Self absorbed or self aware, have we gone too far?
Sitting at dinner with friends, looking down at your plate, mentally logging what you see “chicken, black beans, salsa, teaspoon or tablespoon, I don’t know, how much does that little ramekin hold, I ran this morning, that should add up”… while holding your phone logging your food into my fitness pal, looking at your Fitbit to see if you are still within your target for the day. Meanwhile your best friend asked you a question that you completely ignored, looking up you say, “what!? Sorry, I was logging my meal”…
We live in an era where information about our body is readily available via wearable devices and smart technology. Fitness tests and analysis now reach far beyond the doctors office or the local gym. The modern day obsession with health is more mainstream than ever, at first glance this is wonderful, yes? or is risk involved with so much information? Of course anything can be taken to extremes, it is more informative however, to evaluate how the information is stimulating self awareness or encouraging self obsession.
Lifestyle choices, habits and activity is obviously an individuals journey. Question being, at what point do the scales tip and we are over our head informed and not simply living in the moment. What is helpful, and what is noise?
“It is important sometimes to reflect on our thoughts and feelings, monitor them, and make sure they are taking us where we want to go. However, a constant state of monitoring will lead us to be too self-conscious. If we are always worried about “What am I thinking?” or “What am I feeling?” then we can never engage in our surroundings with full consciousness. This is when self-awareness becomes more than just self-awareness, it becomes self-absorption, and this can end up being very detrimental. Self-absorption is when we are too preoccupied with our inner world to appreciate our outer world. It is when we find ourselves chatting away in our heads and making petty judgments, instead of letting go and living presently with what surrounds us. -Self-Aware vs. Self-Absorbed-Steven Handel
Availability to data driven metrics used to evaluate our behavior has the potential to create a “constant state of monitoring”. When aligning the ability of the device with our long term goals, do we see the trend being that our self awareness is stimulated or are we simply becoming more self absorbed?
If logging food has become a higher priority than dinner company, is the enjoyment of human engagement getting lost in the muck of a noisy brain?
How does one know if they are on the right track to learning more about themselves or are over stimulating their mind with data driving erratic routines and more self absorbed thinking.
As Fitness professionals, is it more important to demonstrate self awareness stimulated by the desire to know oneself better, and data is a tool to accomplish the aim? or are we demonstrating self absorption stimulated by the need to gain external validation? this being stimulated by the desire for outward appraisal judging our lack of inner self awareness?
Food for thought, what do you think? is the fitness industry demonstrating a sustainable model for personal growth? or self obsessed routines leading to narcissist behavior?
Lindsey Rainwater is an experienced consultant and coachto the fitness and wellness industry. She specializes in business development and leadership. Currently she is working with the Fitmarc Team helping Health Club owners all over the south central region of the united states propel their business forward via group exercise solutions. For more information about Lindsey, follow her @lindseyrainh2o