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Self-awareness a Guiding Principle of Diversity Posted by Coordinator in Cultural Diversity, Listening, Power on May 4th, 2010 This month,

, Im delving into self-awarenessthe second guiding principle of diversity. The basic essence of self-awareness is both understanding who you are as well as a willingness to engage in an on-going practice to examine the thoughts, behaviors, and identities that make up who you are. Self-awareness is not a destination, its a process. Not everything about who we are and how we show up in the world is obvious to us. Without an intentional practice of selfreflection, we can be oblivious to how we impact those around us. Our best intentions dont always create the best impacts. People in our lives give us information about how our actions affect them. Sometimes this information is delivered via thoughtful and insightful feedforward. [Author's note: I use the concept of "feedforward" to mean a practice of offering information or observations in a meaningful and compassionate way that moves a person forward on their path (rather than "feedback" which can sometimes set us back, especially if it is masked as "constructive criticism"--an oxymoron, in my opinion).] Sometimes we get this information through other peoples rea ctions (which we may need to interpret or seek to understand our role in co-creating) to our behaviors and attitudes. Cultural competence requires developing a practice of selfexploration. We cultivate a curiosity about who we are, what we bring to situations, and how our behaviors co-create the outcomes we experience. Heres a personal example from my own life: I pride myself on being highly efficient. Its a set of skills I learned early in life and I received a high level of external affirmation for this way of being in the world. Efficiency skills helped me in myriad ways, including being organized and getting a lot done. Despite being aware of how much I value and strive to be efficient, I was less aware of how this attitude and my behaviors impacted those around me. I assumed that others would find my efficiency useful and a benefit in most every situation. Sometimes this was true, but not always. Once I noticed that my efficiency wasnt always needed, I started to tune into the reactions of others and my own internal clues after interactions with others. The first thing I noted was how others often felt intimidated and subsequently hesitant to sign on for a task because they feared not living up to my efficiency standards. They were concerned, rightly so, that I would become frustrated and impatient. This led to a second realizationthat my drive to be efficient diminished opportunities for me to be present with myself, others, and the moment. My self-awareness journey started with acknowledging my efficiency skills, but it didnt stop there. Rather than remain defended and hold tight to the idea that my way was the right one, I chose to examine, question, and eventually shift my internal drive to be efficient. I feared that by being less efficient, I would lose the approval and perceived value I mistakenly thought efficiency earned me. By releasing this fear, I noticed an unexpected outcome: by being less efficient, people began to value and include me for being me-instead of what I could do for them. This process moved me from focusing on others and their perceived inefficiency to examining my behaviors, attitudes, and biases. By turning my attention towards self, my increased internal awareness moved me to a place where I could compassionately, and even dispassionately at times, think about others and where they might struggle or be limited by being less than optimally organized. This process of self investigation lays the important foundation for being an effective ally. However if we start by wanting to be an ally before weve really developed a practice of self -awareness we are doomed to act from wanting to fix or save others (read: make them be like us)a perspective of paternalism, condescension and dominance. The same trap exists on an organizational level. When an organization focuses its effort outside of itself (for example: How can we better serve our diverse customerswithout first seeking to care and serve co-workers better? How can we increase our recruitment of womenwithout first exploring the roles and attitudes men carry in the organization? What approach would appeal to low-income communitieswithout first exploring the embedded class assumptions in the current approach? How can we use some new tool to work with childrenwithout first asking and understanding how we can use this tool with our peer group of teachers?) there is the danger that organizational patterns and policies will go unexamined and unchallenged. The focus is on them rather than uswithout an acknowledgement that us is the only part of the equation we have any real influence over. An all-too-common example plays out in the Diversity Flavor of the Month scenario. This is when a new diversity program is rolled out every few months, leading to a buildup of employee cynicism. Furthermore, the group that is supposed to benefit from the program sees the program as a check the box -type effort rather than one which requires organizational cultural changes. The diversity program comes across more as an attempt to win recognition rather than a system-wide commitment to inclusion. Efforts such as these lack the organizational self-awareness and reflective practice that leads to lasting, effective change. What are some of your personal patterns or behaviors that co-create outcomes that reinforce dominance, paternalism and condescension? Why are these behaviors so defended within you? What would it take for you to let them go? How would your view of yourself change if you did? I remember listening to a client express genuine confusion about why they seemed

unable to attract or retain a diverse range of clients and employees. I gently suggested that the barrier to inclusion wasnt about the other group at allbut rather within them. This was a perspective they clearly had not considered before. Have you?

