Have you noticed how habits are embedded? Even with the best of intentions to act or feel differently, before we know it, we are barreling down a familiar track doing the same old. It’s like a loop. So, how do you break this? Self-awareness. When you create the possibility to be, you TRULY gain personal power & freedom.
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Welcome to Jon Michail’s Personal Branding Masterclass. Jon is the founder and CEO of image group international an award-winning image consulting and personal branding pioneer established in 1989. This podcast will bring you old-school wisdom, inspiring ideas, strategies and hacks for the new tech world. Here you will learn everything about personal branding: the system, the techniques and the right mindset to have a successful personal brand, image and reputation.
Okay, well, obviously, it's not a minute, but you get my point. For me. awareness has nothing to do with mainstream education and how many degrees you might have. And if you look at any university, you will find many educated derelicts awareness has nothing to do with mainstream media, and how they have many scripted Talking Heads dole out their dribble. Awareness is about waking up, waking up to what works for you, not some agenda that's already been set up and pushed onto you. And this is about understanding that because when you really get that, then you can go out there and create the possibility to be you. Because if you're not aware, at times, and you might have, you know, thought about this in the past, it's like You're like an operating pod like a robot. Everything happens in automatic. And today in times that we're living in where you're getting so much pressure right now. It's actually getting worse in my experience, although some people might argue it's becoming more visible. I think it's a combination. And I think awareness certainly is one of those first steps and what I'd like to do is sort of reading you a passage from my book that I wrote, life brand new well over 20 years ago, and there was a piece in there by the great Anthony de Mello and Anthony de Mello wrote the book awareness. And this is where my inspiration comes from the conversation today. And the story goes like this, a man found an Eagles egg and put it in the nest of a band young hen. The eagle had hatched with the broader chicks and grew up with them. All his life the eagle did what the barnyard chicks did, thinking he was a barnyard chicken. He scratched the earth for worms and insects. He clocked and cackled. And he would thrash his wings and fly a few feet in the air. Years pass. And the eagle grew very old. One day so a magnificent bird above him in the cloudless sky. It glided in graceful majesty among the powerful wind currents, were scarcely a bit of its strong golden wings. The old they go look up in all, who's that he asked, Oh, that's the ego, the king of the bird said his neighbour, here belongs to the sky. We belong to the Earth, where chickens, so the eagle lived and died as a chicken. For that's what he thought he was. So the moral of the story, of course, is fairly obvious. You know, we pick up stories from early childhood, and we believe them. And then we make them our life stories. And there are, you know, there are a lot of pros and cons to that. But obviously, today's session is about becoming aware and how to take advantage of the pros and live some of the cons behind it. Okay. And we'll talk about that. And we'll talk about that because a lot of these constantly get embedded in us as people as habits, you know, habits that specifically are constantly operating with us momentarily. And at times with think, that's who we are. But is that who we are? Or is that the story that we have in ourselves in our minds that we carry daily, and we keep on basically repeating on a day He bases that. And I'm not here to judge your habits. But what I'm here is to, you know, to bring up awareness and get you to question yourself. Because if you can do that, and I know it's not fun, okay, but if you can do that, you know, that's like one of the first steps to becoming definitely more aware. And what I would call is more about Knowing yourself. So have you noticed, you know, how these habits are so embedded in us, you know, you promise yourself, you're going to do this differently tomorrow. And what happens is, you keep on doing the same thing, you know, you're probably gonna lose weight. And, you know, tomorrow, for instance, you eat, you know, the whole bar of chocolate, you promise you're gonna start some exercising, and before you know it, you know, you're sleeping, as opposed to getting up early rise and shine, to do what you have to do, you promise you're going to increase your sales or, or elevate your career, and you keep on basically continuing on the same track of what I was saying yesterday. So even with the best of intention, what happens is, before we know it, again, we're barreling down a familiar track, doing the same ole thing. And that's, you know, that's the sort of crying shame of all of this because we know, in our heart of hearts, what we've got to do, but somehow we're locked in, into this behaviour that specifically continues and repeats itself, you know, day after day. And of course, what that does deep down again, is also creating major frustration, you know, anxiety and, and possibly long term depression, because the universe is sort of speaking to you, like, wake up, you know, but at times, it seems like, with all this conditioning, at times, you're stuck in that old story from a long time ago, then you notice that similar types of people also