7 Steps To Self Discovery
What are the steps to self discovery?
To begin with, do you know yourself well?
Are you clear about you want in life?
Do you have a sense of purpose?
What defines you?
What makes you happy?
If you stop to reflect for a second, you may find yourself answering “no” or “don’t really know” to most of the questions above.
Should this be true, you are not alone.
It may also be that while you are happy with some parts of your life, there could be also parts that you do not like. Not being happy overall with your life is an indication that are things unresolved.
Up till now, it is very possible that you’ve not gotten to know yourself very well. You’ve been running on the treadmill of life. A great proportion of your time has been spent on working long hours, slaving away in a job and filling your days with back-t0-back activities. Your mind is just too preoccupied with things to do.
Unfortunately, not knowing yourself well can result in an unfulfilling existence. Because when you have no clear idea about what your inner values, core beliefs and goals are, you are likely to allow your emotions and decisions to be externally dictated. Instead of making an independent decision, you adopt the values, core beliefs and opinions of your friends, colleagues or parents, as your own. Thus, you would have no clue about what your personal boundaries are, even if they have been violated. While others can count on you for support, you are not sure that you can count on yours for yourself.
How self discovery is related to the law of attraction is obvious. If you have no clear idea of who you are, you will have no clarity in what you want or seek. You send mixed signals out to the Universe. Your desires and intends keep changing from day to day. By virtue of the Law of Attraction, it will be hard to “attract” the outcomes that you want because your intention is not clear enough.
Blockages To Self Discovery
It dawned on me recently, that many of my friends experience the same blockages to self discovery. While they have agreed with me the importance of knowing oneself, they found it challenging to do so. On reflection, I realised that their current state was how it was for me previously. It took me a long time to decide to commit to my personal growth.
So, ask yourself if the following is true of you:
Block #1 to Self Discovery: Fear Of Finding Demons
You fear the process of examining your life under a microscope. There is the fear of discovering that there can be demons in the closet. What terrifies you is that in the process of self discovery, you can come to the conclusion that you are worthless. Or that you are not very likeable. Rather than put yourself in pain, you would prefer to stay unaware about these demons and pretend that everything is fine.
From young, you are also taught to appear strong: don’t cry or display signs of weakness. You are warned that consequences of appearing weak or emotional or needing help can be severe, because you’ve observed that only those that appear strongest survive. And so, you believe that there is no place for weepy Souls on this planet if you want to get ahead in life.
“I am afraid to show you who I really am, because if I show you who I really am, you might not like it–and that’s all I got.” Sabrina Ward Harrison quotes
By acknowledging who You really are, you are afraid that others may find that out the same truths too. You fear losing their friendships. Hence, you prefer that others do not know about any signs of vulnerability or weakness that you have. It can be hard to admit that you are not all that great, especially if you are holding a leadership position. Your ego is at stake here. You prefer to put on a mask rather than be your true authentic Self.
When you avoid the process of self discovery, you are basically in denial of the real You. You appear to be functioning but simmering underneath, are your sabotaging thoughts and beliefs. Well, because you have never confronted your demons, they are still very much alive. You may not realise it but they are probably the reasons why success has eluded you or why you have never been truly happy.
Block #2 to Self Discovery: Lack of Self Love
You may have never been taught to love yourself, from young. How can it be possible to love and accept yourself, if you have been handed more criticisms than encouragement? So you have grown up, not really knowing who you really are or what your strengths are.
There has never been a need to, in any case. Since it has always been about others. You crave for social acceptance. It would seem far better to adopt traits, ideas and behaviors of people who are popular and those whom you choose to emulate. You believe that there is nothing worthy within to find out, based on your low sense of Self.
Block #3 to Self Discovery: It Is Best To Stifle Your Creativity And Dreams
You may have also been taught that it is best to stifle your dreams. “It’s easier to make a living on an Economics degree than on a degree in design,” you were told at the age of 7. You were taught to choose a career choice based on what would be more financially viable by the marketplace than your own personal likes and natural inclinations. Even while you have an innate talent for art, you came to the conclusion that it is best not to develop it.
As you grow older, you have fewer and fewer dreams. After all, dreams seldom come true, you say. The dreams you once had as a child were left to die.
“Dreams are illustrations… from the book your soul is writing about you.”
Marsha Norman quotes (American Playwright and Dramatist won Pulitzer (1983) for her play Night Mother. b.1947)
Block #4 to Self Discovery: Too Much Noise
There is so much noise and stress in your life, that there is hardly any time for self discovery. You lead a busy lifestyle, with important datelines to fufill and schedules that need to run like clockwork. You simply do not have the time to find answers that may or may not result in paying the bills for you. You would rather continue life as before. If you have been functioning so far, why rock the boat?
In your environment, you may find that what thrives are mindless gossips, unfair comparisons, snide remarks, and thoughtless comments. If your thoughts are filled with these mental defilements, it will be hard to find the space for more loving and kind thoughts. The process of self discovery is not just about finding negatives about yourself. It is also about finding love for yourself and nurturing yourself.
Steps To Self Discovery
Step #1 to Self Discovery: Face Your Demons.
Understandably, examining your life under a microscope can be discomforting and an unpleasant exercise. I know. I have been through it. However, you will be grateful for starting the process of self discovery, because rewards unfold when you know more about yourself.
You need to confront your emotional issues and weaknesses, because they reveal the separation from the real You. The real You is an authentic, loving and nurturing self. However, these negative parts add destructive layers to your Being, causing you distress and disharmony.
