Let’s Take A Look Inside: An Exercise For Self Discovery
The most important truth is self-truth.
I know, this is probably a phrase you only hear at your dentist office every six months for your cleaning but seriously, we need to take a look inside. Let’s take a look at all of the positive aspects of you, the negative aspects, the things that make you happy, the things that grind your gears, the things that you dream of. It’s important to recognize and relate to each aspect of yourself to truly learn to find decency within yourself and let go.
I am going to introduce you to an exercise that a counseling professor of mine once did on the first day of class.
I want you to write down 50, yes 50, qualities about yourself. These qualities can include any of the following:
But you need to write down 50. I know it’s hard but I never promised that this journey of self-discovery would be easy!
Once you have written your 50 traits, imagine you are crossing Gary the Gnome’s bridge. To pass, Gary needs you to give up 30% of your traits. Think wisely, you will not get these traits back.
Now you’ve made it half way across the bridge but greedy Gary the Gnome wants 30% more of your traits.
To leave the bridge you need to give Gary 30% of the remaining traits.
Once you made it to the other side you should be left with anywhere from 10–15 traits depending on if you know how to do math properly or if you gave yourself exactly 50 traits.
Take a good look at the traits you have remaining. What do these traits say about yourself? Are they considered “positive” traits? Are they mainly oriented about yourself? Are they about how you treat others?
When I did this exercise, my remaining traits were empathetic, nurturing, good listener, loyal, honest, and trustworthy. When I looked at these traits I realized every single one related back to how I treated other people. I now noticed that what is more important to me is how I treat others. I learned through this exercise that I need to be more empathetic with myself, more nurturing of my body and my soul, and be more honest with myself.
The qualities I threw away to Gary were things like overemotional, anxious, jealous, worrier, all things I wish I could do without. The emotions and feelings that I spend a lot of time on and wish I didn’t. The emotions and qualities that often leave me feeling bogged down by my own mind. The traits that keep me from following my dreams.
Which ones did you throw away to Gary? Were they aspects of yourself you wish you could change? Or aspects you wish you didn’t spend so much time thinking about?
I hope that after doing this exercise you have taken a step closer to looking inwards and noticed some things about yourself you maybe never noticed before.
The reason I find this exercise so important for self-discovery is because it is pure and raw. It is you defining yourself. It is you thinking about all of the traits and qualities that make up your essence. Not someone else telling you that you are sensitive, judgmental, spontaneous, indecent… This exercise allows you to be completely honest with yourself in a non-judgmental setting and gives you a chance for a little soul searching in an easy way. It takes maybe ten minutes in total to do, depending on how long it takes to think of qualities, but it will give you a lifetime of knowledge about who you are and what is important to you. It is always a good idea to sit and check in with yourself to see how you are feeling and what you are thinking. To check in about your needs, your wants, your desires. To allow yourself the time to explore your head space judgement free from the rather judgmental surrounding world.