Who are you? That’s the question everyone asks themselves at some point in their life, especially at those key moments when they feel like everything’s been turned upside down and they just don’t seem to recognize themselves anymore. In fact, at these times, getting to know yourself again will start up a process of personal development that’ll last for the rest of your life.
This one simple question of who you are is where it all begins. It isn’t a particularly easy question, as you’ll see later. However, it’s the starting point from which other more complex questions will emerge. Furthermore, getting to know yourself and developing your potential will give you the ability to find the answers.
Discover your most precious treasure: you
You’ll find many literary references concerning the art of getting to know yourself and discovering what you really want. In addition, when you’re a child, you’re always being asked about what you want to be when you grow up. In fact, sometimes, you answer without even having really thought about the question first. Because it’s just a typical question that families tend to ask. However, you suddenly find yourself projected into your future, building an image of who you want to be and what you want to become.
Some say there are repercussions from this kind of upbringing. Nevertheless, what’s more relevant is that you’re being taught to focus on something at a time in your life when you don’t really even know who you are. So here’s that question again, who are you?
Whether you like it or not, what you see in the mirror has been imposed by the kind of education you had and by the standards that have been imposed on you by society. However, it’s hardly ever based on what you really want. Nobody ever tells you that, though. Consequently, knowing yourself becomes an unfinished process that you tend to put aside to deal with later. Alternatively, you might not even consider it at all.
Following in the wrong footsteps
Many times, people just tend to follow in their families’ footsteps. For example, a daughter might study medicine just as her father did. However, on her first day in the operating table, she faints. Because, deep down, it wasn’t what she really wanted to do after all.
It’s normal to have figures you look up to. In fact, it’s normal to want to follow in their footsteps. You see them every day, you know what their life entails, and you learn what you can expect by choosing that path. Easy, isn’t it?
Not really. That’s because you’re not asking yourself who you really are and you’re not even trying to define yourself. How you think, how you feel, how you view the world around you, how you communicate with others, what you expect from life, yourself and others, etc. For this reason, the first step towards self-awareness is always education. Indeed, all children should be helped along the way on their journey to self-awareness. Because each child needs to discover that they’re a unique human being.
“Someday, somewhere – anywhere, unfailingly, you’ll find yourself, and that, and only that, can be the happiest or bitterest hour of your life.”
Starting point: get to know yourself
It’s an exciting moment when you recognize the challenge of getting to know yourself. In fact, it’s that moment when you decide to change what you don’t like, to explore new possibilities, and to break down some of the barriers you’ve previously imposed on yourself.
All too often, you tend to live on autopilot. You experience emotions but seldom adjust them or integrate them into your own personal story. However, when you become aware of the huge number of possibilities you have, it’s easier to start discovering yourself. You probably don’t know where to start, though. This is quite normal and it happens to everyone. It’s just a matter of learning to focus on yourself and to work on your personal development.
Psychology and coaching, your closest allies
Learning to get to know yourself and working on your personal development are actually two sides of the same coin. With that coin, you can effectively “buy yourself happiness”. However, you can’t do it alone.
Therefore, you need to surround yourself with people who give back the most to you. That’s because, as Jim Rohn famously said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. You should also consider psychological help and coaching. Both use positive psychology in order to increase their clients’ well-being.
Key questions to ask to get to know yourself
- Who are you?
- What are you good at?
- How do you feel?
- What do you dream of?
- What do you like doing?
At some point, your new self will be born. That’s how the process of discovering yourself works. Furthermore, during your journey, you’ll realize that you’re now better prepared to manage and enjoy your emotional world. This is because you now know the resources you have and where you need to improve.