“Knowing yourself is the beginning of wisdom.” — Aristotle.
Self-discovery is a life-long process. A self-exploration journey. The search into our inner identities. The gradual discovery of who we are, our potentials, our purpose in life, and what core principles guide us along the way.
Self-discovery begins with self-awareness and then explores our interests, hopes, and dreams for the future.
An inability to undergo a self-discovery process, which typically involves finding who you are, what roles you have to play, and the responsibilities you will need to handle, can lead to an identity crisis.
In his eight-stage theory on human beings' developmental process, Erik Erikson explained the Identity crisis.
According to Erikson, the identity crisis happens in the Identity vs. Role-confusion stage. People in this stage will try to discover the roles and responsibilities they have to play in society. Their inability to successfully do this can lead to role confusion.
Discovering your true self will give you purpose and meaning. Every person seeks to find out who they are and the reasons behind their existence, because without it, life is empty.
A life without the knowledge of who you are, your true abilities, and the implications of these abilities is a life without direction and meaning.
Here are a few questions you must answer to discover your true self and potential.
Who Am I?
“Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the greatest puzzle.’’ — Lewis Caroll.
According to Lewis Caroll, this question is a great puzzle. This question will probe deeper into your inner self and your abilities, trying to unravel details about yourself and helping you realize more of yourself.
The process of discovering who you start with self-awareness, which bothers with exploring your preferences, tastes, dislikes, and likes.
The “who am I” question will take you into a deep search for what you love doing the most, what makes you happy or angry, and how you react under pressure. All these will provide the answer to who you are.
What Do I Love Doing?
The self-discovery process takes you through the journey of finding out your purpose and why you exist here on earth.
The purpose of life is to discover your gift. The meaning of life is to give it away. — David Viscot
The process will make you look within yourself and figure out what you love doing the most. You will need to seek out what gives you a sense of accomplishment every time you do it, what you are passionate about, and what you are willing to do without being paid or coerced.
If you correctly answer what you love doing, it will help you identify your purpose. Every person was born with a life-meaning close to what they love doing. The discovery of this meaning through the things you love doing will give you a reason to thrive.
Where Does My Full Potential Lie?
Potential is unrealized ability. It is having or showing the capacity to develop into something substantial in the future.
One of the self-discovery processes is to find out where your potential lies. Many people have lived and died without discovering what they can do or become because of a lack of introspection.
Potential is a priceless treasure like gold. All of us have gold hidden within, but we have to dig to get it out. — Joyce Meyer
Your potentials are abilities you possess inside that are yet to be realized. One of the only ways to find out what you are truly capable of is to look deep within you.
Henry Ford wrote — “No man living who isn’t capable of doing more than he thinks he can do.”
Each of us possesses great potentials inside of us, which can make us capable of producing mind-blowing results and huge success when identified, explored, and developed. A major difficulty most people face is finding out where their potential lies.
To discover where your potential lies, you have to be completely honest with yourself. Any progress begins with honestly about where you are and what you need to do to get to the level you want to be.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be what you have qualifications in. For instance, you could study to be a surgeon while your potential is acting. Look out for the things you have effortlessly excelled at without much effort in the past. If you deny your potential because it is not related to your qualifications, you may end up never knowing what you could have achieved if you were honest about your potentials.
A wise man once said the grave is the richest place because it has many unused ideas, potentials, and talents. If you want to discover who you are, find out where your true strength is, and build on it. Explore every part of it.
How Do I Explore My Found Potentials?
After discovering what you are good at, don't be scared of making a change. Deal with the fear. Don’t let it stop you.
To reach your greatest potential you have to fight your greatest fears.
At first, it may feel like it is something you can’t handle. If you accept what you found out and continue on that path, you will gradually become skilled at it.
Begin to explore and get used to activities that will drive you closer to maximizing your discovered potential. The best way to get used to the new you is to be positive and optimistic about all of your experiences. A positive mental attitude will help you stay in the game long enough to master yourself and excel.
Look for ways you can express yourself better. Seek professional training to tune your skills and always keep developing yourself. Engage in activities that will build and drive your potential to a maximum.
Self-discovery is as important as knowing your name and is a necessary process every individual must go through to find true meaning, purpose, and life satisfaction.