What are you thinking? Cultivating A Practice of Self-Awareness

I’m being pretty vulnerable here.  I recently traveled and at one point in the process of getting between point A to point B I experienced a huge panic attack.  Out of nowhere, I spiraled and it took me a few moments to realize what was happening until  I said it out loud. “I don’t know why but I’m having a huge panic attack” and then I am wondering … What are you thinking?

I stopped for a moment and put my hand on my heart to settle me into my body and took some mindful breaths in through my nose out my mouth and checked my thoughts and my emotions.  What was I thinking and feeling?  I started to judge myself and stopped those harsh thoughts and let it wash over me…. It was a challenging few moments and it subsided.  The point of sharing this is that even when you’re in your own unique self-awareness practice stuff happens and that’s okay.  Go to your toolbox and use your wisdom.  Here are a few tips to try.  *Taking a few minutes each day to reflect on thoughts and emotions helps.  I journal each morning, short and sweet, and it helps me so much. 

Challenge Negative Thought Patterns: Those thoughts!!!!  They feel so powerful and true.  Those negative, unhelpful, and unkind thoughts don’t have the power!  YOU HAVE THE POWER OVER YOUR THOUGHTS and can shape your reality.  I encourage you to actively challenge and reframe negative thoughts.  It can be like this:  Negative thought:  What if this doesn’t work?  I will never get to where I want to be!”  “This isn’t going to work”

I found myself prior to that mentioned panic attack whipping myself up to missing the plane.  Why?  I was early at the gate and all was well.  I was stuck in overgeneralization, black-and-white thinking, and catastrophizing and after the wave of emotions rushed through with the simple mindfulness I countered them with more balanced and rational thinking. (Those feelings and thoughts were familiar to me and as strange as this sounds a release of the stress of the situation.  Dealing with loss, heartbreak, and grief has a sense of creating a comfortability with uncomfortableness.  Does that make sense? And it is a reset to override the out-of-balance of trauma. 

Cultivate a Growth Mindset: My mantra or affirmation is “I am learning”  which is important for a growth mindset which emphasizes the belief that abilities and intelligence can be developed through effort, learning, and perseverance.  

We are learners and doers.  The perfectionist mindset is so prevalent, for women especially, that when we have a misstep or wobble we are extremely harsh with ourselves.  

I marvel at the women I have the privilege of coaching.  Strong, resilient, loving, and focused, and also so hard on themselves while second guessing or questioning they’re ability and efforts all the while achieving great things and looking down challenges! 

Here are some practical steps to try for one week:  1) set an achievable goal.  2) seek out new ways to experience goal achievement. Ex. change it up; journal, affirmation, checklists, daily re-groups, and if wanted change the goal!  Remember:  You ALWAYS have the right to change your MIND!   3) Reframe setbacks as a “stepping stone” towards your personal goal.  

It takes time to become a new YOU.  Be gentle and kind while you are changing.

You might like to Check out these Loving Journal Prompts to help your journaling practice become more self-awareness driving.

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