Have you ever asked yourself: Who am I? What do I stand for? And (the biggie) how can I get in touch with my truest, deepest inner self and then live it?
I have asked all those questions and more.
These are all questions that relate to your personal identity. I’m not talking about our social identities like sister, mother, friend, wife, daughter because while they are all important roles, they are not who we are on the inside. They are the hats that we wear not the person wearing the hats and we can get stuck in those hats.
So how do you discover your personal identity?
Discovering your personal identity takes peeling the layers of hats you are wearing and seeing what’s underneath. It means digging deeply into who you are, why you do what you do, what you see for yourself in the future, what you want your life to look like, and understanding yourself, good, bad, and ugly. It means knowing yourself. There is a reason the Greek aphorism, Know Thyself, is one of the Delphic Maxims inscribed in the forecourt of the ancient Temple of Apollo at Delphi still rings true today. To know yourself is to be true to yourself and to be true to yourself is to follow your own path, not the one someone else has set up for you.
This discovery of your personal identity takes time, investment, and the willingness to go on an inner journey – one that takes a weekend and then a lifetime. “To know your inner self is to know your purpose, your values, your visions, your motivations, your goals, (your desires), and your beliefs. Not as what you have been told by others, but what you have discovered for yourself. Knowing your inner self requires a high level of introspection and self-awareness…the process of discovery never ends – it’s a life-long journey.” www.personalexcellence.co
So…what are the 3 big secrets to discovering your personal identity?
1. Know Your Purpose: Why are you here and what are you here to do?
2. Know Your Values and Beliefs: What do you stand for? What are your goals for your life? What are your desires?
3. Know Your Motivations and Your Vision for Your Life: Why do you do what you do and what gets you up every morning? What is your vision for what your will life look like when you have discovered your personal identity and stepped into it? In other words, How will you know that you have gotten to your truest, deepest you?
Answer these questions and jot down your answers. Then look at the answers again. Are they coming from you or from your social identity - the hat you are wearing at the time you answered the question. Now do the exercise one more time. This time without the hats!
Need a nudge? Take these steps:
· Get out of your comfort zone by placing yourself in positions where you are stretched
· Be introspective by watching yourself interact in various situations – both comfortable and uncomfortable.
· See the world around you as a mirror. What is it telling you. Take a close look at your thoughts
· Listen to your gut…and follow it…no matter what! Hint: It’s always right…but it doesn’t tell you the why and you may not need to know why, just that you have been given an answer.
Discovering your personal identity is the first step to ensuring that the inner you is complete alignment with the outer you. It will take some time. You’ll have to go back to those social identities (the hats) and see if they still fit. You may need to adjust or in some cases you may need to get rid of the hat all together. Living in alignment, my dear, is to live consciously and fully awake.