April 6, 2021

Self Awareness, Yuck!

Mandi Bedbury

Do you struggle with looking at yourself in the mirror? Not literally, but figuratively. The art of getting to know oneself is terrifying, horrifying, and tough. It's hard to learn about oneself because then it would open yourself up to your vulnerabilities, your perceived weaknesses, and dare I say it, your strengths!

Self awareness is the first thing taught when you begin to learn emotional intelligence, and it makes sense, how can you see emotions in others if you can't first recognize them in yourself?

When I first began taking improv classes in 2006 I was struck by the thrill of it. The fundamentals of improv taught me to be in the moment, live in the unknown and thrive there. Which to me was liberating and terrifying and I loved it! However, for many, this is the scariest part. "What do you mean I won't know the answer ahead of time?" "I have to think about the answer, I can't just say it!" "I'm scared what I say won't be funny." All of those thoughts and trepidations are legitimate, and what improv teaches you to do is work through those fears to get to the other side. Once you are on the other side you can then start to look at your physical and mental reactions. What did your brain do? Did it panic? Did it freeze? What emotion were you feeling? Did you get shy or did you say F it and go for it not caring what was on the others side? These questions absolutely transfer into your everyday life and help ones self awareness.

Improv by it's nature isn't about being funny. It's about living in the moment, listening, saying what you see and working as a team. When you have a supportive environment around you, suddenly diving in to self-awareness isn't so scary.