The self is a flexible construct. Every new day brings with it new opportunities for self-discovery and questions that are often far more perplexing than their answers. Often, the more you ask yourself, the less you will know, but do not despair at this sentiment. A lack of self-knowledge need not be a bad thing, but rather, it presents you with an interesting conundrum – the question of who you are.
Rene Descartes gave us one of modern history’s most oft-repeated sentiments – “Cogito ergo sum” – or “I think, therefore I am.” It is highly unlikely that you will ever have a definite, unchanging answer to the question of self, but the capacity for thought and the hunger for learning will always drive you in the right direction.
Where to start on this journey of self-discovery can be a challenge, and it will undoubtedly be different for everyone. However, we can at least provide you with some direction through a handful of questions that need answering. These questions and thoughts will perplex you, confound you, and enlighten you, all in equal measure. It is not the answers we are captivated by but rather the queries.
Why Self-Discovery Is Important
As we have already said, it is unlikely that you will ever have a complete understanding of yourself, but that should not deter you from trying. Asking questions – and by extension, asking the right questions – is tangential to cultivating a better idea of the self.
This will inform every decision you make for the better. Simply put, self-discovery is important because it benefits your entire being, no matter how minuscule the actual discovery might be.
Hopefully, you are now keen to discover everything you can about yourself. Of course, we know just where to start.
Questions For Emotional Awareness
Our emotions influence every action we take and every decision we make for good or for bad. Getting acquainted with your emotions, therefore, can be a huge benefit, as it will hopefully steer you towards taking action and making decisions in the right direction – or rather, the healthiest direction.
All of this also contributes to higher emotional intelligence, which is the ability to reason with your own feelings and attempt to control them rather than let them control you.
Take a look at these few questions whose answers, which are unique to each and every individual, will inform you of your emotions. Some of these questions are self-explanatory, but we will provide advice where necessary.
What Do You Feel When You Look In the Mirror?
Self-help textbooks are often filled with examples of people staring into their own reflections and not liking what they see.
This need not be the case with you, but it can be a good place to start – following on from this broad question, ask yourself whether or not you like what you see when you look in the mirror.
Try to pinpoint your answer to a handful of specific emotions. You could feel pride or disgust, for example, but the important thing is to make sure that you know exactly what these feelings are.
How Often Do You Treat Yourself With Love and Respect?
It could be too seldomly, or you could be a little too forgiving and understanding of yourself and your actions.
What Is Your Biggest Strength?
This need not be a tangible skill like welding or woodworking – your biggest strength can be anything positive.
For example, you might be a good listener, or you could be a good comforter.
What Accomplishments Are You Proud Of?
It is important to acknowledge the good you have done along with the bad. Take some time to admire your accomplishments.
What Do You Think About When You Are Alone?
Dark thoughts are still thoughts, and if you try to stifle them, they will reappear and manifest themselves in often disturbing or unexpected ways.
Then again, your thoughts when you are alone need not be dark, but whatever they may be, always be aware of them so that they do not control you.
What Is Your Definition Of Happiness?
Success, fulfillment, family – all of these are possible answers to this question.
How Would You Describe Yourself In One Sentence?
Be concise, and remember that the first thing to come to mind is not usually very far from reality.
Take your time in answering these questions, and ask yourself several more questions while you are at it. It may seem overly ponderous, but it will all contribute to a better, more well-rounded lifestyle.