How well do you really know yourself? One way to be happier and have a full, meaningful life is to get to know yourself better.
I have had the experience of becoming a little lost along the way in my life.
I bet you can relate.
We get married, have babies, get lost in the fog of feeding and lack of sleep. Which then transitions to the busyness and fog of the school routine, lunches and homework. And it goes on. It is so easy to not make time for ourselves and get a little lost.
But, let me tell you.....getting to know yourself again is seriously worth some time and attention.
I have practiced this over the last few years and have some ideas for how you can get to know yourself better.
1. Journal Your Thoughts
There is this fantastic book called The Artist Way, by Julia Cameron. One of her practices is to write without thinking. Write whatever comes to you, for approximately three full pages, every day.
Preferably write first thing in the morning, when your brain is fresh and maybe a little slow to wake up, when you analytic mind hasn't quite kicked in.
2. Reduce Input
Spend time alone (preferably in nature) and get quiet.
We have so much input coming into our brains these days, especially with technology and all, that I don't think we even realise half the time what it's like to be properly quiet.
3. Ask Yourself Questions
Asking yourself questions is a great way to work out how to get to know yourself better.
What do you like? What do you dislike? What do you find frustrating? How does that feel for you? Start taking notes.
This can be a time to get radically honest with yourself. And not a time for self judgement. We all get to learn and grow and you might from this exercise too.
As I say often, awareness is the first step to growth.
4. Notice Your Sparks Of Inspiration
When you have an inspirational thought, notice it and try and follow it. So many of us ignore those fleeting moments that make our heart skip a beat.
What lights you up? What gets you excited? What do you always have energy for? What are you internally motivated to do?
5. Do a Value Assessment
List the things that you value. Then, follow up with a more intuitive question "Why is that important to me?" Doing this and repeating it after each answer can access a really deep level of understanding of who you are and really refine your values.
Another way I have found helpful is to read the book by Dr John De Martini - The Values Factor. He takes you through a process of working out what areas you spend your time, money and energy in.
6. Tune In To Your Body
How do you get back in touch with your body?
Stop. Pause. Put your attention into your body. Notice what you feel. You don't need to analyse it, you just need to notice.
This sounds super simple, however it is one of the most profound learnings I have had in the last five years. It is also the reason I feel I have grown so much.
Having the courage to go within, and not outwards, especially in times of pain is truly life changing.
I have this saying... 'what you do in art is what you do in life"
Well I couldn't give you tips for getting to know yourself better without mentioning art right? I have learnt so much about myself through the process of creating art.
There are so many benefits to creating. The process itself can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, allowing us to relax and in turn heal.
If you can create awareness, you will get to hear some of your internal dialogue. ie the words and thoughts you are using in your head.
You can become aware of what you enjoy creating and your artistic or creative style. Are you slow and methodical or are you full of energy?
My Art Workshops explore this concept in greater detail.
No matter where you are in life, you can benefit from learning how to get you know yourself better. When we know ourselves better we can live a more happy and fulfilled life. We can make choices that are true to us, and set an example for our children.
Inspired? Check out my free 3 day challenge, Unfunk Yourself for more.
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