I love this month it’s very much a self-awareness month. I always feel bright and fresh in September despite the fact we are packing away the warm holidays and welcoming back our cosy autumnal friend. To me, it’s a month of excitement and buzz, with anticipation of the opportunity to embark on new goals or pick up speed on our old goals as we race towards the end of the year.
Seeing the kids grabbing new school bags, scented rubbers and new furry pencil cases, skipping off to a new classroom and a new teacher, all fresh from a summer holiday, inspires me to see this time of year as a new chapter and make the most of my post-holiday energy too.
I’ve been talking a lot in the past week, both at work and socially, about all the exciting things people want to achieve in their jobs, businesses, health, fitness, home improvement you name it before the end of the year. There is a definite air of focus, determination and positivity out there. In fact, as I write this I think I’ve put my finger on what is I love about this month – It’s the way September can ignite people to go for goals which will make a difference to their lives and the way they work. Fuelled by a slight sense of urgency as the year-end is in sight, these goals appear to be full of added passion and resolve.
It’s important that whatever is on your mind and your intended focus, that your turn the post-summer energy and positivity into action and don’t waste it.
So let’s start right now. Stand up, put your shoulders back, look straight ahead, spread your arms (or fist pump the air if you prefer) and shout ‘Let’s do this!’.
Yes – come on shout it out loud! It will bring more spirit, excitement and pump you up, even more, to go for those goals.
NOW, LET’S PAUSE FOR A OF WISE CHECK-IN
Ask yourself are you really ready and do you really know what you want to achieve?
Experience tells me that starting with energy, a positive mindset, best intentions and determination is not going to be enough alone to ensure success and a smooth journey towards a goal. (It is the best way to start though!)
The reality is that at times hurdles will arise and the need for effort will intensify, work-loads will increase and juggling will escalate. Your internal voice will feed your self-doubt and as it gets darker and colder our spirits are likely to dampen. With all the will in the world, unfortunately unless we are fully prepared, engaged with a growth mindset and have strategies up our sleeve, many of us will find that we are stumbling through overwhelm, getting confused on direction, making excuses, getting lost in blame, getting disheartened, procrastinating and letting negativity creep in. Suddenly, that ambition which right now we are pumped to achieve may well become the nightmare on our to-do list.
Sound familiar? Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen, read on…
Gain clarity on what you really want
With a positive mindset fuelling you, this is the time to grab hold of your thoughts, ideas and even any niggles which are playing on your mind, and bring them to the forefront and make sense of them. It’s the time to explore, acknowledge and become aware of what it is that you really want and why you want it. This way you will be able to create a plan, which through thick and thin, you will be motivated to consistently pursue. A plan which will get you there quickly, effectively and as easily as possible because you believe in it and you feel passionate about it.
Paint that picture
A great starting point I find is to visualise your aspired end result. Pull all your thoughts together and paint a vivid picture in your mind which inspires you, stimulates you and which you can tap back into whenever you lose your oomph.
So find a quiet spot, spend 10 minutes immersing yourself with all your senses, and visualise what it will look like, feel like, smell like and taste like when you succeed at your goal. Be creative, push your boundaries and dream big.
Once you’ve got a clear vision you will find it easier to capture the specifics of your goal – as you explore more, remember to keep your goal SMART. Just a pointer, SMART goal setting isn’t just for big goals it works just as well for our small ones. A well thought out goal means then you are on your way to a sound plan, you’ll feel more confident knowing where you intend to get to and you’ll start to believe in your success more and more.
The power to keeping going consistently comes from self-awareness
The hurdles, internal voices and other interferences which raise their head as you work towards your goal are much easier to handle if you understand yourself. It took me 20 years of hard slog and walking through a lot of treacle before I realised that self-awareness is the power behind perseverance. With greater self-awareness, I found the connection to ‘my authentic self’ and found a special guide, a mentor from within, whose voice and words I use daily to support me in decision making and overcoming stumbling blocks. I know my inner guide check-ins are what help me achieve clarity, confidence and focus quickly.
“Most of us are totally unaware that our inner conversations are the causes of circumstances of our life” Neville Goddard
When you accept and know who you truly are you are able to steer yourself onwards through choppy waters. You will recognise the signs when your saboteurs are at work, you’ll be aware of your limiting beliefs which stop you taking action and you will learn how to embrace empowering beliefs which will push you forward, give you courage and help you face fear. When you are self-aware you become connected to your motivating pulls which are much stronger than any fears and obstacles you come up against. Decisions aligned to your values and beliefs are much more comfortable to make and easier to follow. Simply put, when you are self-aware you have intelligence about your own needs, desires and personality making adapting to each twist and turn effective and simpler.
If you think you know yourself I would challenge you to rethink this
Open your mind to the thought that over the years perhaps you’ve become a muddle of what you really stand for, value and believe in and what you have been influenced by and what you feel you should stand for, think and do. Not many people can really answer the WHO AM I question without deep exploration and it takes time. I’m still learning 2 years after I first found my inner guide. Self- awareness is empowering but it doesn’t happen over night. Part of having a growth mindset, which I strongly advocate through my coaching, is the continuous desire to learn through everything we do. With every success and set back we learn a lot about ourselves if we take the time to notice.
Many people dismiss self-exploration because they worry it is selfish or a luxury use of time, but I say to you that any time spent on yourself is time well spent and never excessive.
Say hello to the things that make you your unique self through increased self awareness
As a simple starting point spend half an hour writing down everything you know about yourself, what you stand for, what you value and what’s important to you, what frustrates/irritates you and what makes your heart sing. Be honest and don’t allow thoughts of what you perceive is the right answer to influence what you jot down. Self-awareness is your key to change.
“Because a true sense of purpose is deeply emotional, it serves as a compass to guide us to act in a way completely consistent with our values and beliefs. Purpose does not need to involve calculations or numbers. Purpose brings about the quality of life. Purpose is human, not economic.” Simon Sinek
Aim for happiness and you’ll achieve your goals
You need the right mindset to achieve goals and a one with positivity and energy is going to push you forward. You also need clarity on what you really want and how you can achieve it whatever you face by boosting your self-awareness.
Success is around the corner, but before that, you’ll achieve happiness in what you do to get there and ultimately that’s just as important as the aspired end result.