How can you find yourself?
I’m sure that you’ve heard the phrase by a confused teenager, middle-ager, or even a senior citizen. They say, “I want to ‘find myself'”. What does this mean anyway? Every human being on the face of this earth understands the disconnectedness we feel from time to time. We question why we are here; what we ought to be doing; and asking deep questions about our purpose. For some, the answers to these questions come in their spiritual faith. Others will seek personal enjoyment or comfort. Still others feel like they need to ‘help others’. Many people will say they need to ‘find themselves’ at points in their life when they feel like life is meaningless. As one of the wisest men in the Bible writes in Ecclesiastes, “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”
Usually, when someone claims they need to find themselves, they go away to some secluded place where it’s quiet; and they think about what they could DO with their life. They think about what career would make them happy and fulfill their life purpose. They may even promise themselves they will eat better, exercise more, and start saving money. Maybe the solution to their problems is the RIGHT relationship. These folks will feel like they have solved something about themselves; only to find out that 3-months later they have broken every promise to themselves they made in their secluded place where they supposedly ‘found themselves’.
What if I told you that WHAT you do doesn’t matter?
In the United States, we have been convinced by our commercial nature, that we need to have things to be happy… that consuming and being comfortable is the root of all happiness. Then, when we find that those things don’t make us happy, we turn to purpose in what we are doing. But then we struggle to try to understand what we ought to be doing. Honestly, with this mentality, it is amazing more people aren’t jumping off bridges when they reach the end of these two fruitless journeys.
Although it can be gratifying to chase the WHAT goals, these consumer and working goals will often leave you unfulfilled.
WHO are you?
If I were to ask you the question, “Who are you?” Some will respond with, “I’m an engineer.”, :I’m a Democrat” or “I’m a mom.” or “I don’t know!” The reality of our short existence on this planet is that WHAT WE DO turns into WHO WE ARE. So, if you go to school, get an engineering degree, then do engineering work for a certain amount of time, you are naturally an engineer. Right? But what if you’re also a father? What if you are ethnically identified a certain way? What if you like comic books? You see, we are all sorts of different things based on what we do… but the reality is that you are uniquely you. There is no one else like you in the world. So whatever your answer to this question may be, it is falling short of WHO you really are.
The problem with this uniqueness is that we read books or blog posts (not this one of course) or go to seminars where people tell us how to act, what to do, or who to be in order to be successful. The problem with all of these things is that you then tend to attempt to mimic what someone else does. It doesn’t matter if it is the latest diet craze, or business advertising trend or whatever. What will work for you is uniquely yours; because you are so different from everyone else.
How can you learn WHO you are?
The frustrating part about all of this, is that fully understanding WHO you are is almost impossible to do on your own. You’d think that we could understand what we want out of life; and who we are because we are living inside our own self. Unfortunately, we tend to try to morph into so many definitions of who we OUGHT to be, that we rarely can identify who we really are.
This is where life coaches can help. Coaches understand this dilemma on a foundational level. They understand that people are all shaped by their past to some extent; but once they can shed themselves of any baggage, they are now able to explore a present and future that is different from the past. While therapists tend to dwell on the past, coaches want to help you move forward. In order to move forward, you need to know what “forward” is; and what is standing in your way. The stuff that is standing in your way is often something you have created yourself; and you are rarely aware of these created obstacles.
After the obstacles are identified and cleared, you can now set realistic goals that get you to a vision that is uniquely yours with no obstacles. Planning and goal setting take on a whole different energy. Instead of the list of things you “should do”, you now have a list of things you “want to do”. This different attitude will make all of the difference in the world in achieving your goals in life. Not only will you be going in the right direction, you will love the ride.
This coaching process can actually alter WHO you are. Not in a way that makes you fake… but in a way that helps you embrace your authentic self. How do you think life could be for you, if you are living WHO you are authentically meant to be?
Note from the Author
My name is Jeff Schuster. I am a certified Life and Business Coach serving small business owners, corporate executives and others who want to transition from “expert” to “entrepreneur”. I have been a small business owner for most of my 30-years in the workplace. I grew an energy efficiency and renewable energy engineering and construction company from nothing to over $10-million/year and sold it in 2013. I now help other business owners make amazing progress toward their own dreams of business ownership independence and success.