We all have different roles that we take on each day: maybe you’re a student, a husband, a mother, an employee, a compassionate friend. Within these roles there are different requirements on how we are to act and react. If you are in a role long enough, then people may feel that they get a better understanding about you. People may begin to know you and define you within the context of the current role(s) that you fulfill.
Is this an accurate way of getting to understand someone? No! We are all individuals and more than the sum of our parts. It is granted that if we have people that know us long enough and see us in operation in differing roles, then those people will have a better understanding of who we are. Yet they still will fail to know us as intimately as we know ourselves. We may feign to be happy, yet within ourselves we are sad. Someone may say “I know what you are thinking”, but this is just an assumption. Unless that individual possesses telepathic ability, there is no real way that someone knows exactly what you are thinking.
The point I want to make is that there is no real way that anyone can define who you are with 100% accuracy. The only person who knows you is yourself. Sometimes, some people do not even know who they are because they are too busy conforming to the dictates of those around them. If you feel that you really do not know who you are, then it is time to stop being defined by others and start defining yourself.
How can does one start on the journey of self-discovery/self-definition? Here are some steps that will lead you on the beginnings of the wonderful journey of introspection:
- Find out what it is that you like/dislike.
- Are you a conformist? Do you agree with those around you just because you want to fit in? Do you feel that your opinions and ideas are not as important as other people’s? Why do you feel the need to conform?
- Do you consider yourself to be more than just what people see you as? That is, are you more than the role(s) that you fulfill? If the answer is: “No”, then I suggest that you get a pad and paper and, for the next month, keep a daily record of your thoughts and feelings. You may be surprised to see that you are more than just what people define you as. You will see that you are a complex, interesting human being who is unique.
- How often do you take time to stop and look within yourself. Are you in touch or aware of your intuition? Learn how to recognise that “inner you”.
- Are you conscious of your feelings and emotions? Do you acknowledge these or do you ignore them?
These are just a few ways that you can begin to discover yourself. Too often we are all busy looking outside ourselves, busy with life, busy with the demands that people and life thrust upon us. We think that these external circumstances define who we truly are. Once you begin the journey of introspection, when you start to look within yourself and explore who you truly are. Then you will find that you are not who people think you are. You are a unique, complex, interesting individual who is beyond being stuck with a label and definition.