keep on appearing in your life, you know, examples is, again, you know, you might have made a decision, you know, I don't want to hang around with those people anymore, or that type of people, and then you start attracting similar, that also could be the same thing we've taken on similar jobs, and of course, experiencing the same emotions. So what this means is, you got to be willing, you know, to face the mirror, you know, and question, question question. And by the way, awareness also means to research and, you know, to hunt out what really works for you, as opposed to some agenda that's been sold to you. And that also includes when you're listening to my podcast, I don't suggest you believe anything, I'm telling you, what I strongly suggest. And if you do this, that will fulfil My life goal is for you to go and do your own research, make your own decisions, and take responsibility for whatever you do moving forward. So what we're talking about here, unless you break that pattern, it becomes a predictable loop, you can virtually be guaranteed that tomorrow will be exactly the same as today. And even yesterday, unless you decide to do something different. Am I saying this is easy? Absolutely not. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. But this is what will make the difference. One of the major differences in your life, if you start to basically look at challenges, you know, some of your own beliefs, thoughts, and past stories, right or wrong, it's just good to question because that's self-empowering. And of course, it's designed to actually, you know, to make you grow, and obviously elevates you. So the first step in self-awareness is basically is to take this on board, because if you do that will you know, if you say right, that first step? Yes, maybe I'm not that self-aware. That also might mean maybe I'm not straight, smart. You know, maybe I'm too booksmart. Maybe, you know, I think every time I need to improve in my life, I'm thinking, oh, what degree can I go? And do you know, what's this new course I can do? I'm not saying any of that is wrong, by the way. But I have had many clients including PhDs, right? You know, instead of doing what they have to do in their life, to grow as human beings, okay, they're going get more further, what I would call his formalized education, to become more human doings. And this is a distinction you're either a being or doing and of course, society is set up that we become doings and it's a great system, you know, for more consumerism and so on. So, like I said, before, creating the possibility means even if you have to change aspects of self, they no longer serve you. That's definitely a potential action plan for you. And what's important, obviously, in becoming aware, is we're talking about Life awareness here. Okay. We're talking about specifically learning life skills, the skills we don't get taught in our traditional education system, we're talking about becoming aware, in reference to, for instance, whatever it is important for you, you know, and it could be specific, you know, how do I, how do I hustle better? Okay, to get better outcomes out there? You know, how do I learn new skills in attaining the position that I want, including the career, you know, how do I make more money in my business, as opposed to going from the rush to rush from the sort of one client to the other without having a constant flow that basically, you know, supports and sustains the business long term without all the stress and headaches that come with it? You know, it's about asking questions that are away from your traditional thinking. I have a lot of clients, and I've had many over the years, every time there's a problem, I think, oh, what's, what colour should I do? What new degree should I do? And what happens and I'm talking about people here with PhDs, right? That already a highly educated man, you don't need any more of that good luck to you, if you want to do more of that fantastic, I support that go and do it. But in reality, what you need is to learn how to basically circumnavigate life, you know, and be in control of that. So imagine learning some of those new skills. And then you embed them. Imagine being in control of your destiny, rather than being controlled. Mindful example, rather than mindless, okay, very important concept. With today's mental health statistics going through the roof, and falling alive, rather than stuck in a very deep rut, can you sort of understanding what I'm saying here? Can you relate to what I'm sharing with you, I'm sure you can. And we've all have, you know, gone through different paths in our life journey. But awareness is a big one, it's a big one because it's about waking up, you know, and we're living in society right now, you know, that you've got a lot of elite conversations going on, including from all sorts of different type of leaders, that really, you know, are telling us how to run our lives. But when you look at their own lives, you know, they don't look so exciting, you know, other than the power that they have, the positional power that they have. So what I'm talking about today, is your personal power, your God-given power that you were given the moment you were born, and then something happened, and something happened. So self-awareness is the key to start getting yourself unstuck. But you're gonna have to have courage with this essential and to start creating a life, including Korea business, the better serves you, you know, relationships, friendships, colleagues, et cetera? Because again, you know, if you're not aware, and you're pissing a lot of people on along the way, how would you