What Do You Really Intend? Why Self-Awareness is Everything Part II

Let’s face it . . . we’re all human and sometimes we say or do stupid things. No one is immune.


We often say we don’t “intend” to hurt someone or do something thoughtless, but whether we intend it or not, the impact of what we say or do is felt by other people. (Of course, they own their reactions, but that is a topic for another time . . . .)


If we keep hurting other people with our words or actions, at some point, we have to stop hiding behind “I didn’t intend to do that.” When we keep bumping up against reactions and challenges that we did not intend to cause, then we need to understand that the impact of what we are doing is not effective.


When we continue to do something “unintentionally” - even after we are aware of the effect of our actions - doesn’t that then become “intentional”?

If we aren’t changing how we’re acting or what we’re doing or saying, that means we’re intentionally choosing to remain ignorant of ourselves, our motivations, and the effect of our words and actions on others.

If we are not self-aware, and we keep running into the same problems, then we’re just being deliberately unaware.

It’s time to get conscious of what we’re doing and set clear intentions. It is less likely that our actions will be misinterpreted when we are clear about our intentions and act in accordance with them.

Understanding exactly what we want to say or do requires self-awareness.

  • We need to understand our own beliefs and values, so that we can align our behavior to them. 
  • We need to know what we are feeling, so that we understand the motivation for our actions.
  • We need to recognize some of the different ways in which our messages might be received by others, so that we can discern if our message will be understood in the way that we intend.

“That’s not what I intended” may be an excuse the first time, but not the tenth. Once you are aware of the impact of your words or actions, adjusting them is up to you.



© 2017, Susan McCuistion

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