Hello! Now that you have done your assignment from Part 1, and if you haven’t, you can click here; we are ready to continue moving forward on the journey to get to know yourself. But first, let’s do a quick review of the first three steps.
- Step 1: Discover Your Strengths
- Research, meditate, ask people, take tests, but find out what your strengths are and focus on them.
- Step 2: Be Honest With Yourself
- What do you like? How do you like your eggs? Are you being true to yourself and proudly admitting that you love cinnamon on your pancakes and not syrup?
- Step 3: Create Your Vision
- How do you want your life to look? What are the details? Do you want to live in the mountains or by the ocean?
Embarking on the journey to get to know and love yourself is NOT EASY.
We have been playing tapes in our heads for years, and the songs on those tapes may not be the most positive and encouraging words. Trust me on this, I know, because I struggle to keep the music in my head upbeat.
For example, one of the tapes I have played in my head for most of my adult life is making poor choices when it comes to men. When I look back on my relationships, I blame myself for the failures and then reinforce the “I suck at relationships” theme.
But when I take a few steps back and reflect on my previous relationships, patterns emerge. I realize that I had an idea in my head of what my life and relationships should be. The problem is that I was FORCING the vision down my former partners’ throats instead of letting the Universe help.
I have always wanted to be married, have a family, and live happily ever after. And I still have that vision, but what I have stopped doing is trying to force the Universe to comply with my will. I became impatient, thinking that I would become an old spinster that I needed to settle with the guy right now instead of waiting for the right guy.
Now, I am not saying anything bad about my exes; we were too young, not a good match, or too volatile. I didn’t have the confidence in myself to wait for the Universe. My fear was bigger than my faith. So after some painful lessons, heartbreak, and name changes, I have decided to stop trying to force a relationship with someone else and focus on my relationship with myself. And now I present you the next three steps in getting to know yourself.
Step 4: Make Peace with Your Past
By now, you should have a pretty good idea of what your strengths are, what you like, and where you are on your journey. Remember, your journey is dynamic, and the choices you make are opportunities to learn. To my knowledge, time travel is not possible, so you might as well learn from your past and then move on.
For me, making peace with my past included a few years of therapy. Aside from my little man, choosing to talk to a professional and deal with my past was the best decision I have made. Here are a few of the highlights I have gained from therapy:
- The power in setting boundaries
- Discovering and dealing with my unhealthy coping mechanisms (shopping!)
- Insight into my fears and insecurities
- Having a safe place to share without judgment
- The power of forgiveness
Therapy is what you make of it, and I am unsure why it is taboo for some people. The two ladies that helped me in my journey didn’t have all the answers, but they listened and then gave suggestions to guide me. I ultimately did the work to let go of the heavy load I had been carrying around for years.
So, however, you need to make peace with your past, get it done. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to a professional, there are support groups, faith-based organizations, books, etc. Dealing with your stuff is not easy and can even be a little scary to confront the monsters you have kept in your closet. But I know in my heart that letting that shit go is liberating, and the monsters aren’t that scary once you face them. Plus, you will now have more energy to focus on the present.
Step 5: Set Goals
Goal setting is a kissing cousin to having a vision. Now that you have freed up some energy by letting go of the anchors in your past and your vision is fresh in your head, time to put pen to paper and start making your vision come to life.
The road leading to a goal does not separate you from the destination; it is essentially a part of it. ~Charles DeLint
I learned how to set goals the summer before my senior year in high school when I attended a week-long leadership camp. One of the sessions taught us how to write goals, and I carried those goals with me my entire senior year. I looked at them daily, and I met every single one of them! When I got hired in the fire department, I created a small book of goals that I wanted to accomplish by the time I was 25. I didn’t meet all of them by the time I was 25, but I met most of the goals by my 30th birthday.
My point is this… Setting goals for yourself work if you are willing to put in the work to meet them. When you set a goal, you are putting the message into the universe. In his book, Uncontainable, Kip Tindle, the container store founder, talks about how the universe conspires to help you when you fully commit to something. I find this to be true in every area of life. Your thoughts send messages to the universe, and that is when the magic starts to happen.
There are several ways to set goals for yourself, the most important part of setting goals is this; make them measurable and give them a timeframe. And as I mentioned before, you must be willing to do the work.
On my current blogging journey, I came across Ruth Soukup, the creator, author, and inspiration behind Living Well Spend Less. I purchased all of her books, the planner and signed up for the Elite Blog Academy. The one tool I use the most from her is her goal-setting worksheet! Whatever method you use to set your goals, start doing it NOW.
Step 6: Do Something Out of Your Comfort Zone
I look at this action as a reward for all of the hard work you have been putting into yourself—time to celebrate and treat yourself to an adventure. Now you might be wondering why is this important? It is simple, stepping outside of your comfort zone will give you confidence. Everyone has a different comfort zone, so I can’t tell you exactly what stepping out of the zone is for you.
“It’s only after you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow, and transform.”
― Roy T. Bennett
However, I will share with you that my comfort zone is dry land. I am not a big fan of water. So last summer, my dear friend asked me to go moonlight Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP). Not only would I be in the water, but the dark! Of course, I said yes, because I committed to stepping out of my comfort zone.
It was unbelievable! Not only did I get to spend quality time with my good friend, but I also conquered a fear. I am still not a fan of water, but I am a fan of SUP. I would say that you start small, do something once a month that takes you out of your comfort zone. Maybe it is eating a meal by yourself or going to a movie solo. Perhaps it is zip lining or trying a new workout.
On a much larger scale, at the age of 27, I made a 28-day backpacking trip to Argentina and Chile. I had only left the country one other time to a resort in Mexico. I had always dreamed of traveling the world, and the opportunity presented itself, so I leaped out of my comfort zone. The trip changed my life. I backpacked the famous Torres del Paine trek in Patagonia, 60 miles in 6 days.
A good way to decide if you will be doing something that takes you out of your comfort zone is to do a gut check. If you get a little nervous, then explore your adventure a little more. Be brave and be bold. I warn you, though, once a month may not be enough. Stepping out of your comfort zone is addictive.
Keep up the steady work. I am so proud of you and how far you have come to get more comfortable with who you are and knowing yourself. Remember, this is your journey. Give yourself a little grace.