How well do you know yourself? That may be a simple question to answer but let’s be honest here. Do you really understand who you are?
Stop for a moment and ask yourself why do you think the way you do. Why do you act the way you do?
We like to think we have a pretty good handle of who we are. After all, our friends and work colleagues can give a pretty good description about our personality. But that is the person that we want them to see and know. Let me ask you, is that the real you?
To go on a journey of introspection and self discovery may seem a daunting task. How to begin such an epic journey (for that’s what it is)? It can be a scary trip as you confront things you have hidden deep down inside you for years.
It can be an exhilarating experience as you have “A-ha” moments as you begin to understand yourself better.
I’d consider the process as a “self audit” as you analyse the person who you are and if that is the person you really are or want to be. It’s not about being perfect (which is an unattainable, lofty ideal). It’s about becoming the person you are meant to be.
Here are 5 ways you can self-audit:
1.What are you thinking? Stop and take notice of your thoughts. Where did they come from? What initiated them? How accurate are they?
We never really shine a light on our thoughts or our thinking. But once you start to become aware of them, then you can analyse them. Dissect them and challenge them.
2. Your emotions. What makes you happy? What makes you sad? Why do you get angry? How come you’re afraid?
When you experience an emotion, what was the catalyst? Was it something external or something internal (a thought or memory)? When we can get a handle on what stirs up our emotions, then we are better equipped to control them.
3. Why do you do what you do? What is the motivation behind what you do? Is it because you have to do it or because you want to? How would you feel if you didn’t have to do what you did?
Consider the reasons behind your behaviour. Ask yourself: Why am I doing this? Why do I react the way I do?
4. Friends. We humans are social creatures and being alone and lonely can lead to depression and other negative emotions. Friends give us support and comfort. They provide us with enjoyment as we do things together.
But do we have friends who take and never give? Are there friends that you have that, no matter what, they always are so negative and critical.
Take a hard, honest look at your friends and ask yourself why you are friends with each person. How would you feel if you stop being friends with each person? Remember, this isn’t about them it’s about you coming to realise who you really are.
5. Your job/career. Most of us work 9-5 in order to etch out a living. Maybe your happy with your job. That’s great. Perhaps you’re successfully climbing the rungs of the corporate ladder.
Take stock of your employment. Is it really what you want to be doing? What goal do you have within your current vocation?
If you’re not happy with your job. What would you like to be doing?
Take time to seriously think about where you are and where you want to be with your job. Remember that most people spend 40+ years working, That’s a long time to endure misery in a “dead-end” job.
As you start to take a long hard look at yourself, you’ll be amazed at what you discover.
It’s not a 5-minute or 5-year process.
It’s going to be a lifetime of self discovery. Tweak the things you like. Cull the things you don’t like.
Then you’ll truly start to know yourself.
Go and explore.
Enjoy the journey!