It’s about time that we take taking care of ourselves more seriously.
Ice Cube’s song title, “Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself” has an interesting message.
Although I don’t usually analyse rap lyrics, this song title deserves some careful attention.
I’ve always had an interest in self-awareness. As a yoga instructor, I’m interested in what makes people tick, including me.
In early 2015 I moved away from my friends and family. I followed my heart to a city I thought I would want to call home. I felt confident in my decision.
After all, things work out when you follow your intuition, right?
Well, apparently not.
My new surroundings fell short of the paradise I had expected and I started to feel lost. I thought this move was what I wanted but I was met with unhappiness and self-doubt.
In my head, I knew what to do—I had filled my mental filing cabinet with ideas about mindful and healthy habits for moments just like this! But when the time came, I didn’t have the heart to put them into practice.
We all have those days, weeks, or months when we feel stuck.
On such days, our desires and dreams seem to have scurried off and hidden under a rock. We feel lost and unsure. We try to reconstruct the person we thought we were, but things just don’t feel right…because they aren’t.
Feeling lost or conflicted is our subconscious intuition coaxing us to change. It’s an indication that we want more out of life—a self-imposed nudge to move us in a different direction.
When this happens, it’s important to listen to what our hearts tell us. However, during such times, it’s all too easy to doubt ourselves and feel depressed or anxious. We doubt past choices, fear the future, and destroy our present selves.
And here’s where Ice Cube’s advice kicks in. Before we wreck ourselves, we need to check ourselves.
This is what I call an attitude assessment—an internal check-in to examine personal qualities, attitudes, and goals. Doing this kind of assessment means asking questions about ourselves and our environments, such as:
How would I describe myself?
How would I like to describe myself?
What are my positive qualities and habits?
How can I reach my dreams?
Where can I improve?
And, perhaps most importantly, what changes can I make today?
Instead of asking objective questions, allow for mental exploration.
These questions take time to answer.
This assessment encourages us to structure our questions on personhood rather than livelihood. This is a learning experience designed to explore deep thoughts of who we are and who we want to be.
Be open and be patient with yourself.
Asking questions can often feel overwhelming. It’s important to examine the big picture and to look at what we can do right now.
Remember that the why determines the how: why do I feel unhappy, lost or conflicted and how can I use this to change my life?
Looking back, I understand that my seemingly significant transition to a new city was an anticlimactic event. I also understand that my doubts taught me that having mindful thoughts isn’t enough.
What I need, and what we all need, is to utilise our self awareness and put our knowledge into practice.
So go on…check yourself.
Author: Melissa Steginus
Apprentice Editor: Katie Gard; Editor: Khara-Jade Warren
Image: Wesley Eller/ Flickr