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In the era of inspirational speakers and motivational programs, some might dismiss the notion of self-discovery as useless junk. They’d be wrong to do so (and maybe some good self-discovery could quell their urges toward negativity), because people who have accepted and become comfortable with themselves often feel far more content in all realms of life. But how can you discover your truest self? Self-discovery, as it turns out, isn’t that difficult – here are the secrets.
This one might sound simple, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Asking yourself who you are can lead you down all sorts of intriguing mental rabbit holes. Whether this is a conversation you have with yourself entirely in your internal monologue or written in a journal, unfiltered thinking about your personality, interests, emotions, and more can lead you to realize what you want to do with your life, what kind of people you want to spend time with, and what you can do to avoid things you don’t enjoy. This self-actualization can lead directly to healthier relationships.
Then, ask the people in your life
No matter how well you come to know yourself, others’ perceptions of you are always paramount to obtaining a full picture of what makes you distinct. Your friends, colleagues, and family can all shed tremendous insight into what makes you tick, what gives you anxiety, and what habits of yours either bother or give joy to the people around you. Once you’ve identified all these things, you can make direct strides to improve on your good habits and tone down your worst impulses.
Go to the experts
There are two ways to use expert knowledge in your journey of self-discovery. The first is easy to do at home: Just take a personality test. There are ample psychologically sound reasons that these tests have stood the test of time – they have shown scientific merit in correlating certain habits and emotions with personality types and traits.
The other option is more time-consuming and costs more money, but it’s well worth the investment. Begin seeing a therapist, even if you think you’re perfectly mentally healthy. When sitting in front of a licensed therapist, even the most stoic and level-headed of people can discover all manner of issues related to shame, guilt, fear, anxiety, and more. Working through these issues with a therapist can lead to the mental clarity necessary for self-discovery.
Say no sometimes
Perhaps more important than any of the above notions, begin saying no to things. If your friends are all going out and doing something expensive that doesn’t interest you, you’re allowed to say no. As you do so more frequently, you might stumble upon a clearer picture of not just how you like to spend your money and time, but with whom you like to surround yourself. There’s tremendous power in absence – if what you’ve eliminated matters to you, you’ll want it back. If not, you can go without it.
What tips do you have for self-discovery? Sound off in the comments!