Finding One’s Central Understanding of Self
As a kid, you were told by a parent or teacher to “FOCUS!” Your mind wandered off somewhere while you were in class or your mom was telling you something important. You were thinking about something special you wanted to do for yourself or with your friends. As a child, there are no inhibitions to focus on yourself or what makes you happy. Growing up and becoming an adult with responsibilities changes the concept of focusing on yourself and what makes you happy. Sometimes, adulthood means losing focus of your true self. Are you out of focus? Think about it for a moment! What images of you came to mind? So now look at the word, focus in a different light. Think of it this way: Finding One’s Central Understanding of Self.
Finding One’s Central Understanding of Self simply means discovering who you really are or finding yourself. Other terms you may see or recognize around this topic is Self-Concordance Theory or Individuation. Sometimes who you really are gets lost in translation of the day to day issues and goings on of your life. Or you may think that self-discovery is a selfish goal when you have grown up responsibilities like family, career and more. Sometimes, you may care about what others think about you. However, to be the best person, you can be to your spouse, mate, children, friends or co-workers you must know who you are, what is your purpose and what can you offer. Focusing on you is not a sin or a selfish process, but a personal journey.
You wonder where do you begin in this journey called self-discovery. Well, connecting to your inner or true self can begin with these questions.
- Who are you really?
- What do you want or need to change?
- Why do you want or need to change these things in your life?
- Where will change begin?
- When will change begin to happen?
- How do you begin to make changes in your life?
Who are you really? This question is reflective. You can answer by saying, “My name is Shelia Johnson.” Well, your first and last name don’t give a good clue to who you are. You are a complex human being. Your response to the question is based not only on your present but also on your past. It may have been a happy past or perhaps a painful past. What happened physically, emotionally and spiritually in your past helped to shape your present. It can also shape your future, but that depends on how you let the past shape your future. Your past helped to determine how you respond to situations, people or events. Exploring the past is a very important part of the journey.
Afterwards, think about your present life. Who are you right now? Are you a wife, mother, sister, friend, successful career woman, etc.? Are you a husband, father, brother, successful professional, etc. How do the responsibilities of these titles affect your life? Man, or woman, it can be a heavy load or a wonderful part of your life. Write down your likes, dislikes or so-so lists. Think about what can you change that will lead to a clearer discovery of yourself.
What do you want or need to change? Many people will respond with wanting to change their jobs, careers, or live in a different city. Go deeper than that! You looked at all your titles and responsibilities. Can you find you as an individual in there somewhere? You’re probably saying to yourself that it’s impossible to think only of you and what you need or want. What is your interest?
Don’t beat yourself up because there’s a human inside of you. Most people get so inundated with the rote and routines, that they cannot see past them. You are alive!! Find your happy space and what brings you pleasure, peace or excitement. Try new things. Explore your talents and passions. Make a list or chart of things that will make you a happier and healthier person.
Why do you want or need to make changes in your life? Needing and making changes is difficult. The unknown is almost always a scary thought. After making your list or chart, think about why you want or need to make these changes. Knowing what you want is fundamental to finding yourself. Jot down why your list of items will make your life more positive. Ask yourself why the effects of these changes will make you self-discovery a success.
When will change begin? Change starts with you! Only you have the personal power to take up this challenge of FOCUS. Sometimes, people think if a spouse or mate makes changes, everything will be peachy. NOPE! You are the most powerful player in your life! Start with you! Start today! Journal your experiences through your personal journey.
Where will change begin? Again, change begins with you! Change begins in your mind. It is where you start your personal journey of self-discovery. Clear out the clutter in your brain! Seek a counselor if needed. It is a choice that you have, too. FOCUS begins in your mind with asking, “Who am I?” From that point, you will continue the journey by answering what do you want and need to change.
How do you begin to make change happen? You can make change happen by not being hard or critical on yourself. Focus on the positives and do not let the Negative Nelly inside of you take over. Tell Negative Nelly to have a seat somewhere! Changing your outlook and mindset means thinking about what you truly want will strip down all the unnecessary stuff that’s weighing you down. As adults, it is difficult to change directions on this road called life.
Are you out of FOCUS, while on the road called life? Finding One’s Central Understanding of Self is a process of asking yourself who, what, why, when, where and how. Your journey to self-discovery belongs solely to you. It is not an overnight trip, but a journey that takes time. Start your FOCUS journey today! Move forward and don’t look back!