Lesson 1: The Full Journey

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JJ Parker  0:02  
Welcome, everybody, to the first lesson in the self awareness journey. I'm JJ.

Melissa Albers  0:09  
And I'm Melissa.

JJ Parker  0:10  
And we're really excited to have you here with us today

Melissa Albers  0:13  
we share our

JJ Parker  0:14  
so let's start off this lesson by talking about what the definition of self awareness is. Because I feel like people will say that term a lot. Yeah. And it's not very clear what, what anyone means by it.

Melissa Albers  0:27  
Right? It sounds very loosey goosey. Yes. So just for fun, I went on Google and I looked, what is the definition of self awareness and there were pages and pages, just a plus one, what you just said all over the place. From our perspective, though, self awareness really is the conscious knowledge of your feelings, your thoughts and your actions in the moment, real time. So that's the easiest description I can give.

JJ Parker  0:51  
I really like that description. bringing it to in the moment. Yeah. Because when we're doing this kind of work. You know, when we're working on ourselves a lot of times it's like a thing we do in reflection. We do it. Yeah. Either after I event happened, and what you're saying is we want to bring that that closer to like, yeah, moment when it's actually happening. Remove the gap. I really love that. Yeah, we arrow that gap.

Melissa Albers  1:20  
Exactly. Exactly. Right.

JJ Parker  1:23  
So, as we think about that definition, that sounds awesome, obviously, what are, you know, in your opinion, like, what are all the benefits of Yeah, narrowing that gap and having higher self awareness? Yeah,

Melissa Albers  1:37  
I think I think I think we're always on a continuum. I mean, there's always further to go. And most people will say that they have some level of awareness already. But I think really the benefits of improving self awareness or growing in your self awareness are so many there's you almost can't count. First of all, you feel better, huh? You just feel better being more aware. Have yourself allows you the opportunity to make different kinds of decisions for yourself real time. It improves relationships, it improves conversations. It makes it easier for you to be you on your best day. It gives you better opportunities in your job, all sorts of there's all sorts of reasons.

JJ Parker  2:18  
I love that it's not just focused on, like the negative, right? A lot of time we talked about like, you know, in self improvement, we're actually working on correcting a thing that we don't like about ourselves or something that causes a stressful relationship. Right? stressful inner dialogue, right? Yeah. But you really want to focus on, though, like we're focused on making ourselves happier. And yes, some of that might be eliminating those triggers and dealing with those things that come up. But we can use it on the other side too. Precisely.

Melissa Albers  2:50  
Yeah. I like to think about, especially in this kind of work, taking what we already really like about ourselves or even if we're not sure what we like being able to uncover what we like about ourselves and build from that, rather than talking about the absence of something, I don't have this I'm not good at that we spend plenty of time and conversation with ourselves with that. I just think this is a much better use of our time. Yeah.

JJ Parker  3:15  
That's, that's awesome. So just to help everyone out, let's ask some questions. Yeah, great. Wow. So is just to kind of start the thinking great as we get into the the self awareness journey. So first, I would ask, do you feel content and satisfied most of the time, regardless of what's happening around you?

Melissa Albers  3:42  
That is the the pivotal part of that question, isn't it regardless of what's going on around you do generally feel good?

JJ Parker  3:50  
Second, do usually feel a centeredness and calmness?

Unknown Speaker  3:58  
That's a good question.

JJ Parker  3:59  
And then And lastly, are you feeling really effective in your role? Whether that be at home or at work or at play?

Melissa Albers  4:10  
effective? That's an interesting word. I like that. I like that. If you've answered no to any of those questions, good, that means you're being rather open with yourself. And it means that you have some level of self awareness already. And from that you build right so I have a few more questions to just sort of complete this assessment for us to move on. These are a little bit of different kinds of questions. The first question is, Do you ever feel like you have to defend or protect yourself around other people? Mm hmm. Just not quite Be yourself. If something doesn't feel right, you have to defend or protect yourself. Do you ever feel anxious where you can't actually come to the actual source of the anxiety, but you just don't feel right Something doesn't feel right inside and you have anxiety. And the third question I would ask is, do you ever have physical symptoms due to your feelings? physical symptoms such as? Do you get a stomachache when you get nervous? Or do you get stress headaches that are all coming back to a feeling that you have inside? So if you answered yes to one or all of these, I am really glad you're here with us today to learn about the self awareness journey.

JJ Parker  5:33  
So let's talk a little bit about that. Yeah. What is the self awareness journey?

