How exactly does one discover themselves?
Through exploration, experimentation and being open to the unknown.
If you live your life in the box of what you know, you may think that you know yourself. But actually, there is so much more of you to explore outside of that box.
As much as there is ‘the me I know’ inside of the box, there is also ‘the me I don’t know’ outside of it.
Granted you can’t experience every single thing in life but you can try things that are outside of your usual routine.
It can be big or it can be small.
- Visiting a new city
- Joining a group or class
- Doing the thing you’ve always thought about doing but kept putting off
- Going for a walk
You might think you know yourself or that you’re content with your life. But when you do a journal prompt like ‘Describe your dream life’ you might find you’re nowhere near where you want to be. Maybe you settled for an unfulfilling ‘stable’ job and you never even took the time to figure out what you truly wanted to do for a living.
“And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself?”
It was either Seth Godin or Simon Sinek that once said that you shouldn’t seek reassurance because it’s something you can never have enough of.
I don’t think I fully understood the statement until I observed it in others and in myself.
Reassurance creates a temporary fence of stability that lets you know things are fine but it doesn’t last. It’s like a cloud of smoke that will eventually disperse until there’s nothing left and then you just end up back where you started, seeking reassurance once more.
And so instead of seeking reassurance,
Why not practise being adaptable, embracing uncertainty and getting out of your comfort zone?
Don’t spend so much time trying to figure yourself out and. Pondering and ruminating on where you fit in and the kind of person that you are.
Give yourself some credit and remember that you aren’t so simple that you fit into a neat box or that you’re easy to label.
You’re complex and ever-evolving.
There is comfort in being able to say I’m this kind of person and this is what I like . But often when we do that we don’t give ourselves room to grow. The last thing you want is is to end up boxed into limitations of your own making.
Go out and explore yourself, what does it mean to be you? It might be strange and beautiful but that’s okay.
You might find that you’re a juxtaposition of messy and particular, simple and complex, a painter and a scientist, there’s endless possibilities and it would be a shame to never find out.
According to the dictionary app on my phone self-discovery is ‘The learning of what kind of person one really is, or what one really wants to do with ones life’.
I think that is something worth pursuing.
We all have them.
Cosy socks, worn out joggers and a stripy fleece (or maybe that’s just me).
I find that most people go back to old favourites be it an outfit combination, shoes, a book, movie, tv show, hairstyle, nail colour, a person or a place.
We do it because as people we are drawn to what we know. And perhaps we also have that bit ingrained in our brains that seeks safety. And what is safer than something you know, definitely not something you don’t know.
I was watching what is probably my favourite Australian TV recently ‘The secret life of us’. I could have watched something new, something I’d never seen before but instead I returned to an old favourite.
Granted there is no issue of safety here but I think it sort of proves that even though we don’t live the same way we used to, that bit of our brain that links safety/comfort with familiarity is still very much active.
When you get into the routine of doing things a certain way, it might not even occur to you that there is a different or better way of doing things.
After all you have your way and it works, it’s comfortable and familiar.
So, what does it take for someone who is set in their ways to change?
It’s unfortunate that it often takes extreme circumstances. A life-storm to shake and shock you, to make you realise that that it is time to move on.
Because as much as there is comfort in familiarity, there is growth and adventure in the new.