Each one of you are finding different ways to discover your self every day even if you don’t know it. Most of us think we already know ourselves inside out. We think we are what we do and we act that way. We identify with our jobs, our family’s expectations, our friends’ descriptions of us. Deep inside, we know these aspects of our selves are just a part of us. A persona we show to the world.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.— Oliver Wendell Holmes
There is a feeling lurking within us that we are something more than what others see; what we let others see. There are things stirring in our shadow self that we want to get out into the world. A part of ourselves that we still can’t describe; potential that we both fear and admire. It may help us unleash our hidden genius or ruin our life’s work. Unless we can identify it; we won’t be able to harness this potential. If we can’t know this part of our self; we will always feel that we are not enough. Instead of being frustrated; why not actively go on a journey to discover your self?
The Process of Self-Discovery
Self-discovery is a continuous process, not a specific or final answer. The process of self-discovery is not found when you reach a destination. You come to discover more of your self through your life journey. Discovering your self is not just a one-time process. It involves discovering something new about ourselves as well as rediscovering old, forgotten parts of ourselves. There may even be instances when you uncover a part of yourself that you have kept hidden because you feel you are ready for it. Along the way, we may change in many ways. It is through this journey that we find purpose and meaning in our lives.
Be Aware of Your Current Self
Awareness is the first step to getting actively involved in your self-discovery. Get a clearer and deeper understanding of your own personal characteristics, your emotions, needs, values, strengths and weaknesses. Spend time to reflect on the parts of your personality that you already know.
Find out what gives you joy; what are your hopes and dreams; the things that you are passionate about; what things are holding you back; what negative experiences have you carried with you since childhood? These questions will leave you feeling vulnerable but they are an important step to getting to know yourself better. You can do this through journaling, talking to family and friends, or to a professional. The important thing to remember is to be honest with your self.
Experiment with A Different Self
Once you have a map of your current self; you pretty much have an idea of what your personality is. You are also able to identify some of the things you do, or want to do, that would clash with your current personality. Examining your self does not stop at knowing where things are. You also need to test how far things can go.
Your self, or your personality, is a fluid entity. Contrary to popular belief, you are not stuck with your personality. Getting stuck and getting out of it and flowing into a new one is all up to you. So make an experiment of the process. Do something that you don’t usually do and see how far you can go with it. For example, you may be a people pleaser, a “Yes man”. So try experimenting what would happen if you just said “No” to other people. Most of the time, you will find that your worries and fears don’t come true. It is only your belief that’s holding you back from accepting this part of your self, and from changing your situation.
Trust in Your Own Path to Self-Discovery
There is no one way to the journey of self-discovery. Each person has their own path and their own time for the journey. The important thing is to trust your own path. Don’t compare your self to others. Also, be kind to others and help as much as you can. Remember that everyone is on their own journey and some will have a harder time than others. Having a positive mindset and an attitude of gratitude helps a lot.
Discovering, rediscovering and uncovering more of yourself also helps to develop your trust in your self. Most people are going about their daily lives fulfilling their duties according to what others expect of them. Being actively involved in the process to discover your self means that you need to learn to trust your self rather than the world around you. It means being able to focus on what you truly want and being grateful for what you have even if the world tells you that you’re doing things wrong.
Discovering your self also means that you learn to accept difficult things about you as well as others around you. For example, you learn to trust your feelings instead of just your thoughts. You learn to love yourself more. You learn to be okay even if some things don’t go the way you wanted them to. More importantly, you learn to be comfortable with all parts of who you are; and if people don’t like it, you don’t feel bad when they walk away.
The journey to self-discovery may involve losing friends and even loved ones along the way. Know that it is not your fault. It is just that their part in your journey is over and they need to go on their own paths. There are many things that you will need to accept and lose during your journey. As you learn and develop your self; you will find that it will all be worth it.