ever change that? If it's not brought to your attention, either by yourself or by, obviously, somebody you love and trust that might send that two relationships are everything and of course, we know. And we know this big time in, you know, part of becoming aware is interconnectivity with human beings is essential. And, of course, the research clearly shows this. And of course, the COVID disaster for the last couple of years clearly shows that the fewer people connected to you know, the more everything else became a problem, including the daily lives from the perspective of human heart-to-heart connection. So I can't stress that enough. There's enough research to support what I've just shared with you there. And please look at it for yourself, you know, but always question everything and see how he relates to your life, not to some spokespersons life, or some spin doctors life that really has nothing to do with your life, but at times, because we're conditioned that way we buy a top line and sinker. So how do you know if you're self-aware? Right. Okay. And that's a good question. How do you know that? Well, everyone has an innate gift inside them to at least look at the mirror and question, things that you know, might not feel so comfortable with them. And even things that aren't even aware of, you know, if you go deep enough, you know, a lot of things reveal themselves, if you're willing to go there. So for example, if you constantly compare yourself to others, okay, this is a good example, that you're not self-aware. Someone would say, Well, John, that's why I do compare myself to others because I am suffering Well, that's what I would call it toxic self-awareness. Okay, this is not what it's about, again, because if you do that, basically, you're going to be constantly in a mode what I would call a self-sabotaging. And that's the last thing you want to do. You know, sabotage, the word is intentional destruction. And self-sabotage is basically a subconscious description that destruction, you know, you're actually doing damage to yourself daily. And you don't realize that because it's all happening incrementally. So over a period of time, of course, it becomes a serious issue. So when you know yourself, know-thyself, and this is, you know, this is the journey that most of humanity is too afraid to go into because Know Yourself becomes an esoteric, exercise, and less esoteric. So when you know yourself, you're not waiting for anyone to approve of who you are, or what you do. You know, you take responsibility for your life. And that includes, of course, your career, business, and all relationships. And yes, and shit happens. But this is what self-awareness does. As human beings, we all make mistakes. If you've lived long enough on the planet, I'm sure you've made a few guesses. But self-awareness says, okay, doesn't matter. What I've done, doesn't matter what's happened in the past, I'm willing to do what it takes to move forward. And as always, I want to just share a few more tips on how you can become more self-aware. And this is a bit like, you know, understanding this and not being hard on yourself, and not coming down on yourself, you know, because was some of the things you might have heard today might feel like, oh, maybe I'm not doing that so well. And then you obviously, turn off the podcast, and then do nothing, because it brings up challenges for you, I don't suggest you do that, I suggest you stay with me for a moment. So I'm gonna go into Abraham Maslow, a great psychologist of this past century, and that was around the four stages of learning. And this is important. So if I can get this to relate specifically on self awareness, you'll get a sense now that it's okay, wherever you're at. So the first step we know is known as unconscious incompetence. So whatever's going on right now, okay, what that means is, you don't know that we don't know. So you don't know that example, that self sabotaging habits are holding you back, okay? You don't know that, you know, you might have a gut feeling, okay, but you're not, you know, you don't really know that that would actually, obviously, come to play, especially if you're working with a mentor or a coach or, or, you know, or somebody that's very close to you, that brings that up constantly, or, you know, it has brought it up and you've avoided, you know, maybe there's something in there, I'm not saying there is, but I'm just saying maybe there's something so that don't know, what you don't know, is exactly like when your little child, you know, you're two years old, and you jump on that little bike. And you don't know what you don't know, in reference to riding this bike. And what happens is you get on the bike, and you fall, okay, and you fall flat on your face. The second part of this is known as conscious incompetence. Now, what that means is, and I'll give you the bike example, in a second, we know that we don't know. So remember, you got on the bike, and the first time, you didn't know that you didn't know and of course, you fell over. And you know, a bit shocked, there's a little kid, that obviously, you thought you were going to be able to ride it like some of the bigger kids. Now, what we would call is now you've woken up to the next stage. So you know you don't know which habits are holding you back which habits, okay. And in the bike example is you get back on the bike again, but because, again, you know, you're in this stage called conscious incompetence, you know, you're not good at riding the bike, but you don't know which habits are sort of, you know, getting in the way you get back on the bike, you know, you sort