The average person unaware of the ego can get really bogged down in feelings of unworthiness. Feelings of unworthiness are more often than not based on illusions. When one feels unworthy, they suffer tremendously. Times of suffering lead to alienation of self. They can even make others afraid to approach. Allowing unnecessary suffering can lead to opportunities missed and the world passing by. Acquire this mindfulness practice so that the often inaccurate stories told in the spaces of the inner mind place no hindrance on making the most of the invaluable moments happening before each of us.

AWARE as an Exercise. AWARE is an acronym standing for allow, witness, acknowledge, release, and ease up. AWARE can be the finest of resources for better navigating an overactive, overthinking mind that tends to self-sabotage. Let’s take a look at what each step really means.

Allow
Allow for the coming and going of all of your thoughts and feelings. Attempts to suppress the thoughts and feelings perceived as undesirable or wrong is completely futile and the repression will only lead to self-harm in other ways. All feelings are allowed. All thoughts, including those best not expressed publicly, are allowed their presence on the internal mindscape. They can come up and pass naturally through a person without being allowed to have ego power over awareness and consciousness. Avoid suppressing, and allow.

Witness
From the perspective of mindful awareness, you can witness the habitual ways your mind creates the narrative-based self without identifying with them. Witnessing is curious and non-judging. Using this tool can help you look more deeply into even painful events with your heart wide open.

Acknowledge
Practice quietly sitting and observing the thoughts and feelings you are allowing. Consider physical sensations, emotions, and thoughts equally, as they all point to greater self-awareness and therefore greater capacity to harness and develop every aspect of self. You can use simple words to tag your inner experiences like “planning,” “thinking,” and “worrying.” When simple phrases are used to define thoughts and emotions, they become less overwhelming and more easily managed.

Release
Remember that shame, fame, gain, plain, loss, and pleasure are all transient experiences. They do not make a person who they are or alter the core of being. When allowing, witnessing and acknowledging are implemented into one’s daily life, the release at work is revealed. Stories are merely stories. Stories are transient. One can choose to believe or not believe a story. Release gives the power to separate the self from the story.

Ease Up
Everything is not about you. Each of us has a choice to make between staying stuck in a self-concept of unworthiness and inadequacy. Things beyond our control like business losses and rejection do not define who we are and it serves nobody, least of all ourselves to maintain the false belief that they do. Wallowing in self-absorption distracts us from the greater question of “How can we each serve, starting with ourselves, and then the world around us?”