Wouldn’t it be great if every time we had a problem, we knew exactly where to find the answer? And get it easily too?
I have the answer for you but before I get in to it, I want to remind you that anything and everything I share is truly from my core. It is honest and there is no bull* (mind my language, but I’m Arab so I grew up on blunt. No sugar-coating whatsoever!)
All your problems can be solved and made better with self-awareness.
Everything you want in life can be achieved with your self-discovery.
When I say that self-awareness can change your life, I bloody mean it! (Mind my British ways now.)
We tend to look for answers outside of ourselves. We want our problems to go away by that person changing.
For him to change, for her to change.
We want our situations to be better so that we can finally be happy.
We forget that the easiest thing to do is to look at ourselves first. And sometimes this comes across negatively, as if this means that there is something wrong with us or that we have to change ourselves in ways we don’t want to in order to get what we want.
But that’s not always the case.
To look into yourself means you are understanding the depths that make you who you are. You learn:
- your core values
- your personality type – extroverted, introverted (and all the traits that come within those)
- your habits
- your needs
- your emotions
Sometimes yes, we do have to change our mind-set, our goals, our priorities to make a part of our life better.
Other times, your self-awareness alone is enough to tailor your life better to you.
Instead of ‘that person changing’, we can see how our approach to them could be altered – often this brings about the change you wanted to see in them in the first place.
Or when it doesn’t, it has at least helped you to deal with it better.
Or perhaps in more serious situations, you realise they don’t fit in with your values (e.g. their level of respect for you) or your needs (e.g. emotionally unavailable) and you then decide your life would be better without them.
If you understood yourself to your core, your thoughts, your emotions, your needs, your values, you would seek and find things that will enrich you, not devalue you.
If you really knew how you flow, you would know that that ‘dream job’ you’ve been working your whole life for, wasn’t going to fulfill you because you chose it to please your parents.
If you really knew how you function, you would know that being with that guy who didn’t know how to comfort you, was no good for your emotional needs.
You would know that making both big and small choices in your life to impress others wasn’t going to make you feel more worthy.
We make bad decisions and we keep living our lives in a way that isn’t in accordance with who we are deep down.
We spend so much time chasing things because we want them to make us happy. And to some degree, yes, they can bring a better lifestyle. Money, travel, relationships, a house. Whatever it is that you want.
It’s okay to want these things. And it’s also okay to want more too.
But sometimes we get those things and it doesn’t feel as good as we expected. Or it only gives us satisfaction temporarily and then we’re off searching for the next thing.
This should serve to tell us that we’re looking in the wrong places for us personally.
If we’re gonna be chasing things, they might as well be the right things!
So go for it! Have all the ambitions you want, go for the whole world for all I care but by truly knowing yourself, you can start looking in the right places.
All the things you want, the people you want, and even your spirituality will be tailored more specifically to you.
And that’s what going to change your life for the better.
I’ve noticed over the last few years that the more I learn about myself, the more I am getting what I actually want and my life is becoming better.
Before, I was living life for others because I felt I needed their approval. And newsflash, I never got it.
I lived in a town I hated, several hours from where I’m from. It was too expensive to visit home often, plus I just couldn’t afford it.
I was stuck around people that drained my soul. They would backbite, manipulate and pull me down in ways my naive self couldn’t fathom.
I was depressed and stuck.
Wow, just looking back as I write this, that time was my own personal hell. And I didn’t understand how it had gotten to that point. I was so far in that it felt like there was nothing I could do to make it better.
And the worst part was I didn’t recognise myself anymore. But I knew that that person wasn’t me.
I decided I had to change that. I had to stop placing blame on my location and the people around me. I had to understand me, my choices, my decisions, my thinking.
I had to understand all the reasons behind each of those that had brought me here. Everything.
So I started my self-discovery and awareness journey.
Through this, I started to make choices that fit with me, my values, my wants, my needs.
And guess what happened as a result?
I got rid of toxic people who were causing me stress, pain and the feeling of unworthiness.
I got to move back home to London. I now have the ability to work in a way that suits me and I am so grateful for it.
I get to travel and write which are my biggest passions!
Of course, I’m nowhere near all the other things I want in life and I still have so much I’m yet to explore and understand.
But just starting made a massive difference to the quality of my life. And that’s why I choose to write about this.
I know, without a single doubt that if you start your journey, you are going to live your life better.
I promise you, you haven’t scratched the surface of who you are… yet.
So the answer is self-discovery.
Wherever you are in your life, whatever internal struggles you’re experiencing, it can all be made easier by knowing you and your needs.
Understanding yourself also means you understand others more too. You know who is good for you and who isn’t.
