Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths — Etty Hillesum
How much time and energy do you allocate to building self-awareness?
Self-care is a catalyst influencing our levels of self-awareness, and increasing self-awareness is critical because it is the powerful foundation of self-mastery—specifically, powerful mind-mastery and mental wealth.
By repeating a positive self-care mantra to yourself, you will eventually become a master of your mind. Self-talk is important because whatever you regularly say to yourself, either out loud or quietly and internally with your inside voice, becomes whom you believe you are. Self-talk is important because your brain receives information in the form of knowledge you choose to listen to.
Did you know self-care is a form of self-love and because there is only one you in the universe you must look after your ‘spiritual’ self by loving yourself?
Allocate five minutes each day to practise looking after your spiritual self so that you build self-care and, therefore, self-love into your daily routine. Go for a walk or put your phone away. Be with yourself because you are great to be with!
Write down one sentence about why you love yourself. For example, ‘I am kind because I made a cup of tea for myself and my friend’. Sip your drink and imagine the liquid gently falling down your throat and energising your whole body. Please focus on the sensation of it nurturing you.
You can choose to practise mastery of your mind. Practise regularly, and you’ll become a master of self-care and be increasing self-awareness in no time. You will become a master of your mind. This is powerful.
How you carry yourself physically and mentally can affect your personal safety is important because criminals usually target people that appear helpless or powerless. For example, the way you walk to your car in a poorly lit street can determine if you’re going to be approached or not, and it’s important because your mental state affects your level of environmental awareness. If you’re less aware of what’s happening around you, you’re more likely to get injured or find yourself in a potentially dangerous situation.
Did you know that ‘it takes a criminal just seven seconds to select their next victim? The criminals two biggest fears are getting hurt and getting caught. This knowledge empowers you in case you are picked.’
Sociologists Betty Grayson and Morris I. Stein conducted a study to set up a video camera on a busy New York sidewalk and taped people walking by for three days. The tape was later shown to inmates in a large East Coast prison incarcerated for violent offences (such as armed robbery, rape and murder) against people unknown to them.
Their key findings were that ‘Every inmate chose exactly the same person, and the choices were not solely based on gender, race or age. Older, petite females were not automatically singled out. The inmates read the pedestrians’ nonverbal signals and used those to make their choices’ 
When I was a teenager, I walked with my friend at night, and two guys were walking towards us. My friend happened to be looking down with his shoulders slightly hunched over. I was standing upright with squared shoulders and head up. Just as one of the guys approached us, he took a swing a punched my friend in the face! Why do you think he did that? Apart from being a violent human, he chose an easier to target a victim.
Adopt a powerful gait by walking assertively and confidently. Practise by walking at your own natural pace with your head up. Make each stride purposeful and powerful, with a clear sense of where you’re going. Do your best to walk smoothly. Glide like a swan or do a Conor McGregor. I’m joking! To clarify, gait means ‘the way a person walks’. I originally didn’t know what it meant until I looked it up years ago. It’s not a word used regularly.
When you’re out and about in the city, occasionally give people a quick bit of eye contact. This shows you’re aware of your surroundings, and it alerts any would-be attacker, whether it’s them you’re looking at or not, that you’re not going to be an easy target. The way you walk can influence your confidence level and how others perceive you, especially potential attackers. It could save you a trip to the hospital.
Three challenges for you to practice self-care towards improving self-awareness. Pick one:
1. Meditate or do deep breathing for five minutes. (Start with thirty seconds)
2. Laugh heartily at least once a day. Watch your favourite comedy or share funny stories with friends.
3. Get a full 8 hours sleep with no mobile phone or internet at night. Lights out!
Once you start focusing more time on practising self-care, you’ll discover your self-awareness increasing towards greater mental wealth. You’ll be in a much better position to reach mind-mastery in your lifetime.
Thank you for reading.
 Attracting Assault: Victims’ Nonverbal Cues, Betty Grayson and Morris I. Stein (1981)