Do you feel like you are sleepwalking through your life? Are you someone who would love to know yourself better? Do you see other people making definitive decisions while you find yourself on the fence or just plain unsure HOW you feel? Read on for tips on how to jumpstart getting to know yourself.
1. CHOOSE your values
All of us are formed in great part by the models and examples we see growing up. As you become your own person you adopt those values, perhaps without much thought. Thoughtfully and consciously choosing the values that speak to you (life is service to others!) and eliminating the ones that don’t (it’s all about me!) is part of consciously constructing yourself.
2. Use “Metacognition”
Metacognition is the glorious process where we actually “think” about our own “thinking”. Notice your thought patterns, what you focus on most, your self-talk. Are you negative or positive in your interpretations? Do you spend a lot of time thinking about yourself, about others, about worries, about dreams? What are your strongest areas? Your weakest? Just noticing yourself brings you closer to consciousness and will teach you a lot about who and how you are.
Mindfulness offers control over ourselves, and the way we operate, by keeping us in the present moment. Much stress and anxiety come with spending time in the past (it’s over, you can’t change it. Take what you can learn and let it go) or in the future (what will it BE like, HOW will I do). Spending your thoughts on the present gives you control and power in the moment and can also give you clues about who and how you are.
4. Consider “other”.
Do you consider others when you make decisions about your own actions? Is there a part of you that takes the comfort, happiness, space of others into account before you act? It’s like checking the mirrors before changing lanes. Consideration for others should be a balanced understanding - taken too far we become people-pleasers and risk losing ourselves, taken too far the other way (no awareness of others) we become like bulls in a china shop, breaking and hurting and imposing on the comfort of those around us. Find a happy medium and your friends and colleagues will thank you for it!
5. Take yourself into account.
Before you go off to sleep it is helpful to review your day. How did you behave? What were your successes, your challenges? Did you interact well with others? Were you able live according to the values you have chosen to live by? How would you do things differently if you feel uneasy about the way something happened. What was in your control and how can you repair if you made a mistake?
Getting to know yourself and building consciousness is an ongoing process that becomes easier as you become more aware of what makes you feel good overall and what becomes heavy and burdensome. Remember - you were neurologically designed with instincts and intuitions that are there to give you hints and information along the way. Tune in to yourself to gain clarity of self and purpose!