H.B.M, part 3: Exploring self-awareness

1-hot-buttonAfter skimming over our hot button fields in my two previous posts, I’m inviting you today to dig deeper into the crucial area of self-awareness. Self-awareness is our ability to accurately perceive our emotions, thoughts and behaviours in the moment. Self-awareness is key to self-transformation.

We all have the capacity to be self-aware. When we are not, it is usually for one of two reasons: either we are emotionally over-reacting, or we are emotionally under-reacting. Let me illustrate each situation.

If you tend to be emotionally over-reacting (like me), your emotions are like a pot of milk on the verge of boiling over. When you’re triggered, the milk boils and spills all over you, and drowns your discernment. You are not self-aware in the moment. In addition, you have to clean up the mess and re-fill the pot with still no time to be self-aware.


If you tend to be emotionally under-reacting (like some people I know), your emotions are like a pot of milk forgotten in the fridge on the verge of curdling. When you’re triggered, the milk goes sour, but nobody – including you- notices when you drink it. Therefore you continue your life with a big smile and just a slight unpleasant sensation in the stomach. You are truly not self-aware.


Most of us have experienced both reactions, but we usually have a predominant tendency. Here are two short quizzes to help you identify your predominant reactive tendency, exercise your self-awareness, and catch your ineffective reactions. Let me know your thoughts and STAY TUNED! More is coming next week…

Quiz 1: When something has triggered you, do you tend to think:


Quiz 2: You know that you’re triggered when people tell you:



H.B.M, part 3: Exploring self-awareness

8 Responses

  1. C’est tellement excellent, c’est tellement moi, c’est tellement nous tous ou presque….j’adooore. Definitely a completely “a” type, mixed to a sometimes “b” type, I love it to feel I am almost normal or should I say “common” . I thought I was the only one , ah ah.
    Carole I love your posts, this one is JUST what I needed to laugh at me today. And love myself a bit tiny bit more 😉
    You are brilliant.

    Catherine May 20, 2015 at 1:10 am #
    • Bonjour Catherine! So great to hear from you and to see that are still aligned in the essential… I miss you!

      Carole Lévy May 21, 2015 at 2:16 pm #
  2. Fabulous! Hilarious. Filled with wisdom! And the drawings are magnificent! I love the green-faced lady drinking spoiled milk! It’s all so funny and bubbling with truth. Keep them coming.

    susan efros May 20, 2015 at 8:38 am #
    • Thanks Susan! It makes me think that the title could be “are you boiled milk or spoiled milk”?

      Carole Lévy May 21, 2015 at 2:13 pm #
  3. Am I smiling? …too funny. Thanks for another opportunity to see the humour in our human condition. I am a big fan of your work Carole!!

    Ian Curtin May 22, 2015 at 2:18 pm #
    • Thanks Ian! I’m a big fan of our work too, the one with the Inner Activist!

      Carole Lévy May 26, 2015 at 6:57 pm #
  1. H.B.M. part 4: Short term costs and long-long-long term benefits | Carole Lévy - May 26, 2015

    […] is self-awareness so important in this Hot Button Mastery […]

  2. HBM, part 9: What does neuroscience have to say about hot buttons? A LOT! | Carole Lévy - October 26, 2015

    […] Negative events leave a residue in our memory waiting to be reactivated if we encounter a fear-provoking situation that reminds us – consciously or unconsciously- of the original one. But our brain retains only key features of the event (it already has too much data to store!). Therefore, an approximate resemblance between a current event and a past one is enough to trigger our whole alarm system: a succession of hormonal, chemical and physical reactions that can range from: a raised eyebrow, to a slight discomfort in the stomach, to heart palpitations with an impulse to punch a table with your fits. (See H.B.M., part 3). […]

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