Know thyself: A journey of self discovery
The aim of having a vision is to create a life that works for you. To do this you need to know yourself, or your "authentic self" as some people would put it. This is who you are when no one is looking, not even you closest family and friends. The person you hide away from the world. For most of us this person is crazy, weird, unexplainable and from our points of view, unlovable. This poem introduces why it is so important to be true to yourself beautifully.
"She had blue skin,
And so did he.
He kept it hid,
And so did she.
They searched for blue
Their whole life through,
Then passed right by,
And never knew."
You can't expect to meet people you really connect with and create a life that works for you if you can't be honest with yourself about who you are, and show that person to the world. This also ties in with the concept of dating yourself; getting to know yourself should be fun! The idea of dating yourself is both to spend time getting to know yourself and to fall in love with yourself. You should want to show yourself off and be proud of who you are, in the same way you would your significant other. The old saying is treat others how you would want to be treated, and though that is still solid advice, the new saying should be treat yourself how you would treat others. This post marks the beginning of a new five part series that looks at the topics below:
a) Finding out who that person is (self-discovery)
b) Learning to fall in love with that person (self-love)
c) Finding out what and who brings that person to life (self-knowledge)
d) Planning a life that looks after and protects that person (10/10 life)
e) Bringing that person into the light (self-esteem)
Today we will take a look at different methods of self-discovery. Personally, I have come along in leaps and bounds since I first started making this a priority last October. I still have quite a way to go; people are complicated, and sometimes it seems like the process is never ending. But even a shallow knowledge has allowed me to put certain things into focus and enabled me to take better care of myself. Below are a few areas you could look at to help you analyse what your preferences are and how well your life matches up to the things you value. I found the best way to do this was to pick out five key values that were the most important to me and then see how I could integrate these values into my life.
1. Your dreams - what does your perfect life look like to you? Write the ideal day in the life of you. What do you want to do with your life? What is your dream job? What do you wish you had more of? What are your goals? Are you sure these are truly the things you want and value, and not someone else's dreams for you?
2. Your personality - what are your strengths and weaknesses? What is your personality type*? What are you good at, what aren't you very good at? Where do you wish you could improve and why? What do people love or dislike about you? What are you interested in? What excites and motivates you? When are you happiest?
3. Your environment - What do you surround yourself with? What is good/bad about your home/work environments? How would you like to improve them? What environments bring out the best in you? Which environments do you not enjoy/work well in? Are you clean or messy? Are you a hoarder? Are you a shopaholic? How healthy is your lifestyle? What are your finances like and how do they affect your quality of life?
4. Your taste - What do you love and what do you hate? What is your personal style - do you even have one? Do you have prefences of different types of music/films etc. What are your favourite things? Do you pretend to like things you don't? What are your guilty pleasures?
5. Your relationships - what is your communication style? Who is in your life, what kind of people are they, what benefit do they bring to your life? What do you value and respect in people? Do have toxic people in your life? Do they value and respect you?
*The personality questionnaire is just a guide line; some people find it a perfect fit, some people disagree on certain things. But I have found it to be the most accurate. It doesn't matter so much if you do disagree, as this will also provide you with deeper insight. Because of it's popularity there are plenty of other resources on your personality type else where on the Internet. Its worth spending sometime digging a little deeper.
There's a lot of work listed above, but don't let that put you off. I've tried to be as thorough as possible so don't try to do this all in one sitting. Take one area at a time and really think about it. Make sure to be honest and put yourself and your priorities first. It helped me to start a scrapbook that was all about me. Make it pretty and fill it with photos and pictures of things you love and cherish. Write down all your best memories; when you were the happiest, when you were successful, when you felt good about yourself. Make it a journey of discovery. And most importantly, enjoy it! Make sure you have the leading role in your own life :)
Next week we will look at self love. I've found this the most difficult of the lot, and I don't even consider my self esteem to be that low. I often open up to people about things that I care about only to receive some strange looks in return. Self esteem is about truly acknowledging that not everyone will like you and learning to be ok with that and not letting it affect the love and respect you have for yourself. Tricky when most of us feel like we don't fit in anyway, but because of this, it's also the most important.