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The Curse of the SelfSelf-Awareness, Egotism, and the Quality of Human Life$
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Mark R. Leary

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195172423

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195172423.001.0001

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Living in Two Worlds

Living in Two Worlds

Chapter:
(p.25) 2 Living in Two Worlds
Source:
The Curse of the Self
Author(s):

Mark R. Leary

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195172423.003.0002

People split their time between living in the real world of everyday life and the mental world of self-thought that they create in their own minds. This chapter explores the nature of self-awareness, beginning with the question of “who is talking to whom” when people talk to themselves inside their own heads (self-talk). It then examines the negative consequences of living in one's own mind for social interactions, performance on mental and physical tasks, and decision-making. Topics covered include self-preoccupation, choking under pressure, insomnia, sexual problems, and interference with spontaneity, intuition, and flow. The chapter concludes with a discussion of meditation, which has been shown to quiet the self, reduce self-preoccupation, and help people to live more fully in the real world.

Keywords:   self-awareness, self-talk, preoccupation, pressure, intuition, flow, meditation

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