When was the last time you spent time on getting to know yourself? Sitting down without distractions observing yourself, your emotions, your behavior, and your way of living?
We deserve to live content and fulfilling lives, in order to do so we must understand our own responsibility for that and invest time and effort. Many of us are so into complaining and doing that we forgot to observe and be. If we want to be happier and improve our life it is crucial to first gather enough knowledge about our self to be able to do so. We cannot change something in the proper way if we have no knowledge about it.
There are many people who suffer from not being happy with themselves and with their life, but so little people who actually take their well- being into their own hands and truly work on improving it. The solution is very simple, yet not easy: face yourself.
Let’s be honest: we can’t expect developments and happiness if all we do is complain or overshadow our reality with distractions. There are two main groups of people regarding this phenomenon:
- Those who bathe themselves in their unhappiness.
These kinds of people get caught up in their unhappiness and identify with it. By doing so they constantly reinforce their unhappiness and train their mind to believe that they are not content, unlucky, and not able to do what they would like to do. They get themselves into a vicious circle, which keeps spinning. There might be some ups triggered by external factors, such as getting a good grade at university or school, making a lot of money, falling in love, or getting an always wanted job. As long as we don’t realize the need to take our well- being into our own hands by getting to know ourselves there will be no long lasting, deep, and true contentment.
- The distractor.
Other people suppress their problems pretending to always be happy, ignoring their struggles, basically ignoring reality. This is not the solution as well. There is no one in this world, who has never had an issue, has been upset, or sad. We should not ignore the difficulties in our lives, because our mind and body will remember them. If we chose this path we bury our problems in our unconsciousness and at some point in our life we’ll have to pay for it.
We must understand that life won’t improve by chance, but by change. Us humans easily get attached to habits and fear change. As soon as we start embracing change we can let go of that fear, because we will realize that there actually is nothing to fear. If you think about it, it is much scarier to stick to unhealthy habits then to develop and live a fulfilled life according to who you really are.
In this post I will focus on a three-folded path from self- knowledge to contentment:
- Observe your self
- Be a witness to your self
- Let go what doesn’t serve you and embrace your true self
Observe your self
The first step towards change is self-observation. Become your own witness. Just as you watch other people or situations, start to watch your self without making any conclusions. Introspection without judgement allows you to observe your internal being, your thoughts, feelings, emotions, behaviors, and intentions without manipulating them. Often our being is influenced by others, by our expectations, and opinions of how and who we should be, not by who we truly are. We want to teach our self to become aware of the self. We must first observe our patterns to be able to understand whether they are originating from our true self or not.
Be a witness to your self
After observing your self with honesty, start witnessing your self. Witnessing your self means to observe your self and then notice where your thoughts, behaviors, or intentions are coming from. Are they coming from your real self or are they originating from a place that is not really you?
This process is crucial. Let’s say you experience some kind of jealousy towards a friend and act in a negative way accordingly. The first step would be to notice your behavior; the second step would be to understand that this behavior originates from jealousy. It then goes further by understanding that this jealousy has nothing to do with your friend but only with your insecure self. There is a fear of loss or fear of not being worth, which unconsciously guides your behavior. This happens automatically, but by following step one and two we break this automatic cycle.
Let go of what doesn’t serve you
Step three consists of letting go of the thoughts, behaviors, and intentions that are not in line with your true self and embracing who we really are. This process will take some time and it is very important to stay patient while undergoing it. We cannot expect our self to change within days, hours, or even a few weeks if we allowed all these patterns to develop and rule our being and doing for years.
The process of self-observation breaks our pattern of operating on autopilot guided by our unconsciousness. On the one hand side we will realize that life gives us many choices and on the other we will learn to trust and allow things to happen without our control.
Here are some suggestions for introducing self- observation into your life:
- When you have some free minutes look out of the window or close your eyes for a little instead of looking at your phone. Observe your thoughts and observe that voice in your head speaking to you. Write your observations down and with time you will be able to follow your spiral of thoughts and get to the origin.
- Next time you are upset don’t get into your normal pattern of handling your emotions by drinking a glass of wine, going out for a party, eating junk food or checking your Facebook. Face your self, face this negative emotion and try to understand where it is coming from. Do the same in moments, which are full of happiness and joy.
- At times leave your music at home when doing sports and face your self.
- Once in a while spend your free evening with your self and skip meeting friends.
- Take a weekend off and instead of spending your money on restaurants, bars, clubs, or the cinema invest it on a retreat giving you the space to find stillness and the chance to observe your thoughts.
- When you are in a disturbing situation and you notice that you are about to react, take a moment, and observe where the reaction is coming from.
Put together all the information you gathered from different situations, thought processes, and reactions. This gives you a full picture of your self and allows you to get familiar with your authentic and inauthentic self. With self-knowledge you will start being able to tell the difference and align your intentions, thoughts, and behaviors with who you really are, allowing you to live up to your real self, creating a content and stable life.
Wishing you all a good day,