How to start the process of self-discovery
Updated: Aug 21, 2022
When we start to work on ourselves, it can feel daunting, uncomfortable and awkward, enough not to even try to understand our unique selves. It’s easy after a life-changing event or an awakening to fall back or hold on to your old routines, habits and ways of thinking that potentially are now harmful to you.
When we start to create a routine or habit in our lives, generally we do it to fit a purpose or objective that requires us to behave in a particular way. As time goes by and we grow and evolve, these old ways of doing things may no longer be working for us and possibly end up working against us.
Reviewing and keeping our lives current takes time, energy and a commitment to work on ourselves objectively and with fairness. I have been through this process of reconnecting with myself on several occasions and believe that many of us need to go through this process, regardless of whether you recognise that you have changed or not. In reality, we all change, with every new experience, every new person that we meet, every conversation we have, every new learning event that occurs in our lives, making the process of reconnecting with ourselves an initial and ongoing need.
Here are some of the things I did initially, in finding and reconnecting with myself. I hope that this helps you and others:
1. I went to new places.
Interestingly, when I started to work on myself, I realised that I only the places I visited where those that I have always been to. As I have started to better understand myself, I really didn’t know if I really LIKED being in these places or if it was simply a habit. Also, as my understanding grew, I felt awkward and uncomfortable visiting the places I was use to being in.
As part of the reconnecting process, I actively find new places to visit regularly! I’m always surprised to learn of new amazing places of interest that are on my own doorstep that I have not visited yet.
It can feel a little strange at first to visit new, unknown places. However, you can always come home if you don’t like the experience and what you if actually love the experience? What if you find interesting and amazing things to do? Finding and reconnecting with yourself is about finding the places that help you feel joy, places that spark an interest in you simply by being there.
I have found some remarkable places and met some incredible people that I have enjoyed being with, not to mention the new hobbies that I discovered and still love doing.
2. I found my colour again.
After one of my life-changing events, I realised that I had a wardrobe full of clothes that I didn’t feel ‘right’ in. I couldn’t work out why, as I had worn these items of clothing for a while. After one event in my life, I remember a close friend asked me what my favourite colour was. A simple question and yes, it should have been. I thought I knew the answer…in fact I genuinely didn’t really know.
I looked in my wardrobe and over a period of time, my clothes had become dark and boring. I hadn’t even realised that this level of change had occurred, probably because I was too busy focussed on other aspects of my world and not on myself.
So, I started to schedule some ‘me time’ to visit a few retailers and at the start of this process, it can felt really awkward an strange, bearing in mind that what you use to like, doesn’t necessarily work for you now. I kept persisting wiht this and every few weeks, I would go shopping on my own. Being on my own was an important part of this process, as I need to be sure that my ideas and thoughts still remain my own.
It’s great fun finding the colours that work for me now and even more fun trying things on. I have found colour that give me a real boost and I love how I feel in the colours I live in.
3. I spent time on my own.
My usual daily routine is to fill my world with people and noise and activities. This is my natural state and preference or so I thought. This meant that spending time on my own use to be a strange, alien concept that I neither enjoyed or found rewarding.
This is of course, until I realised that I hadn’t ever given myself permission to make time for ‘me’ before, nor schedule any time for me. Initially, I found this super challenging and couldn’t settle. In fact, I didn’t settle because I didn’t know what to do with my time!
As I started to focus on what I liked to do and in fact the things that I really enjoyed doing, such as going for walks in green spaces, reading, drawing, discovering new places, travelling and working on finding my colour again, I started to find that I almost didn’t have enough ‘me time’. More importantly, I found that I liked my own company, as much as I liked others.
Scheduling time for yourself, to be with yourself, helps to strengthen the bond with yourself, giving you time to recover and heal from daily pressures, time to discover yourself and rediscover yourself, as well as time to strengthen your energy, emotions and sense of self, to help you power through to the next scheduled ‘you time’.
4. I took small steps.
In the early stages of a life-changing event impacting on us, everything can feel overwhelming and strange, like you are living in some else’s world or in a film. Doing anything can feel difficult and awkward and often we feel as though we don’t know how to do something that we have perhaps done many times over.
This is a completely natural and Okay. There are no rules as to when you should feel better or when is an acceptable time to be doing something different, let alone know how or what is good to do.
I learnt to take very small steps every day, such as showering every day, cooking food for myself and those I loved around me, eating every day and working to maintain a daily routine that was both manageable and kept the essentials in my life going. From this, as my situation became more bearable and easier to deal with, my routines started to grow, in direct reflection how I was feeling. I started to meet friends, talking more at work, engaging in activities that I had not tried before and learning to talk to my closest network about what I experienced.
I took small steps every day towards me, and one day, I became me. I apologise for the cliché, in saying that my ‘journey’ was a series of small steps that lead to a whole and yet it’s a journey I’m glad I took.
5. I learnt a new skill.
For many, many years I dreamt of doing something that was really personal to me, it was a little geeky, it was time consuming and something that a person ‘like me’ didn’t do. After building some of myself and my confidence back, I decided to take the first giant leap and reach out to a local group who could help me learn the skills I wanted to learn and had thought about for years.
Yes, I was scared, frightened in fact. What if I wasn’t very good? What if the new group didn’t like me or felt that I was wasting their time? What if I couldn’t learn this new skill? What if I didn’t like this new skill? How was I going to manage meeting complete strangers?
So much fear and questions, I almost didn’t go. Almost!
On the first day, I drove to the group location and sat in the car, unsure of whether to go in or just drive home and carry on wishing and thinking about it. As I sat there a person came out to greet me and they took me in. Within minutes, I was given a mentor, who did a brilliant job of helping me to settle in. Before I knew it, I was part of the team and within 12 months I passed my exams!
I loved that experience and since then have gone on to achieve many other great qualifications and met some amazing people along the way.
Thank you for reading my experiences and hope that you found at least some activities helpful. If you are ready to take your first steps and wish to talk through your starting points, please reach out and book a discovery session to explore how I can help you take your first steps.