What is Awareness? Simply put, awareness is our capacity to notice things. We may be aware of the time or aware of a particular situation - we may notice that we are late or that someone is watching us. Being aware of such things means we have taken note of them. This is awareness.

Read more: Definition Of Self Awareness - What Is Self Awareness http://www.evolutionarypathways.com/definition-of-self-awareness.html#ixzz2jD7XCbu9

What is Self Awareness?

Self awareness basically describes a situation where the light of awareness is turned onto ourselves. While awareness is our ability to take note; self-awareness is our ability to take note of ourselves. When we turn our awareness to shine on ourselves, we may become conscious of a great deal of internal activity. We may notice specific thoughts or thought patterns. We may notice particular emotions or flows of energy. We may awaken to physiological processes happening in our body such as heartbeat, heat, sweating. We may notice intuitions or gut feelings. The world of the self is rich and fascinating and we are privileged to possess the ability to actually enjoy all of this consciously. Our capacity for awareness is what makes this possible.

The Definition of Self Awareness Holds the Key to Positive Change

Self-awareness is the ultimate enabler. Without living knowledge of ourselves (which is another way of defining self awareness) there would be no hope for conscious, positive change. Thanks to awareness we can take a good look at ourselves and our lives and see what is working for us and what isn't. This awareness plants the seeds of change in our subconscious mind. It plants in us the drive and motivation to choose to do things differently. The motivation for breaking bad habits, for example, comes from an awareness of the detrimental effects the bad habit is having in our lives. The self-motivation to change also comes from a vivid awareness of what we want for ourselves and our future, and a lucid recognition that we simply won't be able to have it if we don't leave our bad habits behind. With self-awareness we can monitor the negativity inside us and prevent it from getting the best of us. In breaking bad habits, self-awareness can help ensure that we are being hard on our habits instead of being hard on ourselves. It can also help us work with the body mind connection to reduce damaging stress and revitalize. The more self-aware we become, the more power we have to create positive change in our lives.

Read more: Definition Of Self Awareness - What Is Self Awareness http://www.evolutionarypathways.com/definition-of-self-awareness.html#ixzz2jD7aQiuG The Definition of Self Awareness Holds the Key to Positive Change Read more: Definition Of Self Awareness - What Is Self Awareness http://www.evolutionarypathways.com/definition-of-self-awareness.html#ixzz2jD7jWaoB Self-awareness is the ultimate enabler. Without living knowledge of ourselves (which is another way of defining self awareness) there would be no hope for conscious, positive change. Thanks to awareness we can take a good look at ourselves and our lives and see what is working for us and what isn't. This awareness plants the seeds of change in our subconscious mind. It plants in us the drive and motivation to choose to do things differently. The motivation for breaking bad habits, for example, comes from an awareness of the detrimental effects the bad habit is having in our lives. The self-motivation to change also comes from a vivid awareness of what we want for ourselves and our future, and a lucid recognition that we simply won't be able to have it if we don't leave our bad habits behind. With self-awareness we can monitor the negativity inside us and prevent it from getting the best of us. In breaking bad habits, self-awareness can help ensure that we are being hard on our habits instead of being hard on ourselves. It can also help us work with the body mind connection to reduce damaging stress and revitalize. The more self-aware we become, the more power we have to create positive change in our lives.

Read more: Definition Of Self Awareness - What Is Self Awareness http://www.evolutionarypathways.com/definition-of-self-awareness.html#ixzz2jD7mq0Hy

What is Self Awareness but a Living Knowledge of the Self? Read more: Definition Of Self Awareness - What Is Self Awareness http://www.evolutionarypathways.com/definition-of-self-awareness.html#ixzz2jD7r4yJY An expanded definition of self awareness is our ability to notice ourselves in the present moment. Self-awareness is often a good measure of 'presence'. Being present with our body can bring us awareness of many things. A gut feeling may alert us to something that's not quite right; the flow of blood in our veins can awaken us to the simple joy of being alive; a shiver down our spine may let us know that we have connected with a truth. Noticing this internal activity as it happens is the manifestation of self-awareness.

Read more: Definition Of Self Awareness - What Is Self Awareness http://www.evolutionarypathways.com/definition-of-self-awareness.html#ixzz2jD7tonlg

Self Awareness Self Awareness is having a clear perception of your personality, including strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions. Self Awareness allows you to understand other people, how they perceive you, your attitude and your responses to them in the moment.

