People's capacity for self-avoidance is staggering. As humans, we'll dump limitless time and energy into a lot of things, but we'll rarely pay attention to our own development and growth.
We talk a lot about how the best investment you can make is in yourself. People who know and accept themselves, it's said, make wiser choices, are more confident, and live generally happier lives. With so much up-side, why all the self-avoidance?
Because investing in yourself is challenging.
Oftentimes, we fear self-knowledge because we're scared of what we might find. Old tapes – of not being good enough, of screwing up, of that one big mistake – eclipse all the good. So we stop paying much attention to ourselves, start going through the motions of life, and forget who we are.
Pondering the question, “What am I becoming?” can be a powerful catalyst for change.
While we often don't know if we're on track, we always know when we're not on track. Asking that question of yourself is a quick way to determine where you stand with yourself.
If you don't like what you're becoming, it's time for action.
A good starting point in navigating this kind of self-discovery is to keep track of what energizes you throughout your day. What things do you do that make you feel vibrant and alive? What do you engage in that, after all is said and done, makes you feel depleted? What might you be filling time with in an effort to avoid getting to know the real you?
So, it's an easy first step: Keep track of what goes on in a typical day / week / month and figure out how to do less of what depletes you and more of what energizes you.
You may find that you're spending too much time with a negative person. Give them the chop.
You may find that you're wasting too much time on avoidance activities (social media?). Cut back.
You may find that you're craving more time with a friend who inspires you to think big. Make it happen.
Through this, you'll find that you'll know yourself better and you'll start to view things around you differently. You'll stop listening to those old tapes and start creating new narratives. You’ll stop avoiding knowing yourself and start liking who you are becoming.