Do you know who you are? I mean really, really, know who you are? You may say Of course! and start by thinking of your name, where you’re from, or maybe one of the many titles you hold such as daughter/son or parent or *insert job title*. But if we strip all of that away, who is left?
What if you lose that favored job or finally reach retirement? Or, the kids that you poured your whole life into, leave the nest? What now. Did you lose yourself?
Disclaimer: This is not a post intended to give you the answers. I will not be giving you the “5 Easy steps to reveal your true identity”. I will, however, provide you some guidance to help open your mind and heart, in hopes of leading you there.
Reflecting over the many bios I’ve completed and read on social media or dating sites (back in the day)–they all have one thing in common . Most people tend to lean more towards being funny or just rambling off facts about their possessions, what they do for work, or their physical attributes.
It’s very rare to see someone open up about their true inner self. Stuff like–‘I like to talk a lot’, ‘I enjoy being by myself’, or ‘I have a hard time saying NO’. But these qualities are the essence of who you are.
Though, this makes sense. Why would you show complete strangers that vulnerable part of you that sometimes makes you feel flawed?
But, if you were to write down or list who you are (no titles), and know that it would only be there for you to read, would it look different from an Instagram or Linkedin “About Me” section?
It should! And after you complete the exercise of Who is *insert name*, when you reflect on it, it should evoke some type of emotion. Happy, sad, enlightened, hopeful.
If you look at your self synopsis and see hurt or pain, do not fret. Take a deep breath and know that we are all ever evolving and we can change. No matter the cards dealt in the past you can always reshuffle the deck or change the game. We can choose to do and be around things and people that will help shape us into our ideal self. It’s never too late to take control and guide your life.
Yes, your past is woven all through the fabric of your life but it is only the backdrop. It only makes up a part of the whole picture. Most people have used their pasts to determine their quality of life. Some using it as a catapult to thrust them forward , getting as far a way as possible. While others use it as a ceiling for what successes they will achieve or reach for. But, there are other tools to alter your life, whether it be through reading, dance, reflection, or even conversation among many others.
Personally, I believe that if we are committed to transforming a particular part of our self, that we have to also incorporate all five of our senses. Eat things that make you feel happy and feel good about yourself. Listen to podcasts or music that brighten your day. Light a candle or get an air-freshener that puts you at ease. Some people find the actual touch of paper and physical action of turning pages as they read a new novel , more enjoyable than clicking through an e-book.
A few of my happy places include the feel of the sun on my skin, the smell of fresh air and the flicker of a candle. The key is not to overindulge on one thing but to find balance and what works best for you.
I challenge you to pick out the things you want to change and focus on them one by one. Or, begin to look at what you consider negative attributes and really decide if it’s just your perception. For example, you hate that you care so much. Is this really so bad? I actually think this means you have a generous heart and gives way to your super power of empathy.
If you believe empathy has lead to actions that have put you in compromising or hurtful situations in the past, then you might practice not allowing your empathy to be the only deciding factor. Rather, you could couple your strong empathy with your sound judgement to determine your future decisions.
Also note the things that you love about yourself and do things that encourage this part of you. You must strengthen the existing good as well. For example, you love to laugh. Watch sitcoms, read articles, listen to podcasts, go to comedy shows that make you laugh.
The crucial part of finding and understanding who you really are is being open and honest with yourself. Know what makes you hurt and what makes you smile. This is the start to knowing who you are. Lean in and accept him or her with loving arms.