of get it to flow for a while, you know, the ride continues for, you know, 30 seconds or so if you're thinking, Oh, this is good. And then you fall over again, you know, you did something obviously, that you weren't aware, but you knew you've got some habits that are basically affecting you, but you just don't exactly which ones. The third step is known as conscious competence. And what that means is we work and what we don't know. You know, and if you think about it, isn't that what life's all about? Okay, so here we consciously make an effort to become more self-aware, of everything I've been sharing with you on today's podcast. So what that means is, you get back on the bike, and before you know it, you're constantly proving on all aspects of human behaviour, okay, in reference to how you ride this bike. So you know, you hold on the handlebars, you pedal solidly, it's, you know, you're not erratic, okay? And you're watching, obviously, your own being in reference to how solid you are on this bike. You know, and this is great and, you know, in reference when you become self-aware examples might be, for instance, meditation, another important concept in calming the mind, you might do exercise, you know, or yoga or Chi Gong, et cetera. You know you and this is important because writing down your key plans and priorities when you then get to discover what you need to improve on is an essential component. And then, of course, the next step, of course, is to act. And also could include, you know, take values-based tests, you know, and ask for feedback for, you know, from friends or workmates. This is important as well, you know, getting some feedback, but mostly, you know, from people that you trust and love, you know, I mean, it's good actually, it's not a bad exercise to do with your enemies as well, okay, for a reaction, okay, if you want to learn more about self-awareness, as well, but of course, you're gonna have to be brave to do that, you know, having done that in my life, I can tell you, it's very powerful. But again, I'm very confronted as well. So these are all possibilities there for you to sort of investigate and have fun with and this is important, you know, having fun with awareness is about having fun as well. It's not about you know, becoming aware, and thinking, that the end of the world is coming. That's the last thing. Awareness is about you becoming stronger. Okay, it's about you basically regaining your personal power. The fourth step and this is the exciting fourth step, when we become masterful at what we do is known as unconscious competence. So that means you don't have to think about knowing it anymore. When you're self-aware, it's just automatic, at an unconscious level. So if I take back the bike experience, you know, what that means is now you get on the bike, you don't even have to think about it any more consciously. It's unconscious behaviour. And you're riding this bike, you know, at 30 kilometres an hour, and you're doing it with no hands. That's unconscious incompetence. By the way, I'm not suggesting you do that. But that's what unconscious incompetence means. And that what happens is when specifically you're in unconscious competence, we're talking about mastery here, you know, mastery, that really is a concept of constant repeat behaviour over a long time of learning, as opposed to something that you know, you do, you know, for three months, and then you call yourself a social media master. It doesn't work like that never has in history, and never will, because it takes time and energy and embedment, you need to embed this new knowledge over time, you know, it's not like sticky tape, you can stick it on and claim this, this and that. And of course, you know what I'm talking about, especially in the online world today, because it's everywhere. So lastly, what I want to make a point with is this without cultivating self-awareness, you can never make lasting changes in your life. Because those same patterns will keep on merging and will stop you from living how you truly want. And this is the point of this whole episode. It's the first step. And then what I'm going to be doing for the rest of the next couple of months is covering aspects of my original first book called Life branding. Because it's really interesting because when you look at that, nothing has been dated in that book in a time I wrote that well over 20 years ago. And that's what I would call his age-old wisdom, you know, things that really last. And that's what our whole work all about, as opposed to just constantly New Age trends that really, you know, flash in the pan here today and gone tomorrow.
So I hope this episode, you know, gave you some greater insight on how you can access true freedom and personal power. You know, if you'd like to chat today, I can't ask you to write the show on Apple podcast. And if you do, please send us an email confirmation, and we will send you an ebook, The Real World Guide to authentic personal branding. You can find me on social media. My Twitter is Jon_Michail, and my LinkedIn is Jon Michail on Facebook, you can find me as image Group International. That's our company. Thank you all today, and I look forward to seeing you next time. Cheers.
Jon Michail’s Personal Branding Masterclass" Podcast is sponsored by Image Group International, a global team of practical, digitally savvy personal brand and image strategists, based in Australia, committed to maximizing your impact, influence and authority in the business world. To learn more and apply for your personal coaching, seminars and group workshops please visit imagegroup.com.au or call 1800 631 311.