Self-awareness is not something that you can just discover right away, but is, instead, a process that usually takes seven important steps. These steps are not actually as defined as they may seem at first. Instead, they may be taken out of sequence, and you will likely discover, that they will often overlap, as you progress along the path to self-discovery.
Keep in mind, that no matter who we are, we are all works-in-progress. Though these seven steps will help to get you started along the right path for knowing yourself, self-discovery is a process that lasts a lifetime.
Step 1: Spend Some Quality Time With Yourself Every Day
To get to know yourself, then you need to spend some good quality time with just you. True, we all have busy lives, and it isn’t always easy to find time for yourself, but consider it something you cannot afford not to do. Everyone needs to make the time to be alone, with pen-in-hand (making a list of everything that you know you want in life).
Recognizing your own behavior patterns, is an important part of getting to know yourself. Just as important, however, is observing the types of people in your life. People have a tremendous influence on your path, and can either help to build you up along the way, or can tear you down, keeping you from your greater potential and dreams realization.
As you get to know yourself, it is important that you learn to listen to your inner-voice, or intuition (as it is often called). I have been using and listening to my own inner-voice for the larger parof my life, by visualizing what I want out of life.
Step 2: Write in a Journal Every Day
Head out to the business supply store or stationary store at your next opportunity, and pick up a journal or notebook – not a diary, planner or scheduler. There is a difference between these types of tools.
You can also write about dreams – both those you dream during sleep-time, and those you daydream while you are awake – express your feelings, and allow yourself to use your intuition to its fullest. (Your journal will be the perfect place for you to take down your guiding beliefs, thoughts and action patterns, the things that get you stuck, and the new things you’ve developed).
This is one of the most effective ways to become aware of yourself, and integrate your experiences into a recognition of who you are and who you are capable of being. It will not be long into your journal-writing, that you discover that there are certain patterns in your life that repeat. This can include different thoughts , behaviors and revelations, (some that may even occasionally remind you of your parents and other important people in your life).
Step 3: Identify Your Support System
Your next step is to discover the counselors, religious representatives, guides, teachers, helpers, and mentors, who can help you along the way, on your journey.
Though it is important, to a degree, to be independent, self-sufficient, and autonomous, this does not mean that we can NEVER seek out others for support in our lives. If you are unable tolook outside of yourself, then you will only struggle for your entire life.
Step 4: Learn from the People Around You
We learn the most about ourselves when we learn about the people around us. In this sense, when you are trying to discover who you are, where you are headed in life, and how you are going to get there, one of the steps that you will need to take, is to consider what you can learn from the people you spend time with.
Consider all of the people you know, including friends, family, acquaintances, co-workers, and all of the other people you have gotten to know throughout your life. Write down this list so that you can use it for reference. Then, think about each person individually, and consider what you have already learned, and still can learn from each of these people.
Step 5: Read and Listen
Investigate the specific issues, relationships, spiritual growth, and healing that affect you, by reading books and listening to tapes and CD’s by wise teachers and inspirational muses. You are fortunate in that you live in a time that is filled with information readily available to everyone.
Everywhere you look, there are self-help books, websites, workshops, and lectures that you can attend in-person, online, or that can be recorded and watched later. There are teachers out there who have researched and dealt with just about every imaginable problem and life issue, you can dream up!
Step 6: Take Positive Risks
Once you have gathered information about yourself and how to deal with your specific issues, take the chance to talk about yourself and your problems with others. You have already been expressing yourself with your journal, looking into your goals, dreams, values, insights, etc, and now the time has come, to take this awareness to a new level!
This step often takes a great deal of courage. Recognizing yourself on your own is still relatively safe, but without putting your ideas into practice, and offering them to others, to get a new perspective and make them work for you, you will not be able to use all of your discoveries and self-revelation insights.
Each of your new choices will help you to better learn what works for you, and what does not. It is therefore time to take a few positive risks to allow yourself to continue moving forward.
Step 7: Enjoy Knowing Yourself
Oddly enough, as noble a pursuit as self-knowledge may be, there is still a tendency amongst us all to feel guilty when we begin understanding ourselves to the degree that we can take our lives in a positive-change or improvement type direction. This is the time when you are actually able to consciously create your life, so that you achieve the results that you want.
This often brings about comments from others such as “you are so lucky,” and “things always work out for you”. Since you haven not exactly been advertising your efforts toward self knowledge, it may indeed look as though luck has suddenly been smiling on you. However, you will know that you have made a very large change in your life that has meant that you are more prepared to achieve what is right for you.
Thanks to Tara Brook for this inspiring article. If you'd like to know more about Tara and get a Free chapter of her new book Beautiful Ambition: My Secrets to Love, Happiness and Success, check out website at www.beautifulambition.com/