3 Ways Self-Awareness Leads to a Joyful Life
You want to “live your best life,” and aren’t sure how to do it. At least, that’s how I used to feel. I knew I was capable of a lot…what and how weren’t so clear, but something inside me was screaming, “You can do, be, and feel better!”
You can do, be, and feel better. But, where do you start?
That, my love, is the perfect question. And it probably comes as no surprise that the answer is, “With you.” It’s a simple and clear answer, yet somehow elusive. You haven’t been taught how to live the life you truly, deeply want. You were taught how to conform, be quiet, eliminate multiple choice answers, and do the “right” thing.
You’re taught to disconnect and put our “childish” dreams aside to assimilate into society and toe the line. Then, you’re thrown out into the world to achieve, achieve, achieve. If you’re like me, you had at least one moment where you realized “being an adult” was not only a lie (everyone’s out here making it up), it’s also highly overrated.
The intention of our conditioning comes from a good place—the individuals in your life who want the best for you taught you what they did because it’s what they knew. It’s what they were taught; a formula for happiness. Unfortunately, joy isn’t one-size-fits-all. It’s as unique and subjective as someone’s favorite movie or color.
Self-awareness is the key to unlocking all the joy inside you.
Self-awareness is a beautiful tool that, when utilized wholeheartedly, allows you to reconnect to who you truly are. The “you” who knows exactly why you’re here and what brings you joy.
By stepping onto a path of self-awareness, you give yourself the gift of clarity, self-love, and healing.
Though there are infinite benefits to a self-awareness journey, let’s explore 3 of the most significant.
1. Understand what’s in your way.
The only way to find a solution is to understand the problem. So many people know something is off. They feel they’re out of alignment, but if you don’t know why, it’s extremely difficult to respond.
Imagine if you went to the doctor’s office and said, “I don’t feel good,” and instead of doing a checkup and asking about your symptoms, they replied, “Try harder,” or “It’s just a phase.” The tendency to treat our physical reality as the only reality has us confused about how to do something with our mental, emotional, and spiritual reality.
When you take the time to understand yourself, listen to yourself, and wake up to who you are, you become an expert in what you need. So, when you’re not feeling good, you’re able to tune in, diagnose the problem, then prescribe yourself some healing medicine.
Simply put, when you feel like shit, you’ll know how to handle it in an authentic, wholehearted way that works for you. When you know what’s in the way of your joy, you can move it.
2. Connect to your “why.”
A rare few come out of the womb knowing exactly what they wanted to do with their lives and how to make it happen. For most, it’s a constant struggle to feel connected to why the f**k they’re on the planet and what the hell is going on.
As you continue to connect with yourself and move the things in your way, your purpose in everything—life, career, relationships—becomes much clearer. That clarity will help you make important decisions about how you want to design your life. It also solidifies your intentions. Intentions are a big topic I’ll cover many times; here’s the high-level point:
If you aren’t awake to your motives, your intentions can become distorted, which manifests all kinds of ick in your life.
Connecting to your “why” in all things means your motives are present for you, and in turn, your intentions can be purposeful, grounded, and filled with your deepest, most sacred energy. That’s the type of stuff that moves mountains! The most powerful manifesters in the world (think Oprah) are so strongly connected to “why,” they’re able to make things happen almost instantaneously.
Imagine if your dreams weren’t just dreams, and you were able to make them a reality quickly and with ease!
3. Forget external validation.
One of the most detrimental things you were taught is that your sense of self is tied to external things. That your deserve-ability, validity, and worthiness come from others. That is a bald-faced lie. Thinking about how deeply woven into the fabric of our society this lie is, makes me shake with anger.
Of all the gifts your self-awareness journey will give you, the most powerful is the shift from external validation to internal permission.
The #1 regret of the dying is having lived life on someone else’s terms. It takes courage to live the life you truly want. Why? Because you’re convinced everyone else around you has to approve of your life. Even if you think you’re independent and don’t care what people think, there are parts of this conditioning that affect you.
Self-awareness gives you access to where external validation comes into play so you can make a heart-centered decision, not an ego-based one. Egos serve an important role in our lives, and they should not be doing the driving. Relearning to do this (like you did when you were a kid) takes time and commitment.
These 3 benefits barely scratch the surface of why self-awareness is a journey worth taking.
Starting is as simple as observation: where in your life are you feeling stuck or unhappy? Where do you notice behavior patterns that are unhelpful? What situations leads to “check-out” and float through life instead of being present?
If this feels overwhelming and you can’t quite dig your teeth into it, try my “Should-But” Cleanse challenge. It’s a free 21-day exercise in observation of how word choice affects your reality. It’s something anyone can do at any time, and it’s simple! Mind you, it won’t necessarily be easy, but it’s an accessible way to try on self-awareness.
- Building self-awareness
- Understand the impact of “should” and “but” on your mental and emotional health
- Tune into your subconscious dialogue (which is 95% of your thoughts)
- Realize you have more choice than you think
- Take control of your perfectionistic tendencies
- Step away from self-hate
- Stop relying so heavily on external validation
- Get closer to living a joy-filled life
Fill out the form below to try it out, and let me know how it goes! I’m rooting for you.
Liv Hadden is a Clarity Guide and the creator of Self-Aware Millennial, the podcast + community for people seeking a joyously authentic life. Her work is built upon her deep belief that every person has a profound gift to share with the world; her mission is to create platforms and spaces for people to find their inner purpose, then share it with confidence and pride.