Raising Our Awareness

By: Dr. Neil Stafford Posted On Nov 17, 2017

A common question field is, "where do I start?" Clients, friends, co-workers, anyone asking about advice inevitably ask, "where do I start?" It doesn't matter what is the issue. They are at a loss on how to start improving their situation. Many times they even know what is the solution to the problem, but not where to start.

Then where do we start? I propose the starting place is raising our awareness. We don't know where to start because we don't know where we are. 

An example would be like being at the amusement park, and we want to go to the food court. To make it there we have to know where we are. We may have a map, but without knowing where you are there is no way to know what direction to move in. So, we stop and look around. We look for landmarks to find where we are. We raise our awareness of our surroundings to find the place to start.  We see the Ferris Wheel, and know the Food Court is just beyond it. The awareness gives us a direction. 

This is the same for how we approach our problems. We can pause, and take stock of the surroundings. How do you feel? What are you thinking about? Who is with you? Where are you? Has this happened before? Gathering this information, raising your awareness gives you a place to start. Slow down, take a pause, find the landmarks around you, and you might find the best place to start.  

TAGS: Awareness, Mindfulness, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
About the Author
Dr. Stafford is a clinical psychologist with 11 years experience. His primary experience is with children and families in private practice, and 10 years in the Avondale Elementary School District. Dr. Stafford has earned certification in school psychology, and is the training director for an internship program for school psychologist. Beyond these activities, Dr. Stafford works with adults in his private practice on a broad range of issues including depression and anxiety. He also has interests in the integration of faith and psychology as well as the development of the individual through interpersonal neurobiology.

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