When you're self-aware and watch yourself like a hawk, you give yourself vision and ability: The vision and ability to focus, accurately perceive your emotions and understand your tendencies across different situations.
Superpowers, if you ask me. And this improved self-awareness has the power to improve your life immediately.
Watch yourself like a hawk
When we say "watch yourself like a hawk," what exactly does that mean?
Most of us are aware that hawks have excellent vision, sure. But did you know the normal vision for a hawk is 20/2 while the normal vision for a human is 20/20? When a human has a 20/20 vision, it means they can see things 20 feet away. Hawks can see something 20 feet away as if they were only 2 feet apart. Amazing, right?
You've probably heard the term "eagle eye" before too. Under ideal circumstances, they're said to have 20/5 or 20/4 vision.
Do you want to dive deeper into the scientific side of hawk vision and how they process visual information? I recommend giving this article a quick read.
Now, how can we apply this concept to the ways we watch ourselves?
How we can take control and become more self-aware
Even though we don't have a hawk's keen vision, we do have the ability to focus. We can work on being more self-aware and observing our emotions. But not all of us do this.
In my experience, many of us struggle with this due to what I've termed the "drive-by life" phenomenon. (You can learn more about what it means to live a drive-by life in this post. I also discuss the concept in my book Giving Back and how the challenges of living a drive-by life rob us from living in the moment.)
To sum it up here, we tend to go through the motions of our everyday lives without really taking the time to focus on our emotions and view our surroundings because we are not self-aware.
And when we don't focus on and manage our emotions with self-awareness, the consequences can be extreme. Click here to read more about reading the messages our emotions are sending us.
The ability to see the calm before the storm
When you live in the moment and practise mindfulness–the opposite of a drive-by life–you're able to focus and watch yourself like a hawk. And when you view yourself, you become more self-aware.
Can you imagine having the vision of a hawk? A razor-sharp view of situations to assist with proactively managing your emotions, so they don't control you? You'd be able to see the calm before the storm and act accordingly. You could prevent your emotions from getting the best of you.
Now that sounds great, but can you actually make it happen?
Simple steps to becoming more self-aware
It IS possible to become more self-aware and develop an objective understanding of your emotions.
Here are some simple tips to accomplish this:
- Pay close attention to your emotions, thoughts, and behaviours as circumstances unfold. AKA: watch yourself!
- As this happens, take a deep breath and slow yourself down and begin to focus on what is in front of you.
- Allow time to observe; it takes time for your brain to focus and process all the information as it presents itself.
- Be sure to access all information, including feeling your emotions, before you take action.
When you watch yourself like a hawk, your self-awareness becomes a superpower that allows you to manage your emotions proactively, so they don't control you. Now, imagine the ways your life would immediately improve if you had power over your emotions.
This article was originally published on June 30, 2018, and has been updated (June 2020).
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