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.

Who are you?

Change can really change everything

As a life coach for entrepreneurs, clients who seek my help are going through serious changes in their lives, such as growing and expanding their business, having a child, moving, or even divorcing from an unsuitable partner.

Changes can disrupt your outlook on life, and even your interests and hobbies may shift. This may also lead to a change in your values. Things that once seemed certain and absolute may now seem nebulous and obscure. 

Change can alter everything.

The journey towards true fulfillment requires self-discovery. 

For myself and my clients, this journey begins by learning how to “Be” and then using that knowledge to “Be” to learn. The following section will explain what I mean.

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.

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.

Living a happy life requires serious introspection 

In order to be happy in this short existence we call life, you must first learn to BE, which means understanding who you are, minus the negative self-talk and societal pressure.

This is where you are fully individualized (as explained by Carl Jung), learning how to embrace all of you, faults and all.

And you are fully self-actualized (as referred to Abraham Maslow in his books Towards a Psychology of Being and The Farther Reaches of Human Nature), understanding your life has a greater purpose. 

Once you’ve achieved that, BE to learn, by allowing your childlike nature to explore and be creative. Part of my work as a cognitive behavioral specialist is to help you recapture the joys of your inner child.

This work isn’t easy or simple. It requires  introspection. And sorry, just reading this article is not enough.

It takes real honesty and bravery, but if you’re ready to grow, learn, and heal, the world truly is your oyster. 

Next, let’s dive into what it means to be someone’s mini-me. This is important because living an authentic life requires you to strip away things that hold no value to you.

Are you someone’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…

Self-Discovery Requires Learning How to BE

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.

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.

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 collaborate with me.

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


The information in this article is for informational purposes only. No material in this article or website is to be a substitute for professional medical and/or mental health advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you read from me or anyone else online.

Also, this article is not designed to diagnose or treat you or anyone with a suspected mental health illness. Please, if you need help, seek appropriate help from a lawyer, health care provider or law enforcement officer.