We might quickly assume that we are self aware, but it is helpful to have a relative scale for awareness. If you have ever been in an auto accident you may have experienced everything happening in slow motion and noticing details of your thought process and the event. This is a state if heightened awareness. With practice we can learn to engage these types of heightened states and see new opportunities for interpretations in our thoughts, emotions, and conversations. Why Develop Self Awareness? As you develop self awareness you are able to make changes in the thoughts and interpretations you make in your mind. Changing the interpretations in your mind allows you to change your emotions. Self awareness is one of the attributes of Emotional Intelligence and an important factor in achieving success. Self awareness is the first step in creating what you want and mastering yourself. Where you focus your attention, your emotions, reactions, personality and behavior determine where you go in life. Having self awareness allows you to see where your thoughts and emotions are taking you. It also allows you to see the controls of your emotions, behavior, and personality so you can make changes you want. Until you are aware in the moment of the controls to your thoughts, emotions, words, and behavior, you will have difficulty making changes in the direction of your life. Self Awareness in Relationships Relationships are easy until there is emotional turmoil. This is the same whether you are at work or in your personal life. When you can change the interpretation in your mind of what you think you can change your emotions and shift the emotional quality of your relationships. When you can change the emotions in your relationships you open up entirely new possibilities your lif e. Having a clear understanding of your thought and, behavior patterns helps you understand other people. This ability to empathize facilitates better personal and professional relationships. Develop Self Awareness Self awareness is developed through practices in focusing your attention on the details of your personality and behavior. It isnt learned from reading a book. When you read a book you are focusing your attention on the conceptual ideas in the book. With your attention in a book you are practicing not paying attention to your own behavior, emotions and personality. Think of learning to be mindful and self aware as learning to dance. When learning to dance we have to pay attention to how and where our feet move, our hands and body motion, what o ur partner is doing, music, beat, floor space, and other dancers. Self awareness isnt learned from books and the Tango isnt either. In my years of study and working with clients I have discovered many useful techniques that accelerate the learning. I have incorporated these techniques into the Self Mastery audio course. The first four sessions are available free. In the process of these sessions I am not telling anybody what to believe, how they should think, or what they should do. I am basically sharing with people exercises in raising their self awareness. When you become more self aware you instinctively begin to see aspects of your personality and behavior that you didnt notice befo re. If you have an emotional reaction of anger small triggers that build up towards those change the interpretations in your mind, or awareness you instinctively make better emotional reaction or destructive behavior. or frustration, you notice many of the thoughts and emotions. You also notice moments when you can not believe what we are thinking. In this heightened choices in your thought process long before an

Making changes in your behavior is much easier to do when you catch them early in the dynamic , before the momentum of thought and emotion has gathered steam. The changes in your mind, and behavior become simple and easy steps when you develop self awareness. http://www.pathwaytohappiness.com/self-awareness.htm

