Since falling down the rabbit hole that is parenthood (ain’t no hood like a motherhood, amiright ladies?), I have 100% never been so lost. I’m starting to find my way back again, to the me that existed pre-children, it’s just a more wiser, older slighty sleep deprived version, Bek 2.0. if you will. My journey over the last 3 years has been turbulent to say the least, but the one thing that I am grateful for, is that without my fall from grace (so to speak) I never would have realised my true potential – honest to god! Now I’ve done my fair share of self-help, personal development, and psychotherapy over the years, and I have managed to pull together some of the most useful tools that have allowed me to look inward and essentially “critically evaluate” my self, and the direction I want my life to head in.
If we don’t really understand our selves properly, then It’s highly unlikely that we are going to be able to develop a true sense of belonging and be entirely comfortable with the life we lead. A strong sense of self helps us navigate life and brings meaning to our experiences. Without it, we feel “lost.”
Why do we experience a loss of identity?
Well, #mumlife for starters. We put everyone else’s needs before our own. When we focus on others and neglect ourselves, we fail to recognize and value ourselves and our needs. We minimize who we are and what we need.
Busy for the sake of being busy
We live in a world that has never before been so “connected” yet, we are so disconnected from our thoughts and feelings. We commonly keep ourselves so distracted and numb with alcohol, food, and electronics that we miss important information about who we are. How often do you reach for your phone or a snack whenever you get even slightly uncomfortable? These things keep us from knowing ourselves because we don’t allow ourselves to be curious and ask ourselves how we’re really feeling.
We experience life transitions and changes in our roles, experiences like parenthood, relationship breakdown, retirement, job loss, death of a loved one, or other traumatic events that can result in losing our sense of self, especially the parts associated with our roles.
We feel ashamed and unworthy, and consequently bury parts of ourselves. We were told that we’re bad, strange, ugly, stupid, or unworthy. We are criticized, by ourselves and by others, we’re teased. From childhood we’re told we have to fit a certain mould if we’re to fit in with society. So, we squish our square peg selves into round holes and try to be something we’re not. After years of doing this, we lose track of who we really are.
Through my experiences and through research, I have collated some meaningful questions that can rally help you know yourself better: These are questions, that through my own personal experience, I have really connected with:
- What are my strengths?
- What are my short-term & long-term goals?
- Who matters most to me? Who are my support people?
- What am I ashamed of?
- What do I like to do for fun?
- What new activities am I interested in or willing to try?
- What am I worried about?
- What are my values? What do I believe in? (consider politics, religion, social issues)
- If I could have one wish, it would be……………..
- Where do I feel safest?
- What or who gives me comfort?
- If I wasn’t afraid, I would…………
- What is my proudest accomplishment?
- What is my biggest failure?
- When am I most productive? How can I arrange my life to better suit this part of my nature?
- What do I like about my job? What do I dislike?
- What does my inner critic tell me?
- What do I do to show myself self-compassion and self-care?
- Am I an introvert or an extrovert? Am I energized being around others or being by myself?
- What am I passionate about?
- What is my happiest memory?
- What do my dreams tell me?
- What is my favourite book? Movie? Band? Food? Colour? Animal?
- What am I grateful for?
- When I’m feeling down I like to………………
- I know I’m stressed when I………………………
These are extremely thought provoking and rather deep questions. You might only want to answer one or two per day so you can explore them in depth. Maybe one per week is more realistic for you, be honest and open minded with your responses, and most importantly, go at your own place. Re-discovering yourself is a process, I mean, Beyonce wasn’t built in a day, right?
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