A poster with two different self-discovery tips.

Self-Discovery: Know the Real You

With tears wetting the shag carpet, I looked up and told a fellow member of Sexaholics Anonymous, “I don’t even know myself.” This was my response to someone who told me that radical honesty was going to help me heal from my addiction.

That experience happened to me over 10 years ago, and I still remember it like it happened yesterday. Yes, radical honesty is possible.

As a life and business coach, I know that the secret to becoming the best and next version of yourself requires self-discovery. In this article, we will discuss blocks to your personal identity so that you can embrace yourself in a real and complete way.

First, let’s talk about identifying who you really are. This is essential because you can’t fix what you cannot recognize as being broken.

Change, can change everything.

Who are you?

Changes can really shake up your life. Suddenly, the things you used to love might not interest you as much. Even your values can shift, making what once seemed clear now feel confusing.

As a life coach for entrepreneurs, many of my clients are facing big changes. They might be growing their businesses, starting a family, moving to a new place, or even ending a relationship that’s not right for them.

Change can truly turn everything upside down.

Finding real happiness means getting to know yourself better. For me and my clients, that journey starts with learning how to just “be.” Then, we use that understanding to learn and grow even more. Let’s dive into what that means.

Discovering you is not for the faint of heart. It requires you identifying, and possibly destroying everything that is inauthentic to you and your values.

3 Tips to Help Your Self-Discovery Journey

If you’re going to stop “faking the funk” and be who you really are, it’s going to take some honesty, courage, and willingness to expose the not-so-sexy parts of ourselves. Discovering you is not for the faint of heart. It requires you identifying, and possibly destroying everything that is inauthentic to you and your values.

I have three tips to help you.

  1. Learn to BE, then BE to Learn.
  2. Stop Being a Copycat or Someone Else’s “Mini-Me.”
  3. Start asking yourself the right questions.

First, let’s talk about the first step: Learn to BE.

Tip #1: Learn to BE, then BE to Learn

The other day, I told a client that she needs to “Learn to BE, then BE to learn.” Let’s unpack what that means. 

For starters, too many of us are chasing mirages.

  • Approval from friends and family,
  • The latest gadgets and gizmos,
  • Fame,
  • Money,
  • Power,
  • And even searching for approval from people (see the Mini-Me section below).

Despite all the objects, gadgets, and “status symbols,” you may never really discover who you truly are.

You can blame your life script, societal conditioning, or whatever else, but it only takes one or two life-altering events for people to wake up and realize they’re living an inauthentic life.

older man alone sitting with mug on table
Living a happy life requires serious introspection 

To find happiness in this short life, you need to start by just being yourself. That means knowing who you are without letting negative thoughts or what others think bother you.

It’s like what Carl Jung said about being fully you, with all your good and bad parts. And it’s also about being self-aware, like Abraham Maslow talked about in his books. You realize your life has a bigger meaning.

Once you’ve got that down, let yourself explore and be creative, like a kid playing. As a cognitive behavioral specialist, I help people reconnect with that inner child joy.

But it’s not simple. It takes looking inside yourself and being really honest. Just reading this won’t do it. It’s tough, but if you’re ready to grow and heal, amazing things can happen.

Now, let’s talk about not being a copycat. It’s important because living authentically means getting rid of things that don’t matter to you.

Tip #2: Stop Being a Copycat or Someone Else’s “Mini-Me”

Do you remember the Austin Powers movies?

Do you remember Mini-Me?

This criminal “mastermind” wanted a clone of himself?

Both of them wanted $1 million dollars?

Jokes aside, some of you reading this are in fact MINI-Mes. 

Your mom, dad, uncle, grandparent, or someone else made it very clear to you:  If you want to gain their love and affection, you must be them. 

So, some of you might have college degrees, partners, homes, or even the number of children based on what your role model or chief influencer thought was valuable.

I have to admit that I have a science degree (which I haven’t used in over 10 years), because people in my family are scientists. For whatever that is worth now remains to be seen. 

Anyway, I was trying desperately to be the MINI-me in my family, and the need for approval was paramount. Ultimately, I never received the approval I desperately desired. All I got in the end was dual addiction to lust and booze.

The fact of the matter is you cannot find validation in your life based on the opinions of anyone, including your family members. 

Question – Are you trying to be someone’s mini-me? How is it working for you? Something to think about…

Tip #3: Start asking yourself the right questions 

Now, you may be reading this article and thinking, “Okay, Denise! I get it. How do I learn how to be?”

This is the point where you want a quick solution, idea, or thought. I can’t do that because I don’t know you, your history, or your values. Anyone who tries to write a one-size-fits-all solution in an article, let alone a book, is lying to you.

Some Self-Discovery Questions 

What I will do is give you some questions to think about.

  • If you dropped dead today, how would you like to be remembered?
  • Are you someone’s mini-me? Who and why? Are you trying to live a life that seems inauthentic to you? 
  • Why are certain activities important to you?
  • Are you leaving a legacy that you want your children to emulate?

These questions are not easy, nor simple to answer. If you want to live a happy life and embrace an authentic life, you owe it to yourself to pause and reflect on my questions and your answers. 

Next, I will share with you my final thoughts about the process of self-discovery.

A poster with two different self-discovery tips.

Final thoughts on Self-Discovery

There are many lonely, anxious, and confused individuals in this world, in part because they blindly follow the unspoken rules they receive from their families, religions, cultures, educators, and other sources.

To discover your true self, you must abandon what you were taught and question what is right. If you require assistance in uncovering who you truly are, you may want to work with me.

For more information, click here to listen to the episode from my podcast or press the play button below to delve further.