In my studies of psychology literature there is a constant theme. The path to psychological well-being is a process of increasing self-awareness, whether that is a private journey or assisted by a therapist or coach.
As we start to reflect on our thoughts, feelings and behaviour, we start to see patterns that come automatically to us, that we haven’t noticed before. We start to see the impact of these patterns on ourselves, our lives and on others. They may be helpful or detrimental but as long as we remain unaware, they are always limiting. Raising awareness means that we have to make choices.
If we continue this process of increasing awareness and choice, we will see more and more of our patterns, bring them into question, and choose to keep or discard them. This ongoing process removes our biases, and allows us to see the world with greater and greater clarity. When we remove our blinkers and distortions we are better able to see the world as it really is, and see ourselves as we really are.
As we face ourselves we gradually let go of our rigid thinking and defenses, and so we have more of our intelligence available to us. We raise our ability to think critically and creatively about the situations we find ourselves in. We become more flexible and appropriate in our responses.
The process of self-reflection releases us towards a healthier, more satisfying life.
Working with a therapist or psychologically trained coach speeds up the process considerably, as they can see our blind spots more clearly and lead us towards awareness, and support us through change.