Melissa Albers  5:41  
Right. So I think that we're all in process of whether we're consciously trying or not doing our best trying to get better all the time. This particular journey is one that has been being created for the last three or four years. I'm an executive coach, JJ and our business partners and have been for years and years. In a number of different projects, and in my work through coaching, I started to recognize that there were patterns that were emerging in people's feelings as they would tell me examples of what was going on for them in their days. And I started to notice that I, too, had the same feelings and responses to certain things, right. And it got really interesting for me, because I noticed that it didn't matter the age of the person, what their title was, if they were male or female, it didn't matter, that we all sort of have certain ways of being with ourselves. And as I started to notice these patterns, I started also coming up with like, different ways of describing these patterns for people to show you, hey, you're not alone. Like how about this, look at this, and I would start to kind of draw out these little maps. And at the end of the conversation, I knew I was onto something because people would say, Can I have that sheet of paper and then this is the part of the story would I just die because my hand handwriting is absolutely atrocious. And I didn't want to give them the sheet of paper. But they asked for it. And so more and more I started drawing these things. And this map emerged.

JJ Parker  7:12  
I have one of those early drawings on a receipt from our restaurant. And it is mostly in chicken scratch. I can't read it, to hang on to it,

Melissa Albers  7:24  
but you knew the feeling behind it. Yeah, so that roadmap has emerged. And that's what we are building off of today. So that's

JJ Parker  7:31  
great. I mean, the idea that a lot of us have a common experience and relationship with the world and how we perceive it and interact with it. And that you're kind of able to pull back and extract some of those common themes that we can all work on together, right. It's really great.

Melissa Albers  7:52  
Right, right.

JJ Parker  7:54  
So let's jump into what the Different parts of the self awareness journey are because obviously, this is lesson one. Yes. And we have the full journey, the full journey, we have a whole curriculum we did. So let's go through each one of those one by one. Okay, so we can all kind of have an understanding of what's in store.

Melissa Albers  8:20  
Great, great.

Unknown Speaker  8:23  
Each one of the lessons has a bit of a different design and focus on it as it relates to the total self awareness, journey and experience. Each one of the lessons will have a reflection section and we'll teach you something different with a different perspective. So we're hoping that as you listen, you'll be able to choose which parts and pieces really resonate for you or what light you up and there may be some other ones that don't so much and we don't mind that at all. It's absolutely fine. Absolutely. I like that. It's kind of a mix and match kind of thing. Whatever you feel like getting into. There's one more piece of it The self awareness journey that we need to talk about. And that's the roadmap, right? And so the roadmap is just a visual that we created to help people guide. Through the journey, we refer to it quite a bit in the lessons. So do make sure you go find the roadmap as you listen to to these lessons, because we'll refer to it quite a bit. So after this lesson, comes lesson two, we call that one triggers.

Unknown Speaker  9:25  
That's one of our favorites. We love the trigger.

Melissa Albers  9:31  
This is a great lesson triggers is another way for it. Well, not another way, a way to describe triggers, as triggers are at quick emotional reaction that you have that is usually not favorable, based on something that happens to you. And this lesson is really great because it'll tell you the top five triggers that most people experience because we all get triggered by things right? You and I have already had a lot of time.

JJ Parker  9:57  
I know. You know, we had we've been to In a podcast live, and a few weeks ago, we had a podcast episode where I was absolutely triggered. Right?

Melissa Albers  10:08  
Yes, you were. You were.

JJ Parker  10:11  
We were recording it at like nine in the morning. VO I was trying to get ready in the morning and just like the dog had to go out and my coffee wasn't ready and all this stuff. Right, right. Right. And by the time it came to getting online to record the podcast, I was completely sideways. Yeah, you were three minutes late and I was three minutes late.

Melissa Albers  10:33  
What made you sideways,

JJ Parker  10:34  
which made me I was just raised that I was three minutes late. So what's funny about triggers is that they're They come in all sorts of different flavors like some of them are really easy and apparent. Some of them are completely self inflicted. Like there's no reason why I need to get so derailed because I was streaming I was late for recording a podcast which is completely under 100.

Melissa Albers  10:57  
Yeah, you went to straight up I have a character flaw.

JJ Parker  11:00  
Because I'm free, I am a bad person because I'm three minutes late. But, and they can be much deeper than that they can come from things we don't remember, they can come from really, really kind of abstract and strange places they usually do. And understanding that is, you know, really helpful. Right?

Melissa Albers  11:19  
Right. So in this lesson, you'll learn what the top five are for most people. And the The goal of this really is for you to use that as a springboard to figure out what your own triggers are. So through that lesson, we'll give lots of things for you to think about and be with and and hopefully, the goal of that lesson then is to help you identify what your triggers are, so that you can then decide how do I want to be with these?

