Throughout the earlier tips there has been a consistent call to pay attention. Within the small, gentle habit of noticing, comes the cornerstone for making long-desired change. Heightened attention flows naturally to greater awareness. With awareness comes an increasing connection to your truth – what you are doing, why you are doing it and what those actions communicate about how you see yourself and your life. With this information in your possession you are positioned to design an effective course for change.
To Pay Attention you make a decision to look unsparingly at your life. You examine the clues – choices, decisions, and actions – and explore the motivations behind them. In particular you look for the behaviors influenced by fear and insecurity; where you don’t trust, how you don’t believe in yourself, and ways you hide out.
Pay Attention to what you gravitate toward – people, conversations, activities – and consider how they are serving you. With dedication to this practice, your ability to accurately assess your experience will grow. This is the due diligence of change work.
You postpone any inclination to fix or react. There will be a time to devise new strategies but it is not now. Too many people want to charge into action but run headlong into a concept Albert Einstein learned long ago – “problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.” Clarity and humility are required before you start anew.
Here are some suggestions to Pay Attention:
- Set your course. Remind yourself each morning of your mission – to uncover where you hold yourself back and why. On an index card write 2 questions; What am I doing? and Why am I doing it?. Refer to your card periodically to reinforce your new mental habit.
- Journal. Carry a personal log and chronicle your “noticings”. This practice is energizing and often results in feeling more engaged and empowered.
- Where am I Afraid? Notice what you do when you are nervous, scared or uncomfortable. This is rich terrain to mine for information.
- Assess your day. Conclude your day by journaling your experience and insights.
Pay Attention is your goal this week – a detective tasked with deciphering and understanding you. Learn about your habits, language, mannerisms, and choices.
Pay Attention, notice and collect your evidence. Soon you’ll be ready for action.
Jul 19, 2012