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When Increased Self-Awareness Heals and When it Doesn’t

self-awarenessSelf-awareness is touted as a powerful self-healer. Yet, many people fail to heal by being aware of themselves and their problems, even when the increased awareness is significant. Millions are self-aware and continue to suffer.

Does this mean increased self-awareness is a waste of time? No.

It means that in order to heal yourself with greater self-awareness, you need to become aware of the right stuff. What is the right stuff? That’s what this article is all about.

Imagine sitting in a chair and feeling a pain in your buttock. This is all you know. Your buttock hurts. Will this level of self-awareness stop the pain? Not likely.

So, you try to expand your awareness to remove the pain in your buttock. You stand up and look at the seat of the chair. Nothing. Hmm…maybe there is just something about that chair…you move to another chair. Your buttock still hurts.

You trying just standing there. Still hurts.

You concentrate on the pain itself. It’s a stabbing pain. Sharp. It burns a little, and throbs just a tiny bit. It’s right in the center of your left buttock. Lots of awareness going on. Does your buttock still hurt? Yes, it hurts like hell, even though you have expanded your awareness significantly.

Maybe this self-awareness stuff is just a bunch of bull? Not so fast…

Then you decide to look at your left buttock in the mirror. You turn around and ouch! You have a thumbtack stuck in your buttock!

Your awareness:

Your buttock hurts.
Your left buttock hurts.
You explored the chair.
You checked out another chair.
You stood.
You became aware of the pain: Center of left buttock, stabbing, burning, throbbing.
You notice there is a thumbtack stuck in your buttock.

Several insights yielded no relief. One insight solved the whole problem. Well, the last insight put you in a unique and obvious position to solve the problem, assuming you want to be out of pain. Some people grow fond of pain…

Emotional insight is more complex, yet leads to the same healing opportunity

The same principle applies to longstanding emotional pain. Emotional pain is a bit more challenging, however. The thumbtack can still be identified. It is just harder to locate.

The challenge with long term emotional pain or self-sabotage is that part of you wants to hang on. When the pain is what’s familiar, it can be scary to let it go. It’s called a psychological attachment. We can become attached to emotional pain, deprivation, rejection, being controlled and other psychological states. If that was your childhood programming, then that’s what you’ve come to expect.

So, you hide the emotional thumbtack because you can’t imagine a world without it. Welcome to Earth. We get attached to pain here. We really need to learn why and let it go.

Becoming aware of the reasons you hang on is the key, as illustrated in this free video. If you liked this article, please keep up with all my articles by liking my Facebook page.

When Increased Self-Awareness Heals and When it Doesn’t

Mike Bundrant

Mike Bundrant is the author of Your Achilles Eel: Discover and Overcome the Hidden Cause of Negative Emotions, Bad Decisions and Self-Sabotage and co-founder at The iNLP Center which offers online certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and life coaching.

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APA Reference
Bundrant, M. (2017). When Increased Self-Awareness Heals and When it Doesn’t. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 17, 2018, from


Last updated: 9 Oct 2017
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 9 Oct 2017
Published on All rights reserved.