Who Are You, Really?
Who are you deep down… below the surface of your conscious mind?
What makes you feel most alive?
What are your wildest dreams and aspirations?
Imagine yourself for a moment with your arms opened wide and head tilted up towards a vast blue sky as you let out a spirited roar.
What others think of you holds little significance and you feel completely free.
You are in touch with your feelings, without judgment or fear.
You are liberated from societal expectations of who you should be.
You are connected to your values, your needs, and your dreams.
This is what it feels like to be who you truly are.
We all long to experience this sense of freedom.
…And we can all actively pursue this freedom for ourselves.
Authenticity is one of Talsam’s core values. We believe that to be authentic is the ultimate act of self-love. It’s listening to your heart and being true to yourself, no matter the circumstances. It’s wearing your heart on your sleeve, even when it’s not the fashionable thing to do.
Being authentic means making decisions that are aligned with who we are and who we want to be.
Finding your personal truth doesn’t come with a handbook, but here are five simple things you can do to discover yourself more deeply:
Try New Things As A Gateway Of Self-Discovery
You may think you know who you are, but it isn’t until you try new things that you realize there are still many aspects of your identity left to discover.
It’s in the act of pursuing your dreams and passions that you find your authenticity.
Passions are more than just interests.
If you are passionate about something, it makes you feel alive. Joyful. Energized.
It makes your heart beat faster. It’s something you think about and anticipate with excitement.
Trying new things can be undeniably daunting but extremely impactful for your personal growth.
You can benefit by stepping out of your comfort zone because it challenges you to grow, and in turn learn new facets of who you are.
Pushing past the initial fear or anxiety that comes with trying something new allows you to expand your mind and learn about yourself on deeper levels.
Exploring new things can offer more clarity as to what brings you the most joy—even if you decide to stop partaking in the activity after a short while.
So, don’t fear what’s new! Whether it’s salsa dancing, rock climbing, writing that novel you always dreamed of, designing a clothing line, or packing a backpack and venturing across the world… there will be valuable insight that comes to you in the pursuit of something new.
Bring All Parts Of You Along For The Ride
All parts of you are designed to exist. To flourish. To be nurtured and loved.
If you have multiple passions, explore them all because each plays a specific role in the makeup of who you are. Your diverse interests make up the wholeness of your being. You’ll soon notice that when all of your passions coexist, they begin to speak to one another. To interact. To support the others.
When you find yourself stuck in one area, you can work on something else.
When you succeed in one area, you can carry that confidence and energy back into the places that may have been more challenging.
It is in the intersection of your many passions and interests that you can innovate and combine these different elements into something unique and inventive.
Highly successful entrepreneurs such as Reed Hasting, the co-founder and CEO of Netflix, and Emily Weiss, founder of the cosmetic company, Glossier, do not have a conventional background in business or entrepreneurship.
For Hasting, it was his time in the Peace Corps that prepared him for his development of Netflix and his entrepreneurial career. "Once you have hitchhiked across Africa with ten bucks in your pocket, starting a business doesn't seem too intimidating," Hasting said of his experience in the Peace Corps.
Having a plethora of passions creates dimensionality and possibility in your life.
It offers new perspectives and new solutions to problems because you are open to receiving answers from various sources.
An important ingredient for connecting to your truth is to begin with your eyes closed. By looking within, you can learn to listen more closely to what your heart has to say, without the influence and noise of the external world.
You can’t find your authentic voice when you are constantly gazing at the words, thoughts, successes, and creations of others. By setting aside time to be alone, your imagination has the space it needs to blossom.
Going within also allows you to be your own source of validation, instead of seeking validation from outside sources. The moment you stop searching for validation externally, you can truly understand yourself and the things that bring you the most joy.
By devoting time each day to reconnect with your internal world, you can begin to shape your life to achieve your truest needs and desires.
Sketching Or Journaling
Sketching or journaling about anything that comes to mind is an easy and effective way to drop into a meditative space, allowing your imagination to flow freely.
By actively drawing or writing, you can reflect with honesty on your life experiences, help your ideas grow and flourish, foster your creative energy, and be a witness to your own inner thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
Stream of consciousness writing is a method of narration that describes the narrator’s flow of thoughts. For example, you can set a timer for two minutes and write down whatever comes to your mind without stopping until the timer rings. This style of writing brings your mental dialogue into a tangible source that you can study and reflect upon.
Comparison (Without Intention) Is The Thief Of Joy
Almost always, comparisons are inaccurate and unfair. Most often someone will either compare their strengths to another’s weaknesses to feel better about themselves or compare their weaknesses to another’s strengths to feel worse about themselves.
