I grew up a people-pleasing person. I did what I was told and took everything my parents taught me as the absolute truth. Being shy, I listened more than I spoke and learned to read people well and knew the best way to respond to someone to make them happy …with me. Didn’t matter if I believed what I was saying or not.
So in my 40s, I had quite the identity crisis. Faced with the reality that my daughter would be leaving the house soon, I needed to figure out who I was, what I liked, and what I wanted my life to look like.
I questioned every automatic reply that came to me. Did I really believe everything they were saying in my church. Was I even a religious person? Things I was taught were wrong and immoral, were they really? Do I enjoy everything I’m involved in?
Once I started to question everything, I realized I was wasting the majority of my energy on things I didn’t care about or feel were important in any way.
The pandemic has forced everyone to slow down. Now would be a great time to do some self discovery and figure out if your life is in line with your beliefs or are you wasting precious energy on things that don’t matter to you?
Following are questions to get you started. Work through the questions at a pace that feels right for you. Maybe take one question and ruminate on it for an entire week. Or work through the entire list over a weekend. Just make sure to record your answers. This is your self discovery. Do it in a way that feels right to you. Most importantly, be honest with yourself.
- What are my most important needs and desires? Does my present life fulfill them?
- What is my life’s purpose?
- What are my personal gifts?
- Which three words describe me best?
- What’s one thing I would like to do more of and why? How can I make this happen?
- What’s one thing I would like to do less of and why? How can I make that happen?
- What drains my energy? How can I remove it from my life or protect myself from its negative effect?
- What makes me feel motivated, inspired, or excited?
- Am I holding onto something that would be better to let go of? What is it and what’s holding me back from letting go?
- Do I have unfinished business? With whom? What inner work needs to be done to heal this? What steps can I take to bring resolution?
- In what areas of my life am I trading authenticity for safety, or what appears to be safety?
- How am I censoring what I really think and feel?
- How much personal time do I need each week to function well and feel happy?
- What limiting beliefs impact my life in undesirable ways? What is the origin of each belief? Is each belief still true for me?
- How do I sabotage myself?
- How much do I trust myself? Do I listen to others more than myself?
- In what ways is my self-acceptance conditional, dependent on the validation of others or specific accomplishments?
- If I could change one thing in my life, what would I change and why?
- Do I feel supported by my family and friends? Who supports me or who doesn’t?
- Do I surround myself with mostly positive or mostly negative people? How does that work for me?
- What are my favorite ways to take care of myself physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually?
- How do I feel about my relationship with my body?
- Do I feel comfortable expressing myself?
- Do I feel seen, heard and valued?
- How do “shoulds” influence my choices rather than my own wishes and dreams?
- What makes you feel most like yourself? Why?
- Am I getting too caught up in other people’s problems?
- What is my biggest dream?
- What values are important to me?
- What does my ideal life look like?
- What is my biggest regret?
- What are my favorite memories?
- Am I happy with my life?
- What do I admire about myself?
- When am I most happy?
- Do I like the person that I am today?
- What is my best quality?
- What is my biggest weakness? How do I make up for it?
- What is my communication style?
- What do I lack confidence in?
- What do I judge myself about?
- When do I feel most comfortable?
- When do I feel most uncomfortable?
Some of these questions may sound repetitive, but there is the slightest difference in emphasis, so go through them all. If you would like to do more, you can find more self-discovery questions by searching the internet.
Getting to know myself,