"But when we observe, we are forced to pay attention. We have to move from passive absorption to active awareness. We have to engage." ~ Maria Konnikova
Growth comes when I am uncomfortable, but if I cannot sit with the uncomfortable and move through it, I will never reach my desired destination in my life.
Sounds easy enough right? It is a simple concept, but it can be a difficult skill to master. These skills are great, and they sound great too, but if they're not practiced, they're just a good idea. Part of the beauty of being able to objectively observe myself is that I remove the judgment. My goal is to be neutral, to observe without bias. Part of the reason we are scared to look at ourselves is because we have a preconceived idea of what is good and bad or right or wrong. Observations are neutral. They are Switzerland. My observations give me insight as to where I am, where I'm going, and they identify any roadblocks that in the past, prohibited me from continuing moving forward. So, I challenge you, as I did myself, to strive for neutrality and remove harsh judgment.
The goal is not to browbeat yourself; the goal is to be able to step out of yourself with objectivity and observe. It's called objective self-observation, not objective self-criticism or self-loathing.
In my own life and my journey, I have felt inadequate, incapable, and trivial. I now know that this is not my truth. I know through objective observation of myself, that this is part of my growth. This is not bad. It allows me to remain in a learner state of mind. If I wait until I know how to do it perfectly, I will never do it.
I don't know about you, but I was tired of having unfinished unrealized dreams, goals, journeys, and adventures. I was ready to grow, and I was ready to gain insight as to who I am and why I do the things I do. By removing the harsh judgment, we learn about ourselves, and gain insight, and see solutions; goals became reality. As you move forward in your own journey and you connect these dots, I challenge you to stay objective. Harsh criticism, self-belittling self-hatred, and verbal abuse of self-stunt your growth. Objective observation is a tool that I use so that I continue to grow and flourish and thrive. We are meant to be uncomfortable, but we associate it with a negative connotation. Flip the script objectively observed yourself, identify what’s uncomfortable, and get that picture in your mind healthy. We fear, fear. We fear that which makes us uncomfortable because being uncomfortable makes us change. However, honing your ability of self-observation objectivity without judgment, allows us to associate being uncomfortable with growth. I don't have to stop doing what I'm doing because I'm uncomfortable anymore. I don't have to judge myself; I don't have to criticize myself, and neither do you. If you can't see the forest for the trees, climb the tree. It looks different from up there, right? There is a reason I never was able to create the life I imagined in my mind. My life was never going to look the way I wanted it to you if I could not observe myself as objectively as possible. At the first sign of any doubts, uncomfortableness, or hiccups, I would freeze. I don't half to do that and neither do you.
So, join me in operation objective self-observation. Take notice, connect the dots, notice patterns, and identify the cause. Get a bird’s eye view of yourself because any time we change our course, or path because of fear, we directly change the trajectory of our life’s path. If I know this is my pattern, if I know that feeling uncomfortable is just part of growing, I can continue moving forward. I can continue realizing my dreams and my goals and I can continue to create the life I desire.
How do we begin? Well, that's kind of the easy part, just check in with yourself.
I like to use the stop acronym:
Take a breath
This is the starting point that helps me build mastery in objective self-observation. Slowing down my thinking, allowed me to respond instead of react, to fear. When you check in with yourself remember you're not sentencing or punishing yourself, you are observing objectively. Appreciating yourself, understanding your weaknesses, without criticism, invites opportunity into your life--it invites the solution. Challenge your thinking, challenge your perception of yourself, because you are capable of great things, you're capable of changing, and you're worth it.
In my next blog, we will begin exploring objective observation as a tool in moving through larger, global issues, with ease.