Who are you? What are you most passionate about? What are your unique characteristics? What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken and what did you learn from it? What do you most want to be remembered for? In what ways are you sometimes misunderstood? What childhood beliefs still impact you today? What is unfinished in your life? Answering these and other thought-provoking questions require you to engage in a process called self-discovery.
The Journey of Self-Discovery
Self-discovery is a journey or pilgrimage in which we seek to heighten our awareness of self. It takes courage to examine the innermost parts of our being; but we must be willing to work through any pain and discomfort to create change and experience life more fully.
If you want to manifest the best of who you are destined to be, self-discovery is key. The following aspects of self-discovery can help you to explore, understand and navigate your values, beliefs, attitudes, emotions, assumptions and overall worldview.
Aspects of Self-Discovery
1. Self-reflection. This involves our capacity to engage in introspection to learn more about our fundamental nature and purpose. Use the following questions to promote self-reflection:
- Who am I?
- Who am I listening to and why?
- What am I tolerating?
- How and where am I committing my time and energy?
- If I could change one thing about myself, what would it be?
- What am I doing today to help improve my life tomorrow?
2. Self-trust. This refers to the confidence we have in ourselves. Our personal integrity depends upon our ability to trust ourselves. To develop self-trust, stay connected and maintain a good relationship with yourself by: (1) clarifying your values; (2) identifying and embracing your unique qualities; (3) listening with your heart; (4) seeing yourself from others’ point of view; (5) setting realistic goals and achieving them; (6) learning from your mistakes; and (7) making time for regular self-renewal.
3. Self-sacrifice. This is the ability to forego personal interests for the greater good and is one of the most important traits of influential leadership. Excessive giving can create internal resentment, so self-sacrifice does not mean scrapping all of your interests. It means balancing your interests in ways that will positively impact humankind (e.g., volunteerism, charitable giving, random acts of kindness or any other altruistic behaviors).
4. Self-fulfillment. Becoming self-actualized can be a lengthy process in terms of unlocking your greatest potential. If you feel stagnant, overworked and under-appreciated, you can employ techniques to overcome challenges and put yourself on the path to self-fulfillment by: (1) becoming more self-aware; (2) creating a mantra to foster inner motivation; (3) identifying an aspect of yourself that you would like to enhance; (4) visualizing yourself reaching your fullest potential; and (5) building a strong community of support.
5. Self-transformation. This evolution of consciousness is achieved when we question our very existence and quality of life. It involves getting clear about and setting intentions around how we choose to think, feel and behave. In doing so, we create change by manifesting our lives according to what feels most authentic to ourselves.
The process of self-discovery is a powerful continuous improvement exercise. Use it as an opportunity to understand your past, appreciate your present, and create your future.
Until Next Time,