Getting to Know Yourself
As I finished washing my face, I looked in the mirror and asked myself, who am I? How did I become the person I am today? I have never really focused much attention on these questions, but I thought they should be considered.
The person we are today could be very different from the person we were last year. It would all depend on the beliefs that we hold, and the thoughts that we think. Are our thoughts about ourselves our own thoughts, or are they interpretations of the opinions of other people? I mention thoughts, because the negative self-talk that gets repeated in our heads can also shape the outcome of our lives. How many times have you heard that negative voice say that you were not good enough to accomplish the task ahead? Because of this negative voice, you may not even attempt the task, believing the negative self-talk, instead of your inner voice of love and courage.
The opinions of other people can also shape the way in which we experience the world. When I was a young boy I was told I could never work with my hands—poor eyesight and clumsiness. I heard this more than once, but after a long and successful career as a carpenter, I would say that this opinion was wrong. I did have some self-doubt, because I trusted the people that spoke this opinion. This can be a challenge for us, especially young people. Because the people that claim to love us express their opinions to us, and oftentimes we believe their opinions over what we may believe about ourselves. Why? We believe them because they are older and have more life wisdom than we do. Also, we love them and they claim to love us, and because of this love, we trust them to guide us through life.
So, here I am, looking in the mirror wondering if my life is the life I have always wanted or if it has been influenced by outside forces? The best way to answer this powerful question is to ask ourselves if we have found true joy and lasting love in our lives? It takes courage to answer this question honestly, especially when you are looking at yourself in the mirror. You can’t hide the truth from yourself, though you can bury the truth under many layers of self-doubt and negative self-talk.
How do we find what is truly right for us, and how do we live our lives with honesty? Most of all, how do we discover what is true for us, as we can face many pressures from the world around us? The answer will come from our ability to sift through our negative self-talk, the opinions of others and our self-doubt to find what feels best for us. I remember when I was contemplating moving across the country.
Before I committed to the move, I asked myself if I truly wanted to move. I asked the question, and searched for the answer, basically I looked within myself to see what feelings would be reflected back to me. This may sound too easy, but when we begin to trust ourselves and release our need for the opinions or approval of those around us and we silence our negative self-talk, the true answers will reveal themselves. If I asked for the advice from those around me, I would have heard many reasons why they wanted me to stay and none about why I should follow my dreams.
When we learn to trust ourselves, and begin to discover what is truly right for us, we can ask ourselves any question about which direction to take in our lives, and then look in our inner mirror for guidance. If we make a choice that may not be right for us, we will feel an emotional reaction, maybe a gut feeling or uncertainty. Many times we forgo the gut feeling because it makes no sense to us, because we have yet to learn the language of our gut feelings. Through time we can develop a better understanding of what our gut feelings mean for us.
As it turns out, the move across the country was more beneficial for me than I would have ever imagined, but decisions like these take time and focus. What about our everyday choices? Now, I always ask myself which choice will make me feel the best on a deep inner level.
The next time you are at a crossroad in your life, ask yourself which direction you should take. Look at the person in the mirror to find the true answer.