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Getting to Know Yourself: Living a Life of Fulfillment and Self-Awareness

How well do you know yourself? We can always deepen and strengthen the connection. When we truly know and understand ourselves, life becomes more fulfilling. Self-awareness practices are often the first step toward whole body and mind wellness. 

At Awakened Path, we are here to guide you towards a more fulfilled life. Through fostering and deepening the relationship with yourself and cultivating greater self-awareness, it is possible. Continue reading to explore why getting to know yourself is important, and how you can lead a more authentic and fulfilling life, and build greater self-awareness.

Why is getting to know yourself important?

With work commitments, responsibilities and tasks, daily chores, relationships, stress, and so on, it’s easy to lose sight of who we truly are. Additionally, we’re constantly bombarded with external influences, from social media to societal expectations, that shape our identities in ways we might not even realize. But getting to know yourself is one of the most valuable journeys you can embark on. It can lead to a deeper understanding of your values, desires, and purpose in life. Here are some ways  to help deepen and strengthen your self-discovery journey:  

Reflect on Your Past

Your past experiences, both good and bad, have shaped who you are today. Take some time to reflect on significant events in your life. What were the pivotal moments? How did they impact you? By understanding your past, you can gain insights into your current behavior and mindset.

Reflecting on past experiences can be painful, especially for individuals who have an extensive trauma history and/or suffer from depression. In these cases, reflecting on more painful experiences may require support from a therapist. Our therapists at Awakened Path are here to provide a safe space for you to reflect and heal from past trauma. 

Identify Your Values

Values are the core principles that guide your decisions and actions. They are deeply ingrained beliefs that reflect what is most important to you. To identify your values, consider what matters most in your life. Is it family, career, honesty, creativity, or something else? Knowing your values can help you make decisions that are aligned with your true self.

Once you have identified your values, spend some time checking in with yourself weekly or daily on how you connected to your values. When we experience stress or burnout, this can also be a sign for us to check in with our values. For example, perhaps family is an important value of yours, however, it’s been a week since you connected with your family and you feel exhausted. Having your values identified reminds you of what’s important to you and helps you remain connected to yourself and the things that are most important.  

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Explore Your Interests and Passions

What activities make you lose track of time? What topics do you love to learn about? Your interests and passions are clues to your authentic self. If you find yourself unsure about the answers to these questions, then this is a great place to start. Allow yourself to be curious and open throughout the process. Re-discovering interests and passions takes time, effort, and intention. Should you find yourself feeling discouraged, remember that at one point in your life you learned best through play. Think back to things you enjoyed in your childhood for hobbies that may be of interest to you. For example, if you enjoyed running outside, then maybe engage in a physical hobby. Make a list of things that excite you and try to incorporate more of them into your daily life.

Understand Your Strengths and Shadows

Self-awareness involves recognizing both your strengths and weaknesses. In psychology, we refer to weaknesses or areas of improvement as the shadow self. The shadow self consists of repressed parts of ourselves that we often feel ashamed about and have trouble accepting. It is the parts of our personality that we keep hidden, often because they are uncomfortable, socially unacceptable, or in direct conflict with our self-image. These hidden parts of ourselves don’t disappear; instead, they influence our behavior and interactions in subtle, often unconscious ways. When we shine light on these shadows and start to bring them to our consciousness, we become more aware of our true selves, leading to more authentic living. In uncovering these shadows, it’s important to remember that there may be blindspots as these parts of ourselves are often repressed. Having support from a therapist can be extremely beneficial in uncovering these repressed emotions and support psychological distress often attached with shadow work.  

Pay Attention to Your Emotions

Your emotions are powerful indicators of your inner self. When you feel strong emotions, whether pleasant or unpleasant, take a moment to explore them with curiosity. What triggered these feelings? Understanding your emotional responses can provide valuable insights into your needs and desires.

Spend Time Alone

In our busy lives, we rarely take the time to be alone with our thoughts. Schedule regular periods of solitude to reflect or simply practice enjoying your own company. Start with small increments of alone time if this is not a regular practice for you. This can help you connect with your inner self and gain clarity on your thoughts and feelings.

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Embrace Change

Getting to know yourself is an ongoing process. As you grow and evolve, your values, interests, and goals might change. Embrace these changes as a natural part of life and continue to explore and understand your evolving self. 

Practice Self-Compassion

Finally, be kind to yourself. This might be the most important tip in building a healthy loving relationship with yourself. Think about how challenging it would be to get along with someone if we constantly felt criticized by them. Practice self-compassion by treating yourself with the same kindness and understanding that you would offer to a friend.

Get Started Today

Getting to know yourself is a lifelong journey that requires patience, introspection, and a willingness to embrace change. By taking the time to understand your values, interests, strengths, and emotions, you can live a more authentic and fulfilling life. Remember, the most important relationship you have is the one with yourself. So, embark on this journey with an open heart and mind, and discover the incredible person that you truly are. We would love to support you along this journey. Reach out to a therapist today to get started. 

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