Self-Discovery – The Most Enriching Journey You’ll Ever Take
Growing up, I learned to associate academic achievement with self-worth. That was the message — you have worth if you get an A; and you don’t, if you don’t succeed. With wisdom, I’ve come to learn that this message was faulty. I can still get satisfaction from taking classes and learning, but these days I practice kindness and self-love to deepen my self-worth.
To want to get to know yourself — from the inside, not through other’s expectations — is a radical act of love. To be genuinely curious about YOU, what you like, love, prefer, aspire to, is the beginning of the most beautiful journey you will ever take…the journey to self-discovery.
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” ~ Lucille Ball
Do you really want to depend on luck or happenstance to shape your life?
Consider this: all designers use curiosity and questions to discover new things. They can’t allow preconceptions to cloud their thinking. You can do the same.
I invite you to answer the following questions, with complete honesty. There are no wrong answers. Whatever you answer will tell you something, if you pay attention. Enter this journey with the intent to deepen your knowledge of yourself as you are, right here, right now. Along the way you will meet and make friends with your past self and bridge the gap to your future self.
- Of what am I most proud in my life? Why?
- What activities, thoughts, and people bring me deep inner joy? Why?
- What actions or thoughts do I default to, when I’m tired and stressed? Why?
- When something/someone makes me unhappy, do I passively stay, leave or work to make it better? Why?
- What fears hold me in a bad situation, job or relationship? Why?
- Where does my limit of “it’s possible” end?
- How do my beliefs limit me? Why?
How do my beliefs expand me? Why?
- When I have an inner struggle, do I ignore or lean into it to learn from it? Why?
- What moral compass do I use to identify my highest core value? Why?
- What other uncompromising values do I have? Why?
- What values am I willing to compromise under adversity? Why?
- How do I feel about money and the way it shapes my decisions and life? Why?
- What relationships have changed/are changing my life? Why?
- How have my parents impacted my life? Why?
- Whose lives have I changed just by being alive? Why?
- How do aging and mortality affect my thoughts and feelings? Why?
- What kind of legacy am I building for future generations? Why?
- How do I want others to perceive me? Why?
- What gives purpose to my life?
- What is the meaning of my life?
Of all these questions, do you know which ONE is most important? It’s the question WHY. The questions WHAT and HOW give you facts; the question WHY makes you dig deeply into your emotions and thought processes to find the reason.
Always remember to observe and ask yourself WHY. Why am I thinking this way? Why am I feeling this way? Why did that happen? Why did she say that? Why did he do that? Not only will you understand yourself better; you will also deepen your ability to understand others.
Be mindful that this is not a comprehensive list of self-discovery questions. You can google “questions to ask yourself for self discovery” and you’ll find more to add to your list. Read their suggested questions, and when you find one that makes you uncomfortable, pick that one to answer.
Here’s an idea…initiate a personal system of keeping a few pages in your journal bookmarked and dedicated to adding and answering questions on a regular basis. This will keep your journey of self-discovery vibrantly alive.
Many great explorers of the past started their journeys with a specific goal in mind…find the fountain of youth…discover a new trade passage to the East. Did they find their goals? Most did not. Instead they found what was really there — the good and the bad. Did that make their discoveries worthless? Not at all! They were priceless, because it expanded knowledge and understanding that they, and others, could build upon.
The same can be said for your journey of self-discovery. You might expect to find X but you’ll actually find Z. That’s a win because you found your truth. Now you can work with it and enhance the wonderfully brilliant, fascinating, lovable, capable person you are.
So…where are you, in your self-discovery journey?
If you live in Oregon, like I do, the recent wildfires, on top of the pandemic, have tested us to the core. Our ability to cope and resiliently face the future may have taken some hard knocks! Therefore, my colleague, Louise Santiago, and I are focusing on the topic “How to Embody Leadership in a Crisis.” at the Great Circle Community. It will be held October 1st at 8 am PT/11 am ET…will you be joining us?
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