If you don’t know who you really are, you’ll never find happiness.
Many go through life never knowing who they really are. This type of living leads to fake smiles, pseudo-dreams, and a life without purpose.
In order to learn how to be happy and feel content, we must love and accept ourselves. But what ends up happening is that our true identity takes a back seat and our energies go towards creating our public, fake personas.
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How do we get lost?
There are three pivotal points where our true essence gets buried. The greatest casualty of self comes in the form of societal expectations.
We are bombarded on a minute-by-minute basis by media telling us how we should look, act, and feel. So much so that we loathe the size of our thighs, question our own opinions, and seek the approval of complete strangers.
The second chunk of self disappears when we enter into a romantic relationship. Part of the dating process involves finding similarities between romantic partners. This deepens the attachment bond. During this process, many mold into their partners too much and end up losing their individual structure.
The remaining parts of self gets lost in the dust trail that trails your busy-ness. The pace we keep gives no opportunity to check in with ourselves and ask questions like: Is this what I truly want? Is this going to make me happy?
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The further we go down this rabbit hole, the further away we get from our authentic selves — to the point where we inevitably stop looking for her.
How can we resurrect the self?
One really cool trick to unlocking subconscious thoughts and remembering who you once were is free-style journaling. This means following a prompt, and then writing as fast as you can without stopping. Don’t pay attention to grammar or spelling for a minimum of five minutes.
Below are three writing prompts that will get you started in the rediscovery process in how to be yourself:
- When did you feel happiest as a child?
- What were you like before your partner entered your life? (Alternatively, if you are single you can insert any big change in your life such as a career or even a death.)
- What makes you happy?
Then, bring it home. Read your writings out loud, and be prepared to rediscover parts of you that have been dormant for years, maybe even decades.
Choose one activity that used to bring you joy or pick something completely new to try out. Journal about the experience of revisiting old pieces of your identity and figure out how you can pull more of who you really are to the surface going forward.
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This guest article was originally published on YourTango.com: How to Stop Hiding Behind a Fake Persona and Embrace Your True Self