in complete opposition to everything you’ve been taught and believed throughout your life.
But the reality is, if you want to be able to show up as the best version of yourself in life, you’ve got to start giving yourself some gifts.
To be clear, I’m not talking about materialistic things. Although I think you need to do that too.
The gifts I want to chat about are less tangible and WAY more valuable. They’re UNCOMMON gifts, and they’ll change your freakin’ life!
The first UNCOMMON gift you need to give yourself this year is self awareness.
To learn why you need more self awareness and how it’ll benefit you, keep reading.
The gift of self awareness
Why you need more self awareness
Before we dive into 3 areas of life that you need more self awareness in, let’s chat about why you need more of it in the first place.
And just to be clear, the reason why I’m qualified to speak on this topic is because it’s something that I struggled with for so much of my life and is probably the biggest area of focus for my own personal growth over the past decade.
When you think about change, what has to come first? Even before the desire to change.
If you said awareness, you’d be correct. Before you can have a desire to change something, you have to have awareness that it isn’t the way you want it to be in the first place.
So often in life, the reason people never change is because they aren’t self aware enough to recognize that something needs to be changed.
They may intuitively feel it, but that’s not good enough. Transformation requires conscious effort. And that conscious effort will only come if you’ve got self awareness.
So, now that we know why you need self awareness, let’s talk about 3 specific areas that you really need it in.
How do you feel?
The first area of life you need to give yourself the gift of more self awareness in, is understanding how you feel.
Throughout my years as a coach, and working with hundreds of people, one of the things I’ve come to know to be true is that most people have no clue how they feel.
Even worse than that, most people don’t realize that they don’t know how they feel.
And I’m sure you can see how that can be problematic. The reason why is because it takes self awareness about how you feel in order to be able to change it.
It’s transformation 101: you can’t fix something that you don’t realize or admit is broken.
A lack of self awareness about how we feel is what’s led to a society where 70% of people say that they are unhappy.
Now you may be thinking, “Justin, didn’t you just say that people don’t know how they feel, but now you’re saying that most people are unhappy?”
Yes, yes I did! And the reason I did is because “unhappy” is such a general place to be. That’s a whole separate problem, is that we tend to generalize our feelings under the same handful of words.
But when most people say they’re unhappy, they can’t actually describe to you what they’re feeling or why they’re feeling that way.
So, if you want to change your life for the better, give yourself the gift of becoming self aware about how you feel in all areas of your life.
When you do that, you’ll give yourself the opportunity to start making changes so you can feel the way you want to feel.
How are you showing up?
How are you showing up in life? Is it the way you want to be? Oh, better yet, do you even have a standard for how you want to be showing up?
Just like knowing how you feel, changing your life for the better is going to require you to be more self aware about how you’re showing up in the world.
Let’s go back to that stat about 70% of people saying that they’re unhappy. I don’t know about you, but when I’m unhappy, I kind of become numb to life.
I check out, and find myself just kind of going through the motions. Well, when we do that, we tend to become unconscious about how we’re showing up.
And that’s why people can sense that something is wrong with us. Because we’re not “being ourselves.” Clearly, we have a certain way of being that is our default pattern that people have come to expect from us.
The problem is, we can’t always depend on others to call that out when we’re in one of those funks. Everyone has their own mess to worry about.
So in order to avoid days, weeks, or months of wasted time going through the motions, you need to become self aware about how you’re showing up in the world and in your life.
Step one is becoming aware of how you’re currently showing up. You may be able to do this on your own, or you might have to ask some trusted people in your life.
Once you’ve done that, next you need to get clear on exactly how you do want to be showing up. Do you want to be more joyful? A little more confident? Or maybe you want to be more present.
Whatever it is, you need to consciously set that intention. Life without intention easily becomes one of going through the motions.
Lastly, have a normal routine of consciously reflecting and checking in with yourself to see if you’re showing up how you want to be. Preferably, you’d do this on a daily basis, so you can turn it around quickly.
What do you want?
One of the things that goes hand in hand with self awareness is self honesty. Like old Forrest and Jenny, self awareness and self honesty go together like peas and carrots.
Well, one of the areas that both self awareness and self honesty are lacking in most people’s lives is knowing or owning what they want.
The reason why is because most people have never really thought about it. So if you ask them what they want, they’ll either tell you things they think they should want because society says those are the right things to want, or they’ll tell you things their parents had.
We’ve been conditioned to think that we should only have certain things, or that certain things are right to have, and others aren’t.
And it’s thinking like that, that further fuels that 70% of unhappy people. It’s hard to create a happy life when you don’t have things in your life that make you happy.
Want to know how you change that? You got it – get clear on what you want!
Clarity is so important in life. In fact, I think it’s the foundation to building and living a great life. Doing so is almost impossible if you don’t get clear on a few things, one of which is knowing what you want.
If you don’t ever get clear on what you want, you set yourself up to live a life where you’re unfulfilled no matter what you have.
So, do yourself a favor and take some time to get really clear on what you want. Then own it!
No matter what it is, you have to take ownership of it. Otherwise you won’t get it, and you’ll be stuck wondering why you still have that unfulfilled feeling.
Putting it all together
So, to recap, self awareness is key to living the kind of life you want to live.
And it’s particularly important in three areas of life: knowing how you feel, how you’re showing up, and what you want.
If you can give yourself that gift this year, you’ll be on your way to creating and living that UNCOMMON life.
If you’re looking for some additional help with getting clarity, definitely check out my Ultimate Clarity Guide. You can download it here.