Negative beliefs tend to pervade every aspect of your life. If you have feelings of low self worth, then you are likely to carry them in the relationships you have at home, in the office, with your friends, relatives and loved ones.
If you find yourself coming up short, do not beat yourself up either. Instead, understand the separation and see if you can make improvements to your behavior, thoughts and emotions. Uncovering answers will help peel off layer-by-layer the negative thoughts that have been imprinted in your mind since ages ago. These negative thoughts and beliefs have been your obstacles to inner growth.
Learn to forgive yourself. When your outer Self is aligned with your inner Being, you will feel happy and free!
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
– Buddha (Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.)
Step #2 to Self Discovery: Recognise Your Strengths.
The process of self discovery is not just about unearthing nasty stuff about yourself. It is also about honoring your strengths and abilities. As you become more aware of what you are good at, you lessen the list on weaknesses. Find ways to love yourself.
“You really have to look inside yourself and find your own inner strength, and say, “I’m proud of what I am and who I am, and I’m just going to be myself.”
– Mariah Carey (American Singer. b.1970, New York,USA)
A position of strengths can come from knowing what you enjoy. List down activities that you like doing currently or have enjoyed in the past. Find out what makes your heart sing. Find out what keeps you excited. Find out what inspires you. These are the things that define You.
Step #3 to Self Discovery: Ask Yourself: What Is Your Life Purpose?
It is important to ask yourself what you want out of life and work towards it. Aligning with your soul purpose brings about fulfilment. Without a purpose and direction, you are going to feel like a ship going nowhere. I can assure you that if you don’t go through this process of evaluation on what your purpose is, you are going to experience regret while on your deathbed.
“The purpose of life is a life of purpose.” – Robert Byrne
Hence, start by listing down everything you would like to achieve. The one that stands out is the one that has made you cry or that has resonated best with you. You may also want to use the opportunity to consider your life goals in all aspects: physical, mental and spiritual.
Step #4 to Self Discovery: Clarify Your Core Values.
In the questioning process, ask yourself what your personal values are. Core values will be things like compassion, honesty, love, kindness, loyalty, etc. Clarifying your core values will give you an exact picture of who You are.
When I first went through this process, I had no clear idea of what my core values are. I suspected I had none. To assist myself, I imagined myself in a couple of roles and asked myself what my values were in each case: as a mother, wife, daughter and entrepreneur.
It is important your actions are supported by your core values and fundamentals. If not, you will find yourself in self sabotage. The ability to reach your highest potential is severely curtailed!
Step #5 to Self Discovery: Find Inspiration From Things Around You
Self improvement books have been particularly helpful for me, in discovering more about myself. They include Law of Attraction books, Conversations with God by Neale Donald Waslch and in understanding ego, Eckhart Tolle’s the Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment. These books prompt me to ask questions about myself and how I would want to live my life. Hence, if you still find it difficult to know yourself, look for books and coaches for help.
Being with nature is also a good idea. You tend to connect better to your inner Being, when you are more relaxed. The answers that you seek, while in a state of mental relaxation, surface more easily.
Step #6 to Self Discovery: Spend Time Alone.
To know a person, is to spend time with him or her. In the same manner, to build a relationship with yourself, you need to spend time getting to know more about yourself. You cannot know yourself well, if you are constantly surrounded by lots of noise, friends and family, or if you are always preoccupied in your mind and with things to do.
“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.”
– Oscar Wilde (Irish Poet, Novelist, Dramatist and Critic, 1854-1900)
To kickstart the process of self discovery, it may be a good idea to go on a meditation retreat. This is especially if you find it hard to think clearly amidst the everyday mayhem that is going on in your life. To know yourself intimately, make an exclusive date – away from your spouse or partner, kids, colleagues, boss and parents.
Time alone to meditate and reflect is productive time. You cannot expect to function well physically everyday, if you are out of balance in other aspects such as mentally and spiritually. Very importantly, consider putting aside “me” time on a regular basis. For myself, I choose to spend “me” time meditating, reading books or simply just Be.
Step #7 to Self Discovery: Journalling.
Get to know yourself better through the process of journaling. Consider starting a blog, just like this one. Write about your likes and dislikes, and reactions to your various experiences. As you write, you are connecting to your deeper Self. Your posts can provide much needed clues about your emotions, strengths, weaknesses and areas that you never knew about yourself. They provide an opportunity for you to heal and grow.
“The golden opportunity you are seeking is in yourself. It is not in your environment, it is not in luck or chance, or the help of others; it is in yourself alone.” – Orison Swett Marden
A Lifetime Of Self Discovery
Self discovery is not an a one-day or a one-week affair. In fact, it can take a lifetime of building a relationship with yourself. Also, do note that your inner Self is not going to stay constant either. You are evolving all the time. Based on your self discovery at any point in time, you make conscious decisions for changes. Additionally, as you mature, you gain insights that make up the New You.
You become clearer and clearer, in the intent that you sent out to the Universe. Because this intent is in perfect alignment with the real You, you do not experience any conflict or sabotage. The energy vibration of your intent is pure, untainted and strong. By the Law of Attraction, you attract the very thing that resonates well with your Being.
In conclusion, the more you know yourself, the more empowered you are going to be. A clear self understanding results in renewed confidence, centeredness and strength. You Live Purposely and Are Truly Happy!
Love and abundance always,
P.S. Enjoyed reading this article? Share it with your friends on social media. Thank you in advance 🙂