How well do you know yourself? Really know yourself? Do you know your biggest desires? Do you know your purpose? When you spend time alone, do you relish it? Not too long ago, I thought I knew myself. I knew I had a career I loved, a husband I adored, and I was making progress as a mom of an emotionally challenged son. I was even beginning to take care of me, so I felt really good. But, I was wrong about knowing myself. As I started walking through my health and fitness journey, I not only discovered my body, I also learned more about me.
I already knew I was a quitter. I would start something and not finish. I have tried every fad diet or diet product on the market, but after about ten days, I would stop. Why? I had no idea. I already knew I lacked confidence (hence the quitting). I have never believed in my own talents or perseverance. I was a champion at comparing myself to others, though. But my life wasn’t all doom and gloom. I had a great set of friends, a supportive family, and felt I was living my purpose. But there was something missing?
I had this tugging at my heart. As though something was missing. I had this feeling that I was just going through the motions of life. This tugging got me to look inward to me, so I could discover just who I am and who I needed to be. As I always say, we are meant to live fulfilled, purposeful lives and I don’t think that is what I was doing.
So I looked inward. I began to meditate to keep my mind open and receptive to what the universe wanted to tell me. I would write in a journal, just thoughts that would come to mind. Later I would read them to see if I could make sense of them. And I took care of my health so I could have a clear, sharp mind and energy to find myself. I began to write down a list of things I am good or skilled at. I also asked my husband and a few friends to help me with the list. I did this so I could discover my passions and potentially my purpose. When I looked at my skills, and massaged them together, I could see a purpose emerge.
This might sound simplistic or crazy, but it was the firsts steps I took to really getting to know me and learning more about me. I also wrote down all the roles I have in my life and the activities around those roles and how I feel about those roles and activities. This way I could either choose to improve the ones that weren’t enjoyable, or choose to change the activities. Doing these things helped me to learn more about me and in what direction I needed to go. It helped me not only hone in what I was good at but also learn to challenge myself and get out of my own way. I learned that I was pretty good at helping people get past their own challenges and learn to lead a positive life, but I wasn’t sharing this but with a small group. So I was challenged (and held accountable) to get out of my comfort zone and share with a broader audience. I also found my passion for health and fitness and self discovery. I learned that pushing myself and completing programs (fully) built up my confidence, so when I did step outside the comfortable space, it became a little easier.
Getting to know yourself doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out process or several therapy sessions. But give yourself time to do it. Set up time to meditate and open your mind to self discovery. Schedule time in your day to journal. Finding your purpose may take some time as well. Write down what you are good at and recruit some friends and family members to tell you what they think you are good at. Take those things or skills and determine if these are things that are a part of your purpose. You will know if when you do those things, or apply those skills, you are excited, joyful, and seem to have an endless amount of energy for it. It makes your heart swell, it brings a smile to your face.
When you discover you, and your purpose, then you will need to determine what you will do with it. That will be another journey – and another post. But for the meantime, you will be on your way to living your best life.