Chances are that we have a deeper sense of fulfilment in life when we know who we are. Most of us, when we are new to a group, we introduce ourselves by describing the job title or describing ourselves in relation to someone important in our life, such as your wife, your child, your parent, etc.
These ways of presentation are important because they give to others an idea about what is it that we have achieved so far or what is it that we hold dear.
However, in order to develop the deeper sense of fulfilment, we need to know more about ourselves. We may not need to share it with everyone but it is crucial to have it clear for ourselves. If we gain clarity on that, we have the foundation from where we experience life.
How do you gain clarity into who you truly are?
Recent research on personality , shows that our personality can change for the better as we experience life. The degree of extroversion, the openness, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and emotional instability can positively change as a result of special attention we give to the different dimensions of our personality and of the positive intention behind the exerted attention.
In different life circumstances, varied and salient sides of ourselves may come to surface. For example, when spending time with the children, the playful trait may surface. When working on a project, the supportive side of you can kick-in. When presenting your idea in front of a group, the insecurity may be dominant.
The key aspect is to be mindful to all the feelings, thoughts and attitudes we embrace and decide to what extend they represent who we truly are.
“When we recognize a subpersonality, we are able to step outside it and observe it. In psychosynthesis we call this process “dis-identification”. Because we all have the tendency to identify with – to become one with – this or that subpersonality, we come implicitly to believe that we are it.” (Piero Ferrucci, What We May Be)
Being present to what we feel enables us to create for few seconds a distance between who we may think we are and who we truly are.
Life circumstances can help us recognize our true self
To my mind, this is one of the reasons we are living this life: to experience who we truly are. An attitude of curiosity and playfulness can ease the discovery. For example, for a person who moves to another country, it may be easier to get in touch with different sides of his personality and with his core by accepting and being interested in other nationalities.
Such a person may be closer to finding his true self by allowing himself to change the perceptions on the world and at the same time, reminding himself about the set of beliefs that keep him grounded in the midst of changes.
Life circumstances make us revisit the most important beliefs. There are times when we may choose life circumstance to fit with these most important beliefs. And there are times when we choose to give up some beliefs that do not serve us very well in the new life circumstance.
Continuing the example with the person moving to a new country, the first step would be to look for like-minded individuals to spend time with. If you are a curious mind, you may want to look for other curious minds in the area of your interest. For example, Internations is a community of foreigners and expats that offers plenty of interest groups for different tastes to ease up the adaptation to the new cultural environment.
At the same time, this person who has recently relocated to a foreign land, may want to reevaluate his nationalistic views to develop a healthier attitude as a foreigner. You cannot have a smooth integration to another country by fostering negative opinions about the new culture.
We know who we truly are when we feel in harmony with ourselves and with the life circumstance we find ourselves in. Meanwhile, we keep on searching, holding onto the belief that each day provides a glimpse into our true selves. We need to be present enough to recognize it. The true self is already in us.