“When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside can do you no harm” – Eric Thomas
One of the greatest challenges and obstacles we will face are our own preconditioned thoughts, emotions, doubts and fears. External obstacles can only be faced when we gain control over our internal chatter. Some may refer to this internal chatter as the “internal enemy”, the battle that seems like an army in our own head, an army of doubt, fear of failure, fear of judgement, lack of confidence and lack of belief.
Voices that many battle:
I am not good enough
I am not worthy
i am not capable
I am not loveable
I am not smart enough
Challenging negative thoughts allows you to gain control over your emotions and behaviour. Understanding how your thoughts drive you and impact the way you show up in relationships and respond to situations is a game changer.
In order to gain more insight on your internal battle give these self reflection exercises a try:
1. ASK YOURSELF “WHY” – Before acting on a decision ask yourself “why”, identify your intentions and question whether or not your choice is reasonable.
2. EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE – Emotions can drive a physical and behavioural response thus, creating a stress response if we remain unaware.
3. SELF CONTROL – Practice applying boundaries too toxic behaviours.
4. BREAK VISCERAL REACTIONS – Self awareness allows you to assess situations objectively and rationally. Break the cycle of emotionally led reactions, slow down, take a deep breath before you react.
5. ACCOUNTABILITY – Acknowledge your mistakes and weaknesses, rather than making excuses in order to justify unhealthy behaviour.
6. BE AWARE OF YOUR SELF TALK – Negative self talk can spiral into stress and depression. Pay attention to how you respond to personal successes and failures. Balance self criticism with self compassion.
7. ASSUMPTIONS – Challenge your own perception.
8. PRACTICE – Keep a journal and track your progress.
9. FEEDBACK – We all have blind spots in our thinking patterns and behaviours. Be open to objective feedback.
10. MEDITATION – Is a foundational practice to improving self awareness as it faces sole on your breathe and internal processing.
Self awareness uncovers destructive thought patterns and toxic behavioural patterns. This leads to better decision making, emotional regulation and behavioural responses.