In both instances, comparing in this unhealthy way requires the tearing down of either ourselves or of the other. As Kathy Caprino, a personal success coach, writer, TEDx speaker, and author states:
“The most important thing to understand is that there is a huge difference in energy and outcome between seeing other people’s success and using that vision to inspire you, versus beating yourself up mercilessly because you’re not where they are. If comparison makes you feel worthless and demoralized, unable to get what you want and “deserve,” and you resent others for what they have, it’s time to stop comparing or shift your approach to it.”
Embracing the idea that we are all good and that no one is better than one another is a positive way to approach the world around you. Reframing our perspective is one of the most impactful ways to discover what lies beneath the surface of who we are.
Learning from others, if done deliberately, can motivate us to improve our lives.
Who do you admire? Who inspires you to be a better person?
Recognizing the aspects of others that we admire can inspire us to better ourselves. Caprino explains some effective ways to reframe the way we compare our lives to others:
- A feeling and belief that something greater and more rewarding is possible for you because you see it in someone else.
- A clearer pathway to success because you have a role model who is ten steps ahead of you doing what you long to and giving you a blueprint for how to get there.
- Notice positive growth within yourself because as you witness someone else’s expansion, it reminds you that you have what it takes too to achieve that same outcome or accomplishment, or something greater.
Celebrating and focusing on our strengths and aspirations instead of our weaknesses, uplifts us and gives us the opportunity to work towards a better version of who we are. Part of embracing our lives is to accept that we are a process, not a product. This outlook helps us cultivate more gratitude and compassion for ourselves, and in turn, for others.
In order to accept ourselves, we must learn to love who we are. Accepting ourselves and our circumstances is the gateway to living freely.
A powerful practice for learning to love ‘enough’ is to count your blessings.
Warm dinner on your table. A roof over your head. People who love and care for you.
Keeping A Gratitude Journal
A popular method for counting your blessings is to keep a gratitude journal.
Gratitude journals are the simple practice of writing down all the things you are grateful for. Commonly, these journals are completed on a daily or weekly basis.
Research has shown that writing in depth about the things you feel grateful for can be more beneficial than simply going through the motions and creating a long, superficial list. When keeping a gratitude journal answer these two main questions, elaborating on the second:
Who/what are you grateful for? Why?
Writing about why you feel gratitude for someone or something, helps you develop a positive perspective of your life, and to genuinely embrace the people and things that support you.
Realizing that you are abundant with food, water, shelter, clothing; that you are enough; and that there are people who care about you opens the doors for happiness, opportunity, and peace to flow freely into your life.
Love Is All You Need
In order to discover who we are within, we must let go of being the person we think we should be. Authenticity is about embracing and accepting yourself, quirks and all.
Transforming our self-doubt into self-acceptance takes time and diligence. One of the first steps we can take to stop judging ourselves is to simply notice when the judgments arise in our mind. If we can become observers of our internal dialogue, we will have the freedom to choose whether we want to engage in negative self-talk or not.
As Eckhart Tolle, world-renowned spiritual teacher, explains, “The beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not ‘the thinker.’ The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated. You then begin to realize that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence. You also realize that all the things that truly matter – beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace – arise from beyond the mind. You begin to awaken.”
Tolle’s acclaimed books, The Power of Now and Practicing the Power of Now, are excellent guides that teach us how to free ourselves from “enslavement to the mind”; to quiet our thoughts and see the world in the Now.
There are other practical tools to help us avoid our triggers, such as meditation, journaling, and affirmations. Affirmations can be used to reframe negative thought patterns into positive ones.
For example, if you judge yourself for being a disorganized individual, you could reframe that outlook to say you are a creative and fluid person.
Here are a few affirmations that help cultivate self-acceptance:
- “I am enough, just as I am.”
- “My imperfections make me unique and special.
- “I am growing and learning each day.”
Identifying negative self-talk is a wonderful way to challenge the judgments we hold about ourselves. Freeing these judgments and replacing them with kinder words allows us to express ourselves more freely and learn to accept where we are on our journey.
…So get out there!
Experiment. Be courageous. Discover new aspects of who you are.
Start forming that band you’ve always dreamed of playing in.
Sign up for that fashion design course.
Pick up a new sport or learn to bake delectable wedding cakes.
It is never too late to make your dreams your reality.
Yes, it will take hard work and devotion, but we are all capable of trying.
By dipping your feet in various activities, you can get clear on the things that bring you joy, and that you feel most passionate about.
The discomfort of something new reveals unique traits about your character.
The journey of discovering your authenticity is worthwhile.
You get closer to your core by brushing up against your inner dialogue, feelings, passions, and aspirations.
You learn to trust in yourself. Believe in yourself.
Have patience and compassion for your evolution.
Over time, the thoughts and opinions of others hold less and less significance, and you start living for YOU.
Implementing these five levers for self-discovery in your life can offer you a true sense of happiness and trust.
As Henry David Thoreau said:
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”