I’ve spent a lot of time writing and speaking about the impact mass media has on our decision making and self-esteem. I am passionate about this topic because mass media, along with other associated social pressures, invest a lot of time and money to influence and convince us about what we should do, how we should look, and who we should be. There is special care given to analyzing and investigating who we are and what macro groups and micro groups, we may fall into.
Frankly, the mass media doesn’t care about who we are as individuals, and based on how well they influence us as a group, they really don’t have to.
Here’s the scary part…
As humans we are easily influenced by the things that are placed in our space. Thus, one of the only ways to escape being rustled in with the herd is to be completely conscious of your individuality.
My questions for reflection this week are:
- Do you know who you REALLY are?
- What separates you from the herd?
I’m guessing that some of you may know the answers to these questions, but I’m also guessing that some of you haven’t taken a really hard look in the mirror recently to figure these kind of questions out.
Part of the reason we don’t attempt to answer these type of questions, is because we don’t know where to start. Also, looking in the mirror with the purpose of true self discovery can be very scary.
Now, I can’t remove the scary, but if you have the courage, here are five ways you can begin to walk down the path of true self discovery and separate yourself from the rest of the pack.
1. Ask five family members or friends the following question:
- What three characteristics or words would they use to best describe you?
Often we have qualities and strengths that we fail to see in ourselves. The people who know you well can sometimes distinguish qualities about you, that you yourself will continuously overlook.
Your only job here is to believe them when they tell you what those qualities are.
2. Get clear about what you fear.
Make a list of the things you fear the most.
What we fear predicts our behavior. Many of us refuse to acknowledge what we fear because just taking a look frightens us. The disadvantage this creates in our lives are the consequential blind behaviors.
We cannot change poor behaviors that our fear creates, if we have not distinguished the fear itself.
Confronting your fear will expose life-long behaviors that you should probably address, which otherwise, would have gone unnoticed.
3. Visualize the life of your dreams.
As a life coach, one of the first two questions I ask anyone looking to create a shift in their lives are:
- What’s are your dreams?
- What’s possible?
It’s astonishing how many people have never really given those two questions any deep thought.
Most of us take our cues and actions based on the limited resources we perceive in our day to day interactions. We rarely take actions based on possibility, because we haven’t taken any time to visualize what is possible in our lives.
We all have a seed of greatness planted in our spirits.
Yet, many of us will live and die without ever watering that seed, by spending the proper time visualizing what our greatness could be.
4. Question yourself.
The questions here should be simple. It will be coming up with the answers that will be more complex.
- Why do I work in the job I’m in?
- Why do I spend my weekends the way I do?
- Am I easily influenced? If so, by what?
- What gets me really excited?
- What kind of information interest me most?
It’s fascinating how quickly we will question those around us, with the intent to get to know them. Yet, we rarely take the time to pose our inquisition upon ourselves, with the intent to get to know ourself.
5. Start keeping a journal.
Each day we live, brings with it an elaborate tale of love, success, failure, disappointment, etc.
Far to often, we live out our days without truly understanding and identifying our wins and losses.
We can typically recall our high points and low points, but the beautiful tapestry of our life’s blissful moments and colorful details often fade with time.
Keeping a journal, is one of the best gifts you can provide yourself. It is also one of the greatest treasures of legacy you can leave your descendants.
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” ~ Aristotle