Great news, if you are alive, you are already on a self discovery journey.
As events occur and circumstances appear in your life, you have the potential to learn more and more about yourself, to discover the authentic self.
You can choose to live your life, continue unconsciously reacting to situations and people that happen in your life, or you can decide to use a different approach and look for a deeper meaning to yourself and everything that is happening around you.
So, what is self discovery, exactly?
And why is self discovery important?
What Is Self Discovery?
“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you call it fate” – C.G. Jung
Self discover is the process of becoming self-aware. Finding who we truly are when we are not influenced my social, family, and friends, expectations. It’s a process of finding out what lays inside of us when all the outside factors are not taken into consideration. It is a journey deep inside of us to discover the inner world. It is your decision to find yourself.
The self discovery process allows you to discover who your are at the core. Self discovery will help your find your true identity behind your name, title, job, heritage, and culture; your authentic being when the external layers are peeled off.
Steps To Self Discovery
“At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.” – Lao Tzu
The self discovery journey is different for everyone. There are many steps that you can take but it will depend on the persons. For some journalist everyday might work, challenging themselves in uncomfortable situations might be best for others, but the broad process is based on the following steps. Regardless of what specific methods you will choose to follow the 4 steps, this is what will send you on a self discovery journey.
Step 1. Set the intent
This is a very important first step. You have to consciously set the intent for your life going forward to embark on a self discovery journey. This means that you are giving life permission to show you where you need to go to discover your true self. This means that going forward you will not judge the events and circumstances in your life, but you will trust that they are necessary in your journey. It does not mean that you will not deal with them, you will still deal with what you need to deal with and take care of what needs to be taken care of but you will remove judgment as much as possible. You will trust that everything that happens to you has a message in it and you will stay open-minded and willing for the message to reveal itself to you.
Step 2. Pay attention to everything
The next step is to start paying attention to everything. You will have to retrain your mind to do this. We allow our minds to roam free without any discipline or structure. This will take time and effort. This is what I did to train my mind to pay attention. I started with setting a timer for 30 minutes at a time from the time I woke in the morning until I went to bed at night. Every 30 minutes, when the timer went off, I paused for a minute and two to pay attention to my mind. Then I reduced the time intervals to every fifteen minutes and then to every 10 minutes. This takes effort, but it will be worth it in the end. You will become aware of what is going on in your mind and with time will be able to train it to stay focused where you want it.
Step 3. Allow for quite time
The next step is to allow some alone and quiet time. You have to find a way to quiet your racing mind and see what’s going on there. This will take time, but once you are able to do it, you will find many answers in your mind alone. Your body and your mind will speak to you and guide you if you allow it and learn how to listen.
Step 4. Find a guide
This last step involves being open to a guide being shown to you. This is more about staying open-minded than actively looking for a guide. A Guide could be many things. It could be a book, a spiritual teacher, or an actual psychotherapist. For a very long time my guides were spiritual teachers like Abraham Hicks and Mooji. Then a book become my guide. A Course In Miracles became my guide for years, even to this day.
Obstacles To Self Discovery
There are 4 main obstacles that prevent your from embarking on the self discovery journey.
1. Fear of facing your demons
You suspect that there might be some darkness suppressed deep down in you. You are afraid of facing it. It’s easier just to look the other way and let it sit deep down where no one else can see it.
2. Fear of finding out who you really are
You have spent your entire life building the persona that you are right. You are afraid of finding out that this surface person might not be the true and authentic you. You are not sure if you are ready to face this truth just yet.
3. Distractions Everywhere
In today’s busy world, it is very hard to find time or space where you will be free from distractions. Social media, TV, cellphones, all of them are designed to keep our minds occupied. It takes real dedication to resist all the distractions and make space for self discovery.
4. Fear Of Pain
You suspect that the journey of self discovery might have some painful stages. You are not wrong in thinking that. In most cases, you will discover some truths about yourself that might cause you pain at first. During the process, some aspects of you will crumble away as you realize they are not authentic, and that will be uncomfortable.
Reasons To Embark On A Self Discovery Journey?
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” – Aristotle
The fact that you are still reading this article means that there is something in your that is searching for something deeper and more meaningful.
We live our busy surface lives, but deep down we feel the awareness of our inner world and often we get the urge to discover it. So, the reason why anyone would embark on this journey is the urge to
- explore your inner world
- find your true self
- get an understanding of who you really are
- find a meaningful purpose for your life
My Self Discovery Journey
“You have no need to travel anywhere. Journey within yourself, enter a mine of rubies and bathe in the splendor of your own light.” ― Rumi
I did not realize I was on a self discovery journey until it was too late.
My life seemed to follow the typical path for a while and then one day everything changed. I naturally assumed that it was a temporary change and put on my “everything happens for a reason” hat and tried to cope with the massive changes that were happening in my life.
I kept telling myself, you are ok, you have been through this before, you know how to deal with loosing jobs, relationship break up, with financial uncertainty. You know exactly what to do.
And I think I truly believed that for a while.
But as time went on, and as I continued to make daily lists of appreciation, positive affirmations, things did not go as I knew they should.
Instead, parts of me started crumbling away, but what I did find was way more amazing that I thought:
- I found there is a stillness in me that I can access when I quiet my mind. It’s a place all worries and concerns stop existing
- I learned that I have access to that place whenever I choose
- if found out that I’m way more resilient than I ever thought
Why Is Self Discovery Important?
“You find peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realizing who you are at the deepest level.” ― Eckhart Tolle
It appears that self discovery is not optional in this life, at least for me it wasn’t.
Life will put you in a situation where you will be forced to find yourself.
If you wait until you are forced into self discovery, most likely it will be a painful process.
Why not get a jump start? Why not do it voluntary?
Self discovery will allow you to find out who you really are.
Not what society taught you to be, but the true authentic YOU.
Once you make some progress toward self discovery, you will realize many truths about yourself, and you will be able to make choices in life that are aligned with your true self.
You will re-discover your true values and hopes.
Make the decision to find yourself
The process of self discovery will be different for everyone. But it can start with setting the intentions and dedicating time daily to mediate and contemplate
Self discover will not happen overnight, but it’s worth taking on because it will allow you to discover your true purpose in life.
“The greatest discovery in life is self-discovery. Until you find yourself you will always be someone else. Become yourself.” ― Myles Munroe
I would love to hear about your self discovery journey? What triggered it? What was it like? What did you learn about yourself from it?