Self-awareness helps us wake up to aspects that are already present within us - we just don't see them. The blind spots of our society's conditioning over time can cause us to focus on what is allegedly 'wrong with us'. Sure, we all have shortcomings that challenge us to grow.

These behaviors are not 'who we are'. They are 'how we act'. We simply get it confused with our 'Being'. We do things that don't serve our highest good nor others, yet we can change our behavior. And we can do it without creating so much self-recrimination and guilt. In fact, it is easier to change our behavior when we cut the story line that 'something is wrong with us'. This perception creates resistance to behavioral change as we run away from the conversation to change instead of facing it courageously and compassionately head-on.

I saw the movie The Great and Powerful Oz the other day. Oz had big dreams and lots of self-sabotaging behaviors - like lack of integrity, selfishness without regard for others and reactive, non-reflective thinking. Yet goodness lived within him, and given the right inspiration he did tap into a part of himself that desired to help others and not simply be run by his own greed and fear. Granted, he still needed to develop more honesty by the end of the movie.

This journey of tapping our true potential and living up to our lofty ideas happens in stages. Our habits evolve easier with self-awareness and the desire to tap the courage of our heart. To do this more easily, we need to understand how to optimally operate our amazing brain so we can change with greater ease.

Currently we wire our brain more often than not to:

1. Focus on Fear
2. Focus on our differences with others instead of common ground
3. Focus on the negative Inner Critic instead of cultivating an Inner Cheerleader
4. Focus on blaming, bitterness, and unforgiveness
5. Focus on what we did 'wrong' instead of 'right'

How about learning from what we do instead of judging it so much? What you 'do' (Doing) is not equal to who you (Being) are. We really can reverse this so we focus, and therefore live, with more love, collaboration, self-acceptance and enthusiasm, more mental flexibility, compassion, learning, and growing to reach our true potential, which is just the opposite of what we are currently doing.

So expand your self-awareness and learn how to tap your inner 'Great and Powerful' Self - our Courage and Love - and start to grow and expand the Goodness within you.

Author's Bio: 

Valencia Ray, M.D. teaches business owners and corporate leaders how their amazing brain can actually hijack personal power -- not in the abstract, but in the context of integrating business and personal life. Dr. Ray, a board-certified eye surgeon and medical business owner for over 20 years before selling her practice, shares her own life changing process. By sharing her story, she helps others to expand their vision and learn that by living with purpose and confidence, it is possible to have a more integrated, healthier lifestyle – with less struggle, more inner peace and more abundance.

For more information and to contact her regarding dynamic, inspirational keynotes, trainings in collaborative leadership and team building, entrepreneurship and coaching programs, visit her website at