How to discover yourself- 5 steps
For any students who wants to grow or become better, self discovery is very important. Self discovery is the process of finding out who you really are without the definition the society gives you. The society is made up of your family and friends and those in your immediate environment.
Most people don’t notice but the way we think as humans is conditioned by the people in our society. We think the way the society wants us to think and act the way they want us to act until self discovery happens. For some people it comes late and for some it comes early.
This article is aimed at addressing those who are yet to discover who they really are but it would be good if we look at the disadvantages of not discovering oneself first.
Disadvantages of not discovering yourself.
1) Life pushes you around:
There’s this saying, “stand for something or fall for anything.” Once people realize that you do not stand for something, they unconsciously want to program you to think like them or act like them.
A very good example of this is having Nigerian parents. The average Nigerian parent is controlling especially when they know that you have not started thinking for yourself or that you do not have your own conviction on life. They might even try to make you a mini version of themselves who would not make the mistakes they made but would make some of their own choices. This would in the long run leave you feeling helpless, unfufilled and sad.
Coupled with this is the tendency to always get pushed around by friends and lovers. Not discovering yourself can actually put you in a situation where you feel the need to always seek approval from people.
The most insecure people are those who are yet to discover who they are. They often see themselves through other people’s eyes. They are always concerned about how other people see them. In fact they are so concerned about it that they obsess over it.
They are always scared of losing people around them because they feel they are not good enough for anyone. They feel threatened whenever someone they are in a relationship with is talking to someone else or doing something new. They usually feel that whatever it is their partner is doing could make their partner lose interest in them.
3) lack of confidence or low self esteem:
I like to think the first two things I mentioned above walks together with this third point. Insecurities comes with low self esteem and lack of confidence in one’s self or abilities.
Most people with low self-esteem see confident people who dare to think or act differently as proud or as misfits. Most gossips fall in this category. They end up talking about the people doing the things they secretly wished they could do with other friends.
4) Inability to make important life decisions:
Most people who don’t know who they are, usually suck at making life decisions. They keep asking for people’s opinions in judging something peculiar to them. In the end they get bad advice and it leaves them stranded or in a mess.
If you find yourself in any of the categories listed above or you Know someone who is in that category, then this steps will help prevent the problems related to not discovering yourself.
How to discover yourself
1) Alone time is important:
The most important thing is alone time. You have to be by yourself. When I say by yourself, I mean away from people and even social media. You need to take a break.
2) Self analysis:
It is the process of analysing who you are as a person. Writing down what you think about yourself and the people that surround you.
A)write out your good and bad traits:
I will advise that you get a sheet of paper and then you write out all the good qualities you possess.p.s be honest with yourself.
Speaking of honesty, in my experience, I found it very hard to write out my bad traits. It was not easy accepting that Kita was actually insecure. But the minute I accepted, I saw a need to change that.
Don’t worry if your list is a little too long. Just keep writing.
B) Your past vs present decisions:
What are decisions you made in the past that you still feel sad or guilty about? Are you still making those sort of decisions right now? Write that down also.
What are the best decisions you have made and how do they make you feel?
C) Things you love doing:
Often times we tweak the things we love just to find a common ground with people we love. Especially when we are around our crushes. I really don’t know where the pressure comes from but we can sometimes present ourselves as who we are not.
Say your crush likes baking and you are not much of a cook but because you would like to spend time with your crush, you tell a little white lie. “Uhm I used to bake before but I don’t anymore.” And then she says “come over let’s bake cake together.” Then you end up doing something you don’t really like doing and starting a relationship with lies.
Little wonder why relationships don’t last these days. Eventually, you will get tired of pretending to like baking. Since that’s her favorite thing and you are refusing to do it with her, she starts feeling bad. You grow apart and byebye happy ending.
You have to write out the things you love doing. I mean what it is you do not because you want to impress other people but because you find it entertaining or it gives you peace.
For me its reading books, watching poetry and listening to fine music. Yours could be anything. Just write it down.
D) Who are the people you love spending time with?
Some relationships start out great but in the end they turn out toxic. It is important to note which ones are toxic.
I will advice that you write out the names of those around you like friends and family. Then pick out the names of people that make you feel bad about yourself. Include the names of people that push you into unnecessary competition and people that you don’t feel comfortable around.
Also pick out the names of people that give you peace and are fun to be around. Don’t be surprised if you find out that you are around people who don’t give you peace. It might be time for a change.
The kind of people you spend time with can sometimes determine the way you see yourself. That’s why it’s important to make sure they are good people.
E) Your goals and aims:
You need to make sure that you own your goals and your aims and it’s not your parent’s or guardian’s goals you are pursuing.
If you are the kind of person who loves playing volleyball for instance i.e it’s one of the things you love a lot and you find yourself studying Law, a course you don’t care about, you will notice you won’t be able to picture Yourself doing it. You will end up seeing yourself as a lawyer through your parents’ eyes if they forced you to do it. Whenever you think of volleyball you see yourself at the Olympics getting a medal, then you are unconsciously creating aims and goals for the thing you love.
It’s necessary that you love something to create aims and goals for it.
You have to accept everything you have written down. If you wrote it down without influence, then it means that’s the real you.
Accept the good and bad things you have written about yourself. If you wrote that you are slim, love it. Love your slim body. But if you see it as something you are not happy about then you can always change it.
The good traits however are what you want to be defined by. The only way you can be defined by that is by enforcing the definition. When someone says you are too tall, tell the person you love the way you are tall. Give them examples of special things tall people can do and short people can’t.
Own the things you love and accept it. Accept your own goals and discard whatever it is that is being forced on you. Chances are that if you don’t like it now, you might never like it.
No growth can happen without acceptance. You have to accept the person you are before you can become a better person.
4) Changing your flaws:
check the list for all your bad traits or flaws. You would have to work on each of them till you are left with none. Some people often say “love me with all my flaws.” I think it’s great to love someone with flaws that are permanent like certain skin conditions. But if it’s something that can actually be changed, you should totally change it. Some flaws can come out as toxic and it s necessary to change them.
The goal of self discovery is to create a better version of yourself, a version that gives you peace and allows room for growth.
5) Cut out whatever doesn’t give you peace:
Since you already made a list of people and things you like and don’t like it’s easier to cut out those who drain you emotionally or financially. It might be hard to do especially if those people are your parents or people you are financially dependent upon but in such cases it is necessary that you do all you can to be independent from them.
I also had to cut out some people in my life before I was able to get my shii together. It took time and it was not easy at first but it was worth it. I decided to stop doing the things I didn’t love and I started living for me instead.
Self discovery is really important for anyone who wants to grow. It brings peace necessary for thinking of ideas and it’s a phase every student must pass through.
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