Life has its ups and downs, that’s part of being human.
But there’s a sense of inner stability that you can create that makes these shifts feel less turbulent.
The process of creating this stability is one of truly getting to know yourself.
Not getting to know yourself in the sense of what you do for work, or what hardships you’ve been through, but an understanding of who you are at your core.
Your Deepest Self
In this society, we tend to over-identify with what we do, how much money we do or don’t make, who’s in our social circles, as well as traumas and difficult things we’ve been through.
All these things are important, I don’t want to downplay them. They do have an impact on how we behave, what resources we have access to, and much more.
But they don’t define you.
When you dig underneath all these layers, all these roles and labels that you’ve taken on, what do you find?
This is your deepest self – your core self.
What Happens When You Know Your Core Self
How did you feel last time you faced a financial hardship?
What about the last time you were rejected whether it was in business or personally?
Or when you didn’t reach your goals on the timeline you were aiming for?
It’s normal to be upset or frustrated when these things happen, but when you start to identify with them, you lose yourself little by little. You forget your inner strength and start to define yourself by your failures or “shortcomings”.
The same is true when you over-identify with things that are going great in your life. Like if you’ve found a lot of success in business, and you start to get an inflated ego.
You’re not just your job title or your main role. You’re so much more. You’re you.
When you understand your core self, you don’t get pushed and pulled around with the ups and downs of life. You’re able to maintain a sense of balance even in the most difficult moments.
Knowing your core self helps you to understand what really matters in YOUR life. What relationships are worth investing in. What goals to put your energy into. What kind of legacy you’re going to leave behind.
While the people closest to you may be able to give you some ideas, only you can truly understand who your core self is.
Who Are You?
You might be thinking that this sounds a bit esoteric and out there, or nice in theory, but impossible to actually nail down.
I promise it’s not!
Getting to know your core self is an ongoing process, but one that gets easier with time.
The first step is to define your core values.
What Are Your Core Values?
When you look beyond the ego, beyond the need to impress or fit in or achieve – what is most important to you?
The easiest way to truly dial these in is by giving yourself space to listen. Where do you feel the most at peace? Make a physical space for you to reflect on what your core values are. This could be on a walk-in nature, in the bath, or the coziest room in your house.
Then grab a journal and start brainstorming about what is most important to you.
These are some common, yet important core values that people have:
- Giving back
Try to come up with 3-5 of your own. The ones that truly feel like they resonate with your core self.
Knowing Your Purpose
From your core self and values, you can start to examine what your purpose is.
Your purpose is your mission in life. It’s the thing that drives you and motivates you and comes from a deep understanding of your true self.
If you’re feeling unclear on what your purpose is, try reflecting on these questions in your journal:
- What truly lights me up?
- At the end of my life, what do I want to be most proud of?
- How do I impact the people around me?
- How do I behave when no one is watching?
- How do I want to feel when I go about my days?
- What do I want to give to the world?
Enjoy The Process
Your core self, your values, and your purpose all work together to make you the incredible human that you are.
Take the pressure off yourself to feel like you need to “arrive” at a certain understanding of who you are. Understand that the better you get to know yourself, the less shifting and swaying you’ll experience.
Over time you’ll become more and more sure of who you are, and how that plays out in every area of your life.
Enjoy the process of getting to know yourself!