Most of us don’t even scratch the surface of knowing who we really are, let alone figuring out what we have the potential to become. We are so confused that we keep oscillating between overconfidence and low self-esteem. One minute we are filled with a definite purpose for life and the next we move to the opposite end of the spectrum and are completely desolate.
Knowing ourselves better is a boon to our lives. We’re able to make smarter decisions about what’s best for us. We’re able to create more satisfying lives – lives that are based on our core values and personal priorities.
Often our identities contain a lot of “shoulds”. In other words, we strive to be what we think we should be. These “shoulds” may derive from society or our family and friends. I should like this. I should be that. I should behave in this way. I should say that. Who we are gets confused with and buried under the layers of who we think we should be. Strip away the “shoulds”, and think about who you really are. Simply ask, “Who am I?” You can start with statements like “I am a daughter” or “I am a writer” and progress to “I am happiest when I’m laughing with friends” or “I am learning to be kinder to myself.”
If we begin asking ourselves the right questions, it may take us to the answers we need to gain clarity in our own self-discovery and lead us to a more fulfilling and happy life.
Here are 28 questions that open the door to help you in having a real conversation with yourself. Spend some times on these and answer them as honestly as possible. You may find some uncomfortable and some difficult. Don’t filter your answers by what you think others may think but rather be true to yourself. This is how self-discovery begins. Enjoy!
Liz Birch is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist who provides services in her office in Tustin, CA. Her areas of expertise are in communications, relationships, marriage strengthening, stress reduction, depression, trauma, anxiety, anger, personal growth, and ptsd (civilian and military). She can be reached via LizBirchTherapist.com, email at LizBirchMFT@gmail.com.
The therapy process is a time and place for you to open up about your thoughts and feelings. Especially the one’s you find the most difficult to talk about. It’s those stories from our past, the ones often forgotten, mostly by choice, that are having a profound impact on your life now. But I know that sharing those stories from your past isn’t easy. You’ve tucked them away for a reason.
When in therapy with me, I share that our past events, in part, shape who we are and it's important that we take a look at it. Many don't want to go there. But in order for us to understand what is happening now it’s important that the stories of your life experiences come to light. It’s very scary, I know. But the process doesn’t have to be scary or intensely direct. I often tell my clients, when they are having difficulty verbalizing their emotions or thoughts, to journal write. It’s a very freeing, liberating and sometimes a scary experience that you can do where you are most comfortable – in your home, at the park, or wherever you choose.
Journal writing helps you move toward self-discovery. It will help you make sense of the chaos that may be surrounding you. It’s helps resolve traumas that you may have experienced which is holding you back from your potential. And it’s a safe way of looking at the past, which can inspire you to move forward.
In journal writing you don’t need to be a seasoned writer. Just grab a pen, notepad, journal book, or your computer and be ready with an open mind.
Journal writing is a wonderful outlet for letting go of your bottled up emotions. If you are feeling sad, happy, excited or angry, write it down. Release what ever you are thinking and don’t worry about grammar. Sometimes you may find yourself just writing single words; sometimes it’s a sentence. You might be someone who draws pictures. Just let you mind focus on what you are feeling, don’t hold back, write it down. I assure you the feeling is liberating and powerful. If you find it’s bringing about upsetting feelings please bring that to your therapist. She/he can help you process the unsettling thoughts and bring you toward a place of acceptance.
One of the benefits of journal writing, since it captures all of your unfiltered reflections, is you will begin to understand who you are. It will also help you see a solution and help you find healing. Journal writing will help you see who you are and changes you might want to make.
My suggestions for Journal Writing;
Journal writing has been used effectively for grief and loss; coping with life-threatening or chronic illness; recovery from addictions, eating disorders and trauma; repairing troubled marriages and family relationships; increasing communication skills; developing healthier self-esteem; getting a better perspective on life; and clarifying life goals.
Liz Birch is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist who provides services in her office in Orange, CA but also has options for home-based psychotherapy. Her areas of expertise are in communications, relationships, marriage strengthening, stress reduction, depression, trauma, anxiety, anger, personal growth, and ptsd (civilian and military). She can be reached via LizBirchTherapist.com, email at LizBirchMFT@gmail.com, or by calling 714-614-0612.
I'm a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist who works with individuals, couples and families. I hope I inspire you to take risks and step out of your comfort zone. You might be surprised what you discover.