How to Find Yourself
Knowing how to find yourself can lead to a truly enlightening experience. There is no definable end point, but part of finding yourself involves appreciating that you don’t always have the answers. Socrates suggested that true wisdom is accepting that you’re ignorant- there is much truth to be found in this. Finding yourself is about tying together the past, present and future of your being, so you first have to look backwards before anything else.
1- Understand yourself physically. Pay attention to your body and be aware of what it is trying to tell you. Listen to early symptoms of minor illness, indulge your aches and pains and take time to deduce why you might be experiencing them. Understand and embrace your sexuality; you do not have to be sexually liberal, you just need to understand why you have the drives and urges that you do, and know how and when you feel comfortable. Become comfortable with your own body. Appreciate why you might not be happy with your body and organise these reasons into the rational and irrational. Address the irrational issues through appreciating that they are just that- irrational, and address the rational issues through physically doing something about it.
2- Address destructive habits. Do you smoke, drink, or eat too much or unhealthily? Is so, why? Do something about it in the new knowledge of why you do these things.
3- Explore your past. Getting to know yourself emotionally involves examining the emotional milestones in your past. How did you react under certain experiences? Why did you react this way? What values did/do you hold that effects your emotional perception on things? Are there any emotional issues left unresolved? If there are, deal with them both internally (rationalise and appreciate), and externally (honestly and calmly share your feelings with individuals involved). Know what stirs you and why, know what you’re passionate about and why, know why you feel the way you do and embrace these reasons.
4- Learn how to love. Knowing how to love both fully and openly will better shape you as an individual. You need to learn to love yourself before you can love other people.
5- Understand how you interact socially. There are many ways of self-analysing what kind of social grouping that you fit in to (search for spectrum analysis for example), and how you communicate (Learn about Neuro-Linguistic Programming). Once you have a handle on how and why you interact with other people the way that you do, you can gain a greater appreciation of your true self and where you fit into the world.
6- Dedicate time to relaxation. If you’re a busy person, you will undoubtedly split your life into segments of time, all of which need to be filled with an activity. Dedicate time to relaxation, although do not make it seem like a chore just because it’s written in your diary. Personal time is important to ensure productivity, so do not neglect relaxation time. Make sure that your friends, family, and colleagues know when you have dedicated time to relaxation. Ensure that they understand not to disturb you during this time. Meditation isn’t just about sitting cross legged in a room in low light and scented candles, it’s about truly finding time for your mind to escape. This can be done in many a location under many a premise.
6- Exercise. A healthy body is a healthy mind. Tiring your body will free up thinking space and encourage creative and abstract thought (in Leigh man’s terms).
7- Become self-reliant. Although it is important to be able to fully care for yourself and your responsibilities, do not shun the offer of help, just don’t rely on it.
8- See things in the positive and put things into perspective. What is truly important to you? Is this occurrence really a big deal in the grand scheme of things? Although you may now appreciate that it’s not worth getting upset over ‘spilt milk’, others may not, so understand and compensate for this and do not be cold to their emotions.
9- Address your future. Where do you want to go and who do you want to be. Although it may be helpful to set out life goals, do not become obsessed with them and blind to other paths. Part of finding yourself involves keeping flexibility of mind.
10- Help others. Gandhi proclaimed that “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”. Keeping an outside perspective on the rest of the world will provide you with distance, when required, to gain a greater perspective when looking back inwards.
11- Remember that finding yourself has no final destination, it is merely a continually evolving journey. Stay flexible in your beliefs and outlooks and appreciate that there will always be things that you will not know.
12- Do not preach. Your ‘right way’, may not be someone else’s ‘right way’. Provide council only when it is requested of you.
Sleep on it. We only ever utilise 10% of our conscious mind. Sleeping on an issue allows the wider areas and subconscious parts of our brain to address the issue, and often we may have a fresher, fuller perspective come morning.
Be yourself, although do not be deaf to other people’s opinions.