How I learned to get to know myself better.
To truly know ourselves we must also admit that we do not truly know ourselves. We are constantly growing, evolving and changing. It is not always easy to stay in touch with who we are. I have highlighted 4 things that taught me about myself as a person.
- Spend time with yourself.
“You need to know things the others don’t know. It’s what no one knows about you that allows you to know yourself.”- Don DeLillo, point omega
Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert spending time alone is vital. One thing i have learned all these years is that, the more I am more in synch with myself and the universe, the more I started to appreciate my inner being. When you know yourself you are aware of your being, your strengths and weaknesses, what makes you happy and what doesn’t. This is significant because when you have this power nobody can tell you who you are. You are not in doubt, you will know that you have a power of knowledge about yourself. You will get affected less by others negativity and even opinions. Ultimately you will know what you are capable of and even if you don’t, your instinct will guide you in life. Spending time alone has encouraged me to give myself a timeout to listen to my own thoughts and learn about my needs and wants. You start to not get drowned out by distractions and you learn to know your inner voice. Time alone will encourage you to not lose yourself in this chaotic world, and not get overwhelmed by emotions and thoughts you hadn’t given yourself the time to deal with.
- Don’t try to create an identity, just build yours.
“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” – Oscar Wilde
In this world it is a fundamental importance to build a solid identity and you do not have to do that by conforming to a small label already created for you or conformed by millions of others. You do not need to change yourself to fit more into a crammed category to belong. You need to just be. Not become original or different. Just be yourself and you have already achieved that. You don’t have to prove to everybody that you meet, you are an original.
If i could be able to count with my hands the amount of times i heard. “I’m different.” I’m pretty sure i would have more hands than an octopus arms multiplied by ten. Come on guys! That in itself screams Cliche. I would hate to say we are getting too predictable as human beings but…(sips tea). This is why we see comparisons rising, we have this fanatical competition going on inside our heads stemming from our lack of identity and not feeling strong in whom we are. Your uniqueness is not taught regardless of what the media is showing you. You just need to build on who you already are as a person and progress towards greatness without a mask. show the world exactly who you are, and as you are.
- Challenge yourself
“I don’t run away from a challenge because I am afraid. Instead, I run towards it because the only way to escape fear is to trample it beneath your foot” – Nadia Comaneci
I only started to know myself better when I started to finally challenge myself. It is not always an easy thing pushing through our comfort zones. Someone once told me that being comfortable means you are not growing. When I was eighteen I had made the decision to not go away for university because of my bad anxiety. I just feared the unknown and shivered at the thought of moving away towards the unfamiliar. i settled for a course that i felt emotionally obligated to study. The truth is, the decisions we decide to not make has just as many consequences as the ones we do make, if not more.
Later that year i had finally decided to change my course and applied for a university as far away from where i lived as possible to challenge myself. Things worked out and i had just recently moved back home after my graduation. I have experienced three years of trials and tribulations along with the most amazing experiences Ever. I met so many different and anazing people. I sometimes wonder if I hadn’t taken that leap of faith, and dropped out of my first course and university where i would be now. maybe i would have graduated with a degree I didn’t even want, and never gained the sense of independence i have now. I would most likely be a different person now. If i hadn’t had those experiences. Who knows? Maybe my anxiety would have continued to keep me chained.
Challenges are there to remind us that we are both human but also that the unknown is never as scary as you believe. Fear is dangerous. It is what forces people to stop evolving, to avoid to live. We are human beings, our minds are supposed to expand, our characters are created to be tested, and it reminds us of our ability and strength when we forget. I would urge anyone to push through the unknown and fear, to challenge ourselves in life.
I have started to challenge myself everyday doing something which will force me out of my comfort zone. When I feel scared to do something, i do it regardless, and i promise you that it is rarely as scary as it seems. These challenges in life teaches you a lot more about yourself than you can imagine. It tests your limits and your learn about your abilities. There is nothing better than being told you cannot do something and you find out that you can….actually wait! CORRECTION. There is nothing better in life than achieving something YOU told YOURSELF that you couldn’t achieve.
- Find an Inner peace
“Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Where does your inner peace stem from? Most of us like to find a way that helps us to find that inner peace. For some it is meditating, for others it is finding that harmony through a greater strength. For me personally it is God. I find the moments of praying the most meaningful in my life. I would most definitely have gone insane if i didn’t have god’s guidance. Whenever i think something is unreachable, like a goal, happiness or relief from stress and depression, i say in sha Allah (If god wills). This reminds me that nothing is more powerful than god. What is meant for me will come. This world itself and people have no power over me, which is a relief because many people do not wish others happiness. I know god wants the best for me, and loves me, and is more merciful than human beings. It always feels good knowing these desperate circumstances are not there to punish me, but to test and challenge me. As mentioned above challenges do not have to be something that only brings us pain. They are not always a bad thing.
“Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear..(Qur’an, 2:286)
This verse alone has taught me patience, trust, love and persistence in a way nothing and nobody else has ever taught me. So you can only imagine the medication the Quran is as a whole, for my life. Some read the bible, some meditate. I hope whatever it is, you find your peace as well.