Self-awareness is the capacity for introspection and the ability to recognize oneself as an individual separate from the environment and other individuals. The basis of personal identity[edit] A philosophical view[edit] "I think, therefore I exist, as a thing that thinks." "...And as I observed that this truth 'I think, therefore I am' (Cogito ergo sum) was so certain and of such evidence ...I concluded that I might, without scruple, accept it as the first principle of the Philosophy I was in search." "...In the statement 'I think, therefore I am' ... I see very clearly that to think it is necessary to be, I concluded that I might take, as a general rule, the principle, that all the things which we very clearly and distinctly conceive are true..." [1][2] While reading Descartes, Locke began to relish the great ideas of philosophy and the scientific method. On one occasion, while in a meeting with friends, the question of the "limits of human understanding" arose. He spent almost twenty years of his life on the subject until the publication of An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, a great chapter in the History of Philosophy.[3] John Locke's chapter XXVII "On Identity and Diversity" in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1689) has been said to be one of the first modern conceptualizations of consciousness as the repeated self-identification of oneself, through which moral responsibility could be attributed to the subjectand therefore punishment and guiltiness justified, as critics such as Nietzsche would point out, affirming "...the psychology of conscience is not 'the voice of God in man'; it is the instinct of cruelty ... expressed, for the first time, as one of the oldest and most indispensable elements in the foundation of culture."[4][5][6] John Locke does not use the terms self-awareness or self-consciousness though.[7] According to Locke, personal identity (the self) "depends on consciousness, not on substance" nor on the soul. We are the same person to the extent that we are conscious of our past and future thoughts and actions in the same way as we are conscious of our present thoughts and actions. If consciousness is this "thought" which doubles all thoughts, then personal identity is only founded on the repeated act of consciousness: "This may show us wherein personal identity consists: not in the identity of substance, but ... in the identity of consciousness". For example, one may claim to be a reincarnation of Plato, therefore having the same soul. However, one would be the same person as Plato only if one had the same consciousness of Plato's thoughts and actions that he himself did. Therefore, self-identity is not based on the soul. One soul may have various personalities. Self-identity is not founded either on the body or the substance, argues Locke, as the substance may change while the person remains the same: "animal identity is preserved in identity of life, and not of substance", as the body of the animal grows and changes during its life. Take for example a prince's soul which enters the body of a cobbler: to all exterior eyes, the cobbler would remain a cobbler. But to the prince himself, the cobbler would be himself, as he would be conscious of the prince's thoughts and acts, and not of the cobbler's life. A prince's consciousness in a cobbler body: thus the cobbler is, in fact, a prince. But this interesting border-case leads to this problematic thought that since personal identity is based on consciousness, and that only oneself can be aware of his consciousness, exterior human judges may never know if they really are judgingand punishingthe same person, or simply the same body. In other words, Locke argues that you may be judged only for the acts of your body, as this is what is apparent to all but God; however, you are in truth only responsible for the acts for which you are conscious. This forms the basis of the insanity defense: one can't be held accountable for acts in which one was unconsciously irrational, mentally ill[8]and therefore leads to interesting philosophical questions: "personal identity consists [not in the identity of substance] but in the identity of consciousness, wherein if Socrates and the present mayor of Queenborough agree, they are the same person: if the same Socrates waking and sleeping do not partake of the same consciousness, Socrates waking and sleeping is not the same person. And to punish Socrates waking for what sleeping Socrates thought, and waking Socrates was never conscious of, would be no more right, than to punish one twin for what his brother-twin did, whereof he knew nothing, because their outsides were so like, that they could not be distinguished; for such twins have been seen." [3] Or again:

"PERSON, as I take it, is the name for this self. Wherever a man finds what he calls himself, there, I think, another may say is the same person. It is a forensic term, appropriating actions and their merit; and so belong only to intelligent agents, capable of a law, and happiness, and misery. This personality extends itself beyond present existence to what is past, only by consciousness, --whereby it becomes concerned and accountable; owns and imputes to itself past actions, just upon the same ground and for the same reason as it does the present. All which is founded in a concern for happiness, the unavoidable concomitant of consciousness; that which is conscious of pleasure and pain, desiring that that self that is conscious should be happy. And therefore whatever past actions it cannot reconcile or APPROPRIATE to that present self by consciousness, it can be no more concerned in it than if they had never been done: and to receive pleasure or pain, i.e. reward or punishment, on the account of any such action, is all one as to be made happy or miserable in its first being, without any demerit at all. For, supposing a MAN punished now for what he had done in another life, whereof he could be made to have no consciousness at all, what difference is there between that punishment and being CREATED miserable? And therefore, conformable to this, the apostle tells us, that, at the great day, when every one shall 'receive according to his doings, the secrets of all hearts shall be laid open.' The sentence shall be justified by the consciousness all person shall have, that THEY THEMSELVES, in what bodies soever they appear, or what substances soever that consciousness adheres to, are the SAME that committed those actions, and deserve that punishment for them." [4] Henceforth, Locke's conception of personal identity found it not on the substance or the body, but in the "same continued consciousness", which is also distinct from the soul. He creates a third term between the soul and the bodyand Locke's thought may certainly be meditated by those who, following a scientist ideology, would identify too quickly the brain to consciousness. For the brain, as the body and as any substance, may change, while consciousness remains the same. Therefore personal identity is not in the brain, but in consciousness. However, Locke's theory also reveals his debt to theology and to Apocalyptic "great day", which by advance excuse any failings of human justice and therefore humanity's miserable state. Self-Awareness Theory[edit] Self-Awareness Theory states that when we focus our attention on ourselves, we evaluate and compare our current behavior to our internal standards and values. We become self-conscious as objective evaluators of ourselves. However self-awareness is not to be confused with self-consciousness.[9] Various emotional states are intensified by self-awareness. However, some people may seek to increase their self-awareness through these outlets. People are more likely to align their behavior with their standards when made self-aware. People will be negatively affected if they don't live up to their personal standards. Various environmental cues and situations induce awareness of the self, such as mirrors, an audience, or being videotaped or recorded. These cues also increase accuracy of personal memory. [10] In Demetriou's theory, one of the neo-Piagetian theories of cognitive development, self-awareness develops systematically from birth through the life span and it is a major factor for the development of general inferential processes.[11] Moreover, a series of recent studies showed that self-awareness about cognitive processes participates in general intelligence on a par with processing efficiency functions, such as working memory, processing speed, and reasoning.[12] In psychology[edit] In psychology, the concept of "self-awareness" is used in different ways: As a form of intelligence, self-awareness can be an understanding of one's own knowledge, attitudes, and opinions. Alfred Binet's first attempts to create an intelligence test included items for "auto-critique" a critical [17] understanding of oneself. Surprisingly we do not have a privileged access to our own opinions and knowledge directly. For instance, if we try to enumerate all the members of any conceptual category we know, our production falls much short of our recognition of members of that category. [18] Albert Bandura has created a category called self-efficacy that builds on our varying degrees of self-awareness. Our general inaccuracy about our own abilities, knowledge, and opinions has created many popular phenomena for research such as the better than average effect. For instance, 90% of drivers may believe that they are "better [19] than average" (Swenson, 1981) Their inaccuracy comes from the absence of a clear definable measure of driving ability and their own limited self-awareness; and this of course underlines the importance of objective standards to inform our subjective self-awareness in all domains. Inaccuracy in our opinion seems particularly disturbing, for what is more personal than opinions. Yet, inconsistency in our opinion is as strong as in our knowledge of facts. For instance, people who call themselves opposite extremes in political views often hold not just overlapping political views, but views that are an essential component of the opposite extreme. Reconciling such differences proves [20] difficult and gave rise to Leon Festinger's theory of Cognitive Dissonance.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-awareness

