Self-consciousness vs. Spirit-consciousness
The whole intention behind Authentic Leadership Coaching (to which I have dedicated my life’s work) is to tap into the ‘being‘ of the person versus the ‘doing‘.
The more someone seeks external validation for their self worth, the less they are able to achieve true inner peace through internal validation. Granted, it’s human and perfectly normal to desire love and appreciation from those around us, yet we need to be sure that we are seeking acknowledgement for the right kind of worthiness.
To be conscious is to be aware. When we are self-conscious we have a heightened awareness of who we are in terms of how others see us, and how we see ourselves through the lens of the personality, or ego. There are pluses and minuses to this kind of awareness.
If we simply make decisions based on our personality, we are limiting our lives. For instance, if we take a personality assessment and learn that our ‘type’ is extroverted, then we make take on the belief and responsibility of being extroverted in all situations, when in fact, there may be times we shouldn’t.
The ego-self operates according to a set of subscribed labels and beliefs. I hear clients say things like, “I am a procrastinator” or “I am always on time or early”. In both cases, this is what they are choosing to believe about themselves, and both can have positive and negative results. For the self-identified procrastinator who thinks it’s just part of their personality, unless waiting until the last minute to do things actually works for them, it can cause undo stress overtime. For the self-identified timely person, this is wonderful, until the time comes when they are actually late for something, and then they may feel horrible.
Self-consciousness may lead to fear-based attitudes of: control, jealousy, competition, embarrassment, guilt, shame, insecurity, etc.
When we are spirit-conscious we can elevate our awareness to a whole new level. You may have heard the expressions, “we are souls living a human experience” and “you are not a body that has a soul, you are a soul wearing your body”.
This type of awareness requires a serious amount of patience and daily practice to overcome the urge to see things through the lens of the personality (ego). It also liberates us to recognize our life as nothing more than a series of choices and experiences. In order to live from this place of inner peace and freedom, you must first believe that you are the creator of your own reality, and, that your beliefs and decisions directly impact the course of your life.
It is also important to accept that while you are in the driver’s seat of your life, the Universe is acting as your back-seat driver. If you make a decision that is not in the Universal best interest, you will be redirected. When you realize this, and something doesn’t go the way you planned or imagined, it’s easier to let go because you trust it was not in your spiritual best interest.
Spirit-consciousness leads to love-based attitudes of: acceptance, letting go, non-judgement, compassion, open-mindedness, patience, grace, humility, forgiveness, non-striving, trust, etc.
In his recent TED Talk, David Brooks quotes Reinhold Niebuhr:
“Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope.Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we must be saved by love. No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as from our own standpoint. Therefore we must be saved by that final form of love, which is forgiveness.”
So regardless of whether you work for yourself as an entrepreneur, for a company, or you don’t work at all…consider making your next item of business an exploration into your state of conscious awareness. The quality of your life can only improve from the inside out, not the outside in.