JJ Parker  11:42  
Awesome, yeah, the next lesson is about feelings.

Melissa Albers  11:47  
Right? I love that. Both JJ and I are business people who are surrounded by very analytical other business leaders. Were You know, in business, you don't really talk much about feelings, yet feelings drive absolutely everything that we do have R and B. And this is a really interesting lesson because your body will tell you how you're feeling before your brain does. And this particular lesson with my clients with myself, I know also with you through our conversations, you will see massive change in people through this lesson and through the experiences that that you can learn. Because learning once you're once you realize your body responds to things, it's super interesting to start paying attention. And then you realize that Wow, really our feelings up until now have been largely ignored or pushed away or we make ourselves wrong for them. And and then they don't get to serve the wonderful purpose that they're there for.

JJ Parker  12:55  
Yes, yeah, I was. I was just talking about the On the other day about how we, you know, certainly when I was a kid, we never really learned how to deal with our feelings and, and things like that. That wasn't really part of my experience growing up. Yeah, and my knees and not to say that, you know, my mom probably didn't work on it. It just didn't seem like it was. It wasn't a thing. A thing. Yeah. And so, I felt like and we were talking about, like, how I felt like, we were kind of ill equipped or right, right for being adults and really working on getting more in touch with our feelings. Right. So actly right. This is a great module because it for me, it really helped me realize that that that physical response, yeah, is a feeling response and how to really,

Melissa Albers  13:51  

JJ Parker  13:53  
like, get to that quickly, right, been really helpful.

Melissa Albers  13:56  
What's super interesting too is about this module. And then we and move on. I see I told you it was one of your favorites. But the interesting part that will also address in this module is guilt and shame. Because so often we have a feeling and it's a really strong reaction or feeling towards something. And then we instead of being able to say, well, that's interesting, like I'm having, I'm having a feeling about something, or I'm really feeling this way. What we usually do is say, I'm feeling this way, Why do I always do that? Yeah, how come? I can't

JJ Parker  14:26  
I shouldn't feel this way. I shouldn't feel this way. And that's really tough.

Melissa Albers  14:30  
Yeah, so I have seen honestly, out of all, well, I shouldn't say that, because they're all really good modules. But I have seen people's lives immediately, like immediately changed with some focus on here. And what I mean by that is sleeping better, no more stress, headaches. They're not having stomach challenges or issues. I even have clients who have stopped going to certain therapists that they've gone to for a long time because this has cleared the way for them to see how to be with something in a different way. And I'm not professional person advocating that people not Do you know those other things, but it really is impactful.

JJ Parker  15:07  
The next lesson is authentic versus actor self. This is such a good one.

Melissa Albers  15:17  
This is a great one, I think that the authentic versus act yourself is really simply this. When we are who we really are, we're a certain way, you know, okay, it's easy to be that it's easy to just be in, in, it's just easy to be who we are. It's easy to create things, we feel calm, we feel centered as to some of those questions you were asking at the beginning. But usually what happens is when we get triggered, we suddenly feel like it's not safe to be that anymore. We have to act a certain way. We have to act outside of character, you know, from who we really are, and it takes a lot of energy. It's very stressful and it doesn't feel good.

JJ Parker  15:57  
Totally. You know, we've talked a lot about How I am an introvert. Yeah, very introverted, you know. And for the longest time, I struggled, both personally going, like going to a party was terrible for me, work events where there would be like a big gathering really tough, right? And I always felt like, Hey, you know, other people enjoy these things, I should enjoy them too, right? And I would go to them and I would try to be, you know, outgoing or act act like other people were acting and it was terrible. It felt like, every time I just felt drained and horrible, yeah. Laughter Yeah, right. And for years, I didn't know why. Right. I felt like, oh, something must be wrong with me because I don't like to hang out with people in that setting. And I felt really guilty about it. Until we started kind of doing this work and I realize like, well, just because of my own brain wiring Yeah means like, I don't like, you know, that's not like a very natural environment for me, which is totally fine. The thing that this module gave me was, hey, it's okay to be who you are. Yeah. And don't don't feel guilty about not, you know, acting like everyone else. And as soon as I did that, I can actually now go to parties and work events and be totally comfortable. Wow. With that with just being my more quiet, you know, reserved selves. Yeah, I feel ashamed about it.

Melissa Albers  17:34  
Not make yourself wrong for who you are. Right.

JJ Parker  17:36  
And now I go and I confidently go and I have a great time. And if people say, Hey, why are you standing over here in the corner just cuz it's like to watch. Yeah. Join me in the corner. There's room for two.

