Self-Awareness 101 Episode 3: I Realized To Soar, I Needed To Let Go Of The Past.
Write to Learn -what it means, and how you benefit.
Willard discusses how he used the process of writing about past experiences to help uncover hidden strengths, and how looking at those past experiences from a new perspective allowed him to release the past, forgive and move forward to greater levels of self-awareness.
Today we're going to explore the quote, "I realized to soar, I needed to let go of the past. You can't fly when you're holding on to all that baggage."
One of the beautiful things about the journey to self awareness is that it is ajourney, it is not a destination. And over the years, one of the things that I've noticed from many people who are on this journey, myself included, is the frustration that happens along the way. What I mean is that we work so hard on improving ourselves, we work so hard on clearing away the past, we work so hard on learning new skills, new strategies to help us become better people. And when we think we have it all figured out, then we hit these stumbling blocks that stop us in our tracks.
I know for me personally, about ten years ago, I had really done a lot of work on myself, and I reached a place in my life where I just felt like I was spinning my wheels. I could not get ahead, I felt like the sky should be the limit for me, but I also felt like I was held to the ground and I couldn't figure out why. I remember it was December of 1998. I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep. I laid there tossing and turning trying to figure out why I felt so stuck. I said, "You know, something is not cleared up, there's something.... and I haven't finished with it yet." I decided I needed to go back one more time, I went out to my living room, sat down at the computer and I started to write. But I wasn't just writing about my past, my history. I was using a process where I would write to learn about myself, about things I had not seen before.
I didn't intend on it becoming a book, but it did. The point of what I was doing was in essence, a journaling exercise. I made the decision that I was going to sit down and write to learn about my life, from as early as I could remember until that current moment. But I wasn't going to just tell my experiences, I wasn't going to sit there spew out "war stories", like... I did this, and then I did this, and then I did this. The idea was to look at the experience, with the intention that I would write to learn new perspectives from an observers point of view, rather than from my original perception. To be able to look at the experiences that happened in my life; to be able to analyze them; to look at what happened to me mentally, emotionally, spiritually in those moments. I would look at some of the traumatic moments in my life, in an effort to understand what happened on all those levels. But not only looking at what "happened" and how it affected me, but I wanted to learn what were the strengths I gained that came from going through that experience? Or, what were some of the resources that were available to me, that I didn't use? So I was going back and not simply reliving the experience, but I was going back kind of like walking with my best friend. I was being my own best friend and saying, "Hey, did you notice when this happened, or did you notice, you could have done this?"
It was a wonderful experience and it really freed me. It has allowed me to forgive myself, because there was a lot of areas where I was carrying guilt and anger. By looking at everything as an observer, I was able to recognize resources I never realized that I had. It showed me strengths I never realized that I had and it showed me options, I never knew were available.
Understand that as you go along this journey, you're going to hit plateaus. You're going to even backslide at times. And what I suggest that you do at those times is journal. Get a book, specifically for journaling, and when you feel yourself stuck, when you feel yourself spinning your wheels or backsliding, sit down and allow yourself to benefit from the experience as you write to learn everything you can about yourself through the eyes of an observer. Just write it all down and give yourself the gift of separating yourself from the experience. Become your own coach where you can look at it from an objective position. Then ask yourself these questions:
What were some of the strengths that this gave me?
What were some of the new directions this moved me in?
What could I have done differently?
What were some of the "gifts" that came later in life from this experience happening?
When you write to learn from those experiences, trust your instincts. If there is something "nagging at you", continue writing about it until you feel it is complete. You will learn so much about yourself by sitting down, being objective, and journaling.
Take a moment right now and look at some of the biggest moments in your life; some of the greatest triumphs, or the hardest trials. And, just as an exercise, write to learn about everything you can remember regarding that experience. As you are writing about it, look over the whole experience, and be a coach to yourself, be an observer and make the observations you may not have noticed before. Ask yourself, "What were the gifts? What were the lessons? What were the resources I tapped into? What were the strengths or the characteristics you used to get you through that experience?
I know you'll learn amazing things about yourself.
Again, this is the journey of self-awareness and as you allow yourself to become aware of these things, you can carry these tools, and these skills with you as you move forward. I look forward to what you uncover for yourself. I look forward to seeing you again.
Choose the next Episode you would like to watch from the list below:
Self-Awareness 101 Series with Transcription Plus
Introduction To Self-Awareness 101: To Inspire, Educate and Empower
SA 101 Episode 1: The Importance of Developing Self-Awareness
SA 101 Episode 2: How to Truly Learn from Mistakes
SA 101 Episode 3: Write To Learn
SA 101 Episode 4: The Meaning That We Give Things
SA 101 Episode 5: Kind Words And Good Deeds Are Eternal
SA 101 Episode 6: Life Begins At The End Of Your Comfort Zone
SA 101 Episode 7: Two Most Powerful Words You'll Ever Say
SA 101 Episode 8: Making Time For What's Truly Important
SA 101 Episode 9: Expectations and Desires About How It Ought To Be
SA 101 Episode 10: Tap Into The Sources Of The Universe
SA 101 Episode 11: The Four Agreements
SA 101 Episode 12: Courage-Being Scared But Saddling Up Anyways
SA 101 Episode 13: The Power Of Belief Systems
SA 101 Episode 14: Change Is Inevitable, Growth Is Optional
SA 101 Episode 15: Establishing Personal Boundaries; It's OK To Say No
SA 101 Episode 16: Encountering External Resistance To Change
SA 101 Episode 17: Creating A Supportive Environment
SA 101 Episode 18: Our Decisions Determine Who We Become
SA 101 Episode 19: Personal Development Tests
SA 101 Episode 20: A List Of Excuses Vs. Results
SA 101 Episode 21: The Meaning Of Honesty
SA 101 Episode 22: Living In Gratitude
SA 101 Episode 23: Repetitive Patterns
SA 101 Episode 24: Non-Verbal Cues
SA 101 Episode 25: Be Brave Enough To Accept The Help Of Others
SA 101 Episode 26: Positive Thoughts And Positive Intentions
SA 101 Episode 27: Active Listening Skills
SA 101 Episode 28: How Self-Awareness Relates To Spirituality
SA 101 Episode 29: Positive Affirmations
SA 101 Episode 30: Basic Meditation Exercises
SA 101 Episode 31: Personal Development At Work
SA 101 Episode 32: Toxic Shame
SA 101 Episode 33: Eliminating Clutter
SA 101 Episode 34: How To Forgive Others
SA 101 Episode 35: Self-Forgiveness
SA 101 Episode 36: Deepening Self-Awareness
SA 101 Episode 37: What Is Fear?
SA 101 Episode 38: How To Overcome Fear
SA 101 Episode 39: Dealing With Your Anger
SA 101 Episode 40: How To Find Your Passion
SA 101 Episode 41: Increasing Your Self-Awareness
SA 101 Episode 42: How To Feel Deserving
SA 101 Episode 43: How To Be A Humble Observer
SA 101 Episode 44: Progress Not Perfection
SA 101 Episode 45: Expectations And Perfectionism
SA 101 Episode 46: Dealing With Anger
SA 101 Episode 47: Taking Responsibility For Yourself
SA 101 Episode 48: Achieving Higher Consciousness
SA 101 Episode 49: Trust Life
SA 101 Episode 50: Being Skeptical
SA 101 Episode 51: Benefits Of Closure
SA 101 Episode 52: The Final Episode