Self – discovery otherwise known as self – awareness precedes self-leadership. You can’t master, neither can you lead what you don’t know. In the process of leading our lives we need to come to a full understanding of ourselves. I read it in a book somewhere that “know thyself” is the deepest and best advice ever given to mankind. You can either overestimate your abilities or underestimate the power you possess when you do not know yourself. It starts with self-discovery. No one is going to come up to you and say, hey, it’s time to discover yourself.It is a “do-it-yourself” job.I share some nuggets on how you can get to know your true self.
Many “ordinary” men and women walk our streets daily and die un-lived lives because they have never taken the time to discover who they truly are on the inside. It’s time to discover the hidden talents, abilities and natural endowments. Everyone can be a somebody. Self – discovery starts with an honest self – evaluation and audit. It’s about getting to “know you”, who you are at the core, what you believe in and what makes you tick. It’s not about who you pretend to be or who you think you are but who you really are. You can fool others but you cannot fool yourself. It is also not about who others think and say you are. Many people live frustrated lives because they are trying to fit into a mould that they were never designed to fit it. Self – discovery may be a life-long journey for some but it is worth it. The sooner you embark on it the sooner you begin to engage in effective living.
Some people accept the reality that they are given instead of creating their own reality. If you do not know who you are your parents, your school teacher, your village will give you an identity. If they can give you an identity they can determine what you can and cannot do. Yes, they love you and they mean well, but self – discovery is your personal responsibility. The biblical King David would have remained a shepherd boy all his life if he had given in to the desire of his father and brothers yet he was destined to be a king. Even if there is a king in you couldn’t ascend to the throne if you allow what others think about you to become too important.
I would have become an academic if I had followed through with my parents’ dream for me. I would have probably been a success at it yet there were multiple gifts and things I needed to discover for myself. I discovered that I have a desire to inspire others through writing, speaking and singing when I did this exercise for myself. I also discovered that whilst my background was in sales and marketing I had a passion and desire to develop and inspire others to reach their fullest potential; this article you are reading is one of the manifestations of that desire.
Maybe you are limiting who you are to what you do. You are not your job or whatever it is you do for a living. You can be more and do more. You could be one of those folks that once read something and was inspired to “come up higher”, but the challenges of life happened and caused you to backtrack and back slide. Maybe you lost income, dropped out of school, lost motivation, downsized your dream or simply gave up dreaming. Do not allow circumstances and setbacks to define you. Yes, you failed but you are not a failure.
You may have had the intention to start developing a skill or reading good books. It is not late for you to begin. I understand the average CEO imbibes at least fifty books in a year. That is almost a book a week. You can also do it if you intend to have an advantage in your career or business. Leaders are readers. In 2003, I discovered the power of reading, I imbibed twenty books in that season and I have become an avid reader since then. You don’t have to start with twenty, start with a few chapters a day. You don’t have to be great to get started but you have to get started to be great. The journey of fifty books a year starts with the first page, chapter that you decide to sit down and read. Do not limit yourself to physical books, reading also incorporates listening to audio books especially when you are on the “go”.
I hope in my own way I have been able to set you on a path to discover your true self. You have the capacity to take charge of your life and self-lead. It will take initiative; you owe it to yourself. It doesn’t matter how old or how young you are. This is a reminder that there is more to you. Discover it and you will thank me for it.
Here are a few questions you can use to self – audit. Feel free to add your own.
- What are my gifts and talents that I was born with?
- What would be my ideal job if I was unlimited?
- What would you be doing right now if you did not need to earn?
- What are your values, that is, what is important to you?
- What do I believe I was born to do?
I hope the questions above will help you get on a path to become all that you are meant to be.