Melissa Albers  17:53  
So this is really good. The actor versus the authentic lesson is really the goal is to help you identify when you go back to and forth between those and how it feels in your body so that you can start making those sort of awareness adjustments.

JJ Parker  18:07  
Mm hmm. Yeah, that's great. Yeah. The next one is we call personal focus.

Melissa Albers  18:13  
Mm hmm, exactly. Now, this is really good. So a lot of people may have trouble identifying how they feel about something because they're so used to putting their feelings away. And I think in the personal focus, the specific goal of this lesson is to help you understand how you think about things. So if it's harder for you to attach to how you feel about something, we're all pretty schooled in how to think, right? We're all pretty schooled in being able to sit in our head and just spin and spin and spin around the racetrack. So this lesson is so good because it helps you understand what you're the subject of your thoughts, and then understanding how your behavior is driven by those thoughts. How you sleep Bend your energy is so much based on your thinking patterns, and then it drives your behavior a certain way. So if you feel like it's a little hard for you with your feelings, or you just can't quite figure out what they are, you know, they're in there somewhere, but it's maybe a little too scary or a little too close or you're not sure. This is a great lesson for you to enter into this conversation and just pick up on some of the feelings that you might have through your thinking patterns. Yeah,

JJ Parker  19:27  
yeah, that's great. Next, environmental files. Another one of your favorites. I love

Melissa Albers  19:37  
it, almost like we wrote this. Like all this is a really interesting one. And I'll start by telling a story because I think it really captures what the environmental fields lesson is the inventor environmental fields lesson. The goal of this is for you to really be able to understand what your external environments are around you. How you are participating to create them. So that sounds that sounds wicked.

JJ Parker  20:08  
It sounds a little out there you better talk.

Melissa Albers  20:09  
Yeah, exactly. So the very best example I can give is recently in a coaching conversation, I was working with a person who really struggled with beating herself up. She had an extremely high skill level, she was amazing in her job, yet she had no self confidence. She beat herself up all the time. She made herself wrong. And it was very interesting because she chose a workplace that was the same way. She chose a workplace that everything was you're not doing it enough prove where you got that and so you could never feel safe you never felt good. And and so she chose that environment because it was very common for her already. She didn't even notice

JJ Parker  20:55  
that's interesting. It was

Melissa Albers  20:56  
just a natural fit for her but here's what happened. She began to learn more about her own self awareness. She started feeling happier, better. And then all of a sudden, she looked around and it was like What is going on here? Like she really noticed the environment wasn't fitting her anymore. Now this isn't to say that she left her job or anything, but just having the awareness that she was actually going towards an environment that felt very common to her, because it was also how she was seeing her herself. And as she started to grow, that environment started to feel much more constrictive and unhappy.

JJ Parker  21:35  
Yeah, that's really interesting.

Melissa Albers  21:36  
So this is a really interesting lesson again, it's funny, I've worked with some people that are very analytical, and if they have a hard time again, with feelings, this is also a really easy lesson to be able to go Oh, I recognize some of these things because they're not so close or they don't feel so nerve racking are on a normal person

JJ Parker  21:59  
then The last lesson we should talk about is called coming home. Yeah,

Melissa Albers  22:05  
I love this lesson, the coming home lesson. I even love the title of this. Because I think that when we are in our centered and highly self aware self, we are home. Mm hmm. And the coming home lesson is a really good sort of recap for all of the other parts and pieces that you've now learned. This is the only lesson that I would encourage people to not go to first, because some of the stuff that's in here won't make sense for you. It won't resonate for you, maybe through your thinking patterns, it will make sense, but in actually making some of those adjustments that won't make as much sense. But the goal of this lesson is to really help you understand the three simple ways for you to continually recall, understand and have conscious awareness in the moment of how You're feeling thinking and what you're doing. So it is a really, really good one. And and of course, I can't wait. I can't wait for people to experience this one too. This is the funny. The funny thing about this one is, it was the hardest for me to close. It was a hardest for me to complete this work on this lesson. And I think it's because I felt it was so important to get it right. And yet when I just loosened up and I just sort of looked at everything, it was like, Oh, we were right here like we already have everything we need. And so to you, you already have absolutely everything that you need. And then I would just want to say as a close after each one of these lessons, there will be a reflections and activity worksheet attached to each one. So what I encourage you to do as we are now in the close of this lesson, while it is still fresh for you, please go right away to the reflections document and make the notes that are asked to Within that to help you sort of anchor in your own journey as you get started.

JJ Parker  24:12  
Go now. One, get get go on.