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Life outside the Awareness Zone

“As we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”
~ Donald Rumsfeld
Self-awareness relates to the things we know – or believe we know – to be true about ourselves. We each live our lives within the invisible boundaries of that self-awareness, making conscious and more often unconscious choices that are consistent with that understanding. Over time our lives will settle into a rhythm or pattern that is shaped by our awareness – what we often refer to as our Comfort Zone, or perhaps more accurately our ‘Awareness Zone.’

Staying within our Awareness Zone is…well, comfortable! In our Awareness Zone we are blissfully unaware of what lies beyond the boundaries, and as long as we never set foot out there, we don’t need to concern ourselves with it. At the risk of sounding like former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld – we don’t know what we don’t know – and we’re ok with that! “Ignorance is bliss” as the saying goes.

The problem with that approach is that we may be missing the opportunity to discover something truly amazing about ourselves. Just beyond the confines of our self-awareness is where true learning and growth happens. Spending time out there can be tough of course – challenging our assumptions about ourselves, waking us up to false or self-limiting beliefs that have served us most of our lives, but also revealing hidden strengths that might never have been called forth had we not gone there.

Sometimes we get ‘lucky’ and are forced into situations that push us into that realm beyond our current awareness. We may not have asked for it, but when life throws us a curveball we are forced into a process of discovery and reinvention that can significantly expand our self-awareness, and in so doing expand the boundaries – or limits – of our lives. Suddenly we are in new and uncharted but richly fertile terrain, and that is where we begin to unlock our untapped potential.

While serendipity will always play a part, we can also be intentional about that process of discovery. It is choice – often a brave choice – to consciously step out of that Awareness Zone and to create the conditions for our own learning and growth to occur. In many ways a leap of faith into the unknown – or perhaps the unaware! But it is a choice available to each and every one of us at any moment.

At the Grilled Cheese Coaching Co. we are privileged to work with the people that have made that choice for themselves. The very act of making the choice creates the possibility for transformation to occur: Whether that results in accelerating their careers, strengthening their relationships, or discovering an entirely new source of meaning or purpose for themselves, it is always humbling to witness. In support of that process, we have developed tools, resources and programs that help people to maximize the impact and value of their time outside of their Awareness Zone and to accelerate that journey of discovery. We love what we do, and we’re ready to help you when you’re ready to make that choice for yourself.
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