This is one of the most frequent questions I am asked. The fact that you are asking that question tells me something up front, which I what I believe is most important. That is your willingness to take a look within. That is the first step!
There must be a willingness to start the journey, in order to tackle all of the obstacles and challenges one experiences along the way. Frankly, it’s not an easy journey, probably one of the most challenging you will take. But it’s one of the best adventures, most rewarding, since it has to do with the value of your life.
Once you are willing, the next step is taking that hard look within. An analogy is like peeling an onion. There are many outer layers before you reach the core. The core represents your “core” beliefs, about who you are, and about life itself. They are shaped and molded beginning in your childhood and then serve to be the filters for how you perceive and label the events around you.
So how does one start that look within? The answer in part depends on where you are at this point in time. The more serious your challenges, the more important it is to seek professional advice right away.
If you are at a place of curiosity and intrigue, than I would suggest reading the chapter in Discovering Michael on personality assessments. A great place to start is understanding your personality. Why? This provides you with insight about some of your outer layers and also gets you used to receiving feedback and self-reflection. These are two critical elements needed to take that look within. My self-discovery started while working for a Fortune 500 company where it was suggested that I collect some feedback from my direct reports using one of these assessments. As my story portrays, this eventually led to further questions, which in my case was an intensive workshop, where additional layers were peeled, and eventually group and indivdiual therapy to begin understanding what was at my core.
There are a wide variety of assessments available. Google “personality assessments” and you will find many available and free of charge. However, if your finances permit, I would suggest one of the well known assessments since they are well researched and validated. This is an important consideration particularly if you are serious about understanding self.
Remember, there are many ways to learn about self. My posts will continue to explore the many “Tools for Self-Discovery.” Thanks for stopping by.