Self-Awareness and Educators: Dedicating You to Your Work

Education requires self-awareness and self-recognition, working with students of any grade level, working within any learning atmosphere - Childhood education, College Education, and even Training environments. It is not specifically that educators must be self-confident; it is simply that educators must be self-aware. Self-recognition or self-awareness is directly related to the outcome of the instructional or learning experience through the relationship of communication, the accuracy of sharing knowledge, and the ability to explain relationships between materials. Self-recognition is a key component of successful instructional and learning experiences. Yeh (2006) found that intrapersonal intelligence is discovered, in previous research, to be directly related to "a person's ability to reflect upon and regulate his or her thoughts and behaviours." (p. 515). In addition, Yeh (2006) further defines that selfawareness influences the ability to regulate and reflect upon thought patterns and "goes beyond the strict demands of strategy selection and outcome evaluation in the problem solving process." (p. 515). Yeh is not alone in recognizing the rising awareness of the importance of self-awareness and self-recognition in the educational fields. Lang and Evans (2006) state, "To be an effective learning facilitator you must know subject matter, have a good grasp of learning and developmental theory, and have command of a wide repertoire of instructional skills." (p. 43). Overall, the individual needs of a person influence the ability of the person to successfully pursue goals that directly result in success. For instance, there is a need to believe in content, to share strength in knowledge, and to overcome the needs of self that can interfere with necessary changes and growth. A number of issues can arise from lower self-image and failure to be self-aware; these can include failure to recognize demand levels on students, failure to acknowledge needed changes, and even failure to communicate effectively with students. Educators must work often to evaluate their actions and their inner thinking to be acutely aware of issues that could result poor learning environments. It is well defined that the atmosphere for learning is often overwhelmed by the personality of the learning facilitator. Every person has a distinct reference to life and self. These references interact with methods of instruction and communication. Strong self-awareness must be carefully tempered by empathy, and selfconfidence tempered by humility. Instructors must recognize their strengths and weaknesses, carefully pursuing balance to increase success - most particularly in communication. Reference: Lang, H., & Evans, D. (2006). Models, Strategies, and Methods for Effective Teaching . New York, N.Y.: Allyn and Bacon, Pearson Education, Inc. Yeh, Y. (2006, July). The interactive effects of personal traits and guided practices on preservice teachers' changes in personal teaching efficacy. British Journal of Educational Technology, 37(4), 513-526. Retrieved September 26, 2009, doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.2006.00550.x