The foundational principle behind my philosophy about learning, development, growth, performance, fitness, health, and wellbeing is the trifecta of self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-reflection.

To demonstrate just how valuable and applied anchoring everything in this trifecta is, I am going to filter Conscious Leadership’s concept of “above the line or below the line” through the lens of self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-reflection.

What is exceptional about “above the line or below the line” is just how simple it is to practice actively taking inventory of your current state (self-awareness).


When you are above the line, you are in a state of openness, receptivity, and curiosity. You are centered. You are what HeartMath would refer to as being in high-coherence, i.e., simultaneously alert and calm. Your primary commitment is to learning.


When you are below the line, you are in a state of being closed, defensive, threatened, irritable, dysregulated, and off center. Your primary commitment is being right.

Therefore, at any time, you can check in with yourself and ask, “where am I?” (self-awareness)

This inventory check helps you to effectively and efficiently NOTICE how you are behaving and what thoughts and feelings are influencing your behavior such that you are operating from either a state of above the line or below the line. From this insight, you are EQUIPPED to take action (if need be) TO SHIFT. By shifting, you are self-regulating to better align yourself and your behavior with your current situation, the intended outcome, and the interplay between the two. THIS IS conscious living and leading. The more capable you are of recognizing, understanding, and labeling your state, the more control you have over how you choose to express and regulate yourself (RULER).

Sometimes you miss the opportunity to be aware and regulate. When this happens, there is still always time to take advantage of a more deliberate meaning making process by way of assessingevaluatinginterpreting, and organizing your thoughts and feelings about an experience in an integrative way (self-reflection). Begin your assessment of what occurred by answering whether you were “above the line or below the line.” Subsequently, evaluate and interpret what contributed to you being either “above the line or below the line.” With this understanding, ask yourself what specifically you will tune into the next time you are in a similar situation, so you can more readily notice your state in the moment. The answer to this question equips you with the insight to make a shift in thought, feeling, and/or behavior if you so choose.

So, right now… Where are you? Above the line or below the line?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Explore More Blog Posts

Life Philosophy
Jared Cohen

Beyond Happiness

Dr. Martin Seligman, credited as the father of Positive Psychology, describes and measures human flourishing and well-being based on five elements, i.e., PERMA.  P–Pleasurable emotions

Read More »

Learn 9 New Models To Shift The Script

Explore proven mindset shifts to help you recover and regain your composure and confidence when confronted with a breakdown.