Build Better Awareness. Make Better Decisions.

Eric Boles
January 15, 2018

Eric Boles

NFL Player, Expert in Leading & Managing Change, Leadership, Peak Performance and Personal Growth

Written by Diane Vaccaro

Each of us was born to win, but we have been conditioned to lose. We are born to thrive, to grow, and to develop. But, we get conditioned to lose, to settle, to sit back. We allow the words of others, and our own self talk, to influence how we perceive ourselves and the world around us. The problem is that sometimes those messages are negative and self-limiting. We heard critical words as a child and decided those words were truths for a lifetime. We decide early on that we "can't." As time moves on and the world changes and grows, we forgot that we can change and grow, too. Instead, we keep those limitations like they are laws.

How do we remove those self-limitations and unleash more of our potential? We expand our awareness.

Awareness is defined as how clearly you receive and understand everything that affects your life. It is the result of a lifetime of conditioning, includes your genetic makeup, and is continually changing as you experience new things. Your awareness informs your belief and value systems as well as your actions and decisions. As a result, your actions and decisions (behaviors) are only as wise as the information they are based on (your awareness).

Have you ever acted on bad information? I once used a map app to get to a relative's house. I trusted the app to know the best route and time. Because I wasn’t too familiar with the area, I hit "GO" and off we went. Little did I know, the directions included a one-lane, bumpy dirt road for 3 miles. When we popped up on the ridge of the mountain onto a paved road, we were so relieved. Minivans were not meant for that kind of terrain!

We made it to a destination – perhaps by the shortest route – but not they way we intended. I think most of us have trusted a map app to get us somewhere to only be disappointed at the route or the final destination. This was a crucial moment in my use of these sorts of apps. I learned that their advice is not to be taken blindly. My awareness grew and I used that information to influence my future use of map apps. I guess I could have ignored this learning moment, but I have a feeling if I did, I could be taking the minivan on more off-road trips.

The same process applies to all areas of our life. Are you taking the opportunities to learn? To grow? Are you letting new information into your head so that you can make better decisions? Or, are you pushing everything out that challenges what you currently believe? Bad information creates bad decisions. Being open to new information helps us measure the truth in our current beliefs.

What is an area in your life where gaining new information will help you have better awareness? Your finances? Relationships? Job opportunities? Read a book. Listen to a podcast. Attend a seminar. Go out there and experience something new!

Write in the comment section below one thing you will do to make sure you are continuing to build your awareness level.

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