Have you ever asked yourself: “Why aren’t I happy?” or “ What’s missing from my life?” If so, congratulations, you’re on the path to self discovery. I know you may be thinking, what the f-? It doesn’t feel like I am on a path anywhere. In fact, it feels like I’m lost.
What Is Self Discovery?
Contrary to popular belief, self discovery is not a straightforward process. It’s a life adventure filled with ups, downs, twists, and turns. But if you’re looking for a precise definition, I describe self discovery as the practice of connecting and communicating with yourself. It’s that simple. Here’s a quote about self discovery:
Self discovery as the practice of connecting and communicating with yourself.Arielle Davis
Think about it, how do you get to know other people? You connect and communicate with them. It’s how you learn more about them and discover who they truly are. Self discovery is the same. It’s about communicating with yourself regularly to find out more about who you are.
Self discovery done well is never-ending.
But let me be clear, this isn’t a process that happens quickly. Just like getting to know another person, it takes time to get to know yourself. A relationship with yourself is one you must make time for and prioritize just like any other, and it’s not a relationship that ever truly ends. Don’t believe me? Try breaking up with yourself right now.
You can’t run away from yourself, no matter how bad you want to or how hard you try. So your only choice is to do your best to get to know yourself, so you can make your relationship with YOU the best it can be.
And this process doesn’t have to feel like you’re stuck in a toxic relationship. You can learn to fall in love with yourself over and over again. You just have to stay committed to uncovering new things about yourself and loving whichever version of you shows up. If you do, you will discover a level of love, adventure, and freedom you could never have imagined. And there is no blueprint for this.
Love is messy, even healthy love. So I want you to know that the self exploration journey of discovering who you are and loving who you find is messy too. There isn’t a “right” way to do self-discovery, just like there is no right way to get to know someone else. There is just a commitment to not giving up when the journey gets tough.
Why Is Self Discovery Important?
Self-discovery is the key to personal development and living a fulfilling life.
Let me tell you something you may or may not know: we can ALL achieve success and happiness.
This may be hard to believe when you feel like so many things in life are out of your control and seem to take away your happiness. Things like job loss, the death of a loved one, or a breakup can cause intense feelings of sadness. Grief is a valid and real experience, and I would never minimize the pain caused by these situations. I am not talking about the unhappiness caused by loss and devastation.
I am talking about the things within your control, like the relationships you allow in your life, how you spend your time, and how you treat and speak to yourself. These things are within your control and directly affect how happy and prosperous you are. And the only way to know if you need to adjust your relationships, self-talk, or time budget is to engage in a self-discovery process.
Realizing your value
Self-discovery is about becoming aware of these areas and then using this new awareness to create a better version of yourself. A version of yourself that’s more joyful, proud, and connected. A version of yourself that recognizes that you are a spiritual being, capable of connecting with the universe and all that it has to offer. You can’t tap into that source of infinite power until you recognize that the first connection point to the universe is YOU. When you understand this aspect of yourself, you can begin to tap into your true potential and discover the path to building a life that you’re proud of.
How Does Self Discovery Benefit You?
Self-discovery helps you better understand yourself so that you can make decisions and take actions that move you further along in your personal growth journey and closer to living a life you’re proud of.
Our decisions impact how we live and feel, but it’s hard to make the right decisions when we’re confused about what our next move should be or we’re worried about making mistakes.
The more you know about yourself and what’s important to you, the more clarity you will have when making decisions that impact your life, success, and happiness.
Self-discovery helps you become more authentic and self-aware. Self awareness means that you know your strengths and weaknesses, as well as what makes you happy or unhappy. It also means that you can make decisions based on who you are and what’s important to you rather than trying to please others or fit into a specific mold.
When we take the time to get to know ourselves, we develop trust in ourselves, giving us the courage to take risks and express the true us openly and honestly with others without fear of judgment or rejection.
What Are The Steps In The Self Discovery Process?
Pay attention to your emotions, and give them words.
A good first step in the self discovery journey is being able to pay attention to your emotions and find words to describe them. Many of us can be afraid to feel our emotions. We worry that they will overwhelm us if we acknowledge them. We fear they make us weak. Try not to judge yourself for having these emotions and feelings. Instead, let them validate that you are normal. You are human, and humans experience an incredible range of emotions, and they can be a huge benefit to us if we learn to use them properly. Our emotions and our feelings can provide us with helpful information by letting us know when we’re on the right track or when something is off.
Write it down.
Start writing down the feelings and emotions that come up for you with different people and situations as soon as possible. I can not emphasize enough on how important journaling for self discovery can be. I don’t care if you put a note on your phone or keep an online or physical journal. Do whatever works for you; just make sure you get the emotion or feeling in a tangible place you can touch, see, or feel. Give these emotions words by labeling them with an adjective such as lost, terrified, or frustrated. Having the language to articulate your emotions is essential in understanding them and, eventually, what situations or people trigger them.
Be a self-journalist: ask yourself questions.
Ask yourself questions for self discovery like “What happened?” “When did it happen?” And “How did I feel when this happened?” The answers will help reveal patterns in your life that may lead to a deeper understanding of what changes or adjustments you need to make while on your self exploration journey. It may be leaving a job, ending a friendship, or moving to a new city with weather more aligned with your mood.
Once you discover what makes you unhappy, it’s time to start taking steps toward making a change. This is what it means when someone says happiness is a choice. It doesn’t mean you can turn off emotions like anger or sadness. But you can practice self-journalism by asking yourself questions about what’s causing your unhappiness and making changes that are within your control and that need to be made. Practicing self-journalism will help you nurture a connection with YOU.
You will build a connection with yourself.
When you take the time to discover your authentic self, you build a connection with yourself in the process. You will learn that there is a powerful force inside of you that can help guide your way in your life and move you through the challenges we all face.
As your inner voice grows stronger, it will become easier for you to recognize when it’s speaking so that you can move through your life more confidently and clearly.
Your decisions will feel right because you will have taken the time to check in and communicate with yourself before moving forward.
Self discovery is a lifelong process. Do something every day that helps you learn more about yourself so that it becomes second nature over time. Try out self discovery exercises and see the difference it makes to your routine. And as you keep prioritizing learning which people and what things are working well for you, you will fall in love with the person you’re becoming.
Have you ever met someone easy to love because they treated you well?
As you continue this journey of self discovery, you’ll find yourself easier and easier to love because of how you have learned to communicate with, listen to, and treat yourself. Do the things listed in this article to get started.
Self-discovery will be the most worthwhile thing you do. I promise.