For someone very close to me, when she understood herself and realised what she is capable of, she got herself out of a physically and mentally abusive relationship. Soon after, she married a loving man and now has a beautiful family. All praises to God of course!
But by understanding her own values – to protect her child and to love herself, she found a way when there was no way.
That is the power of self-awareness.
If you’re thinking – “Well, I’m alright, I don’t have anything that drastic going on. I’m happy with where I am and it’s already in line with who I am. What do I need self-awareness for?”
Fair enough. Sometimes, it’s not that dark. You’re living your life in tune with you.
But what you gain from self-awareness is still two-fold.
- You learn how to do what you’re already doing even better – there’s always room for more growth and improvement
2. Your benefit is in your every-day stuff. Your day-to-day frictions with yourself and with others.
I used to spend my birthdays with so many friends, breakfast with one bunch, lunch with another and then a massive dinner with even more.
I would get home late at night and I’d cry… yes I’d cry! I had no idea why. I would honestly think to myself – how am I so ungrateful? Why am I so sensitive? This is not normal behaviour! But it was there, I felt weird and down even though I just had so much fun with all the people I care about.
My ‘ah-ha’ moment was when I realised I’m introverted so to spend time with people all day with not even a second alone was detrimental! All my energy was completely depleted and I couldn’t function. My mind was too over-stimulated and it had caused a low feeling despite having a great time. I needed just a little time alone in between and I would have been re-energised mentally and emotionally.
The even more of an ‘ah-ha’ moment was when I understood this isn’t a bad thing, there isn’t anything wrong with me, it’s just who I am and it is not ridiculous.
This might sound silly to you but it has actually changed my life in so many ways.
The way I work at my job is now more suited to me, the way I set up meetings, travels, appointments, interviews and parties is now automatically better for me and for everyone around me too.
I know what works and what doesn’t, and it doesn’t require thought anymore. I just know.
Self-awareness is not just how you see yourself but how others see you too.
We have issues almost day to day, tiffs with colleagues, friends and family members.
Let’s say your friend is always late to meet you. Every single time, she keeps you waiting for fifteen minutes, you let it go. Next time, it’s an hour. That’s not okay with you and it frustrates you, but she’s your friend. So how do you deal with it?
I can be passive, I let things slide and I hate conflict, so I often don’t say when something is upsetting me. But then I keep getting annoyed when it happens. The cycle continues.
I realised this is something I need to work and I’m much better with voicing my opinions now, not just with friends, but in the workplace in even more challenging situations like harassment!
The only way I recognised these things was through my introspection.
The way you handle your emotions, your wants and needs in any moment, before, during, and thereafter all depends on how self-aware you are, your understanding of others and how you are being perceived from the outside.
It allows you to show them how you want to be treated, both in the best way and in one that gets you the results.
That’s just one small example, but of course it applies to anything and to all other relationships in your life.
Your self-awareness and discovery is like a guide to being you, the best you, and 2.0. and 3.0. And as many updated versions of you that you need.
Above all, you realise your mind and heart are in the centre of it all and all you need to do is take charge and everything you want is yours.
So how do you start? How do you get to know yourself fully?
There are so many different parts of yourself that you can learn about. Your personality, your character, your core values, your habits, your needs. Each one of those is a world of its own and I’ll get into them in future posts.
You can start anywhere you want, although you should know that it is going to be quite a process.
This is essentially a massive re-calibration and re-organisation of your whole life.
You will look back. Some memories are going to be tough to rehash, you may even laugh and cry at what you discover.
You will look at yourself now and you may not like everything you see.
But as soon as you start, you’ll have so much clarity and joy in your new ‘perfectly-aligned-to you’ type of life. That is what will push you forward with real excitement for your future.
The best place is to start is to get honest about where you are right now. You can’t go anywhere if you don’t know your current location.
So ask yourself this –
- Where am I in life? What am I doing?
- What things am I happy to have in my life right now? Do I want them to stay the same or grow?
- What things do I want to let go of? (whether this is people, stress, jobs, fear, self-doubt, anything you naturally think of).
- How and why do I think I’ve got here so far? What did I do and what things happened for me to be where I am now?
If you answer these questions as openly and honestly as you can, you’ll discover a hell of a lot. But this is just the beginning.
To help you further on your journey to self-discovery, I made a 50 questions pdf that you can download for free and start answering in your own time. It may take hours, it may take days or even weeks. But the important thing is you get started.
Believe me you will find out things you’ve never known about yourself and it will give you clarity in the things that you want and why you want them. And then all ways you’re going to make them happen.
It is completely free but it’s only for my newsletter members. To sign up you can type in your email address in the side bar or below.
But most importantly, keep finding yourself, keep learning forever and you will be living your best life.
All that you want is already within you. Reflect, know yourself and create the best version of you and the life that you want.