When you’re feeling squeezed by life, self-discovery is likely not on your short list of ways that you cope.
Yet your most valuable response is, in fact, to explore the inside of this equation: you.
I know that may, in the moment of overwhelm, be your last impulse. But hear me out.
There is a reason that I say that this is so important.
Self-discovery requires oxygen
Life is not lived in a vacuum. Engaging in life allows you to discover more about who you are. Discovering more of your potential unlocks possibilities for being more fulfilled and offering more to the world around you.
Possibilities serve to expand, counteracting the squeeze.
But how do you begin? What kinds of situations open you to self-discovery?
The first step? Take time to reflect on what you have learned recently. You can do this anytime. Notice the experiences that have brought unrecognized talents to light. What are the circumstances that draw you to expand into something new?
What types of interactions with others have helped to shift long-held beliefs and attitudes? Often these are accompanied by a feeling of being pushed out of your zone of comfort.
Mirror, mirror on the wall
Each day life brings new opportunities for deeper self-discovery. Every relationship – with friends, family, colleagues – acts as a mirror, reflecting the quality of your own inner relationship. You with you.
Do you deny your own opinions in your interactions with others? Do you find yourself caught with judgments? Take a breath and turn your focus to shine light on your own limiting patterns.
Life situations also act as mirrors, showing you where you are aligned and moving in accordance with inner direction, or where you are stuck in outdated perceptions or expectations.
How can you integrate it so that it becomes part of who you are going forward?
Let me explain. Do you allow it to change the way you think about yourself? Does it refine your next steps?
How could you make room for this? This is where the growth happens.
These are the possibilities waiting for you. Take the first step. Take time to reflect.
Reflection for learning
Take a breath. Release it. Take another. Devote some dedicated time of concentration/meditation. It doesn’t need to be hours of quiet, perhaps only 15 minutes. Then allow the question to simmer within you. Let responses bubble up into your awareness. Notice new ways of thinking, of images or ideas that arise spontaneously. Pay attention to your dreams. Let it happen. Be aware. See where it leads you next. Let yourself savor this process of receiving from yourself. Don’t judge whatever comes up, just receive it. Make notes.
You may want to share something from this process. Sharing can be an important way to anchor an insight in your body. It can lead you to deeper insight. It stimulates action. Feel free to use this arena to share whatever moves you.