IT'S TIME TO GET TO KNOW YOURSELF BETTER

Life's short and I don't have time to play around with being someone I'm not. So, the question is "how do I get to know myself better?" #lifesshort #knowyourself

WHO ARE WE NOW WE'RE IN MIDLIFE?

I don't know about you, but there are times I've wondered how much of who I am is due to my choices and how much has been inherited from my upbringing, or absorbed from those around me, or created so that I feel like I fit in. Now I'm past the halfway mark of life I'm finding that I want to drill down more, get to know myself, to understand myself better, and find what truly drives me.

The more we know ourselves, the more we can develop areas we want to grow in, and discard areas that don't work for us any more. Life's short and I don't have time to play around with being someone I'm not. So, the question is "how do I get to know myself better? How do I create a SYMPHONY in Midlife that feels authentically Me?"

WHERE TO START LOOKING

As a launching pad, there's always the philosophical question of "Who am I?" that we all answer differently. I read a really interesting article on this question from Philosophy Now where people answered the question in quite deep and thoughtful ways. I really appreciated this insight from Bill Meacham:

'We each have a life-story, of what has been and continues to be important to us, what the pivotal events were that brought us to the present moment. By comparing stories, we find such timeless human themes as love and hate, honor and degradation, loyalty and betrayal, inspiration and despair...We are not bound by chains of habit or instinct; we can see who we are and choose to change it. The ability to examine one’s own experience is something that distinguishes us from other animals. We have, in some measure, the ability to create ourselves. There are limits to what we can make of ourselves imposed by our biology and culture, but the ability to know those limits and find ways to work within them gives us the unique ability not only to discover, but to decide and create the answer to the question ‘Who am I?’"

Now we're more than halfway through life, we definitely have a life-story to build on and the experience and maturity to be open to where that story can take us. The next step is to figure out how to discover who we really are and to decide what we want to keep and what we'd like to discard. But where do we start?

Never be afraid to reinvent yourself - #lifequotes

A FEW PERTINENT QUESTIONS

I've been browsing around the internet looking for questions that would help with the process of self-discovery and came across 26 Questions to Help You Know Yourself Better on Psych Central. They're great questions, but I thought 26 was a little excessive for an initial foray into getting to know ourselves, so I chose five to start with:

  1. What are my strengths?
  2. Who and what matters most to me?
  3. What am I worried about?
  4. What are my values, what do I believe in?
  5. Am I an introvert/ambivert/extravert?

Then to progress forward I liked these five:

  1. What are my goals?
  2. What new activities am I interested in and willing to try?
  3. If I wasn't afraid, I would __________________
  4. What am I passionate about?
  5. If I could have one wish, it would be _________

Life's short and I don't have time to play around with being someone I'm not. So, the question is "how do I get to know myself better?" #lifesshort #knowyourself

None of them are as simple as they sound - they take some introspection and then some big picture expansion, but I think they're definitely worth investing some time in answering. The full list of questions are in the link above.

LIFE'S SHORT - BE THE BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF

I think we owe it to ourselves to discover who we are and who we want to become. It's not too late to grow more and become more. It's never too late to change direction or to spread our wings and try new things. I love that this time of life has fewer regrets and there is still time left to pursue things we may have put on the back burner in previous years because we didn't have the time or opportunity. Maybe now is the time to Carpe Diem!

“Of all the people you will know in a lifetime, you are the only one you will never leave or lose. To the question of your life, You are the only answer. To the problems of your life, You are the only solution.”  Jo Coudert #lifequotes

I personally believe that we've been put on this earth to grow and mature, to develop physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. As we grow in experience, we also grow in wisdom and depth - the purpose is to be the best version of ourselves - the version God created us to be. I hope I manage to find my way there so that the journey has been worthwhile.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Are you satisfied with where you are or do you feel there is more you're still capable of becoming? Do any of the questions above resonate with  you? Where are you heading in the second half of life?


***And don't forget, I'm hoping to share lots of guest posts this year on what other Midlifers are doing to make the most of the second half of life - as they create their own SYMPHONIES - so if you'd like to share a post here then flick me an email: leanne.lecras@gmail.com ***

RELATED POSTS



Life's short and I don't have time to play around with being someone I'm not. So, the question is "how do I get to know myself better?" #lifesshort #knowyourself
Life's short and I don't have time to play around with being someone I'm not. So, the question is "how do I get to know myself better?" #lifesshort #knowyourself

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26 comments

  1. Your post reminds me of the nature/nurture question? I used to believe it was all nurture when I was very young. I think having children made me quickly aware how nature also plays a big part. Now that I am significantly older, I like the part of Meacham’s quote “we can see who we are and choose to change it.” The questions you posed are very thought-provoking. You also remind me of the concept of “Earth School.” I think the first time I heard this phrase was Gary Zukov. I will head over to the 26 Questions. Great post, Leanne! You are helping me clarify some specific goals and where I am spending my time.

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    1. Hi Erica - I'm glad you enjoyed the post - I sat down and answered the questions because I wanted to get my head around where I'm at and where I want to head. THey didn't give me all the answers, but they did confirm that I'm where I need to be - and that's not jumping through other people's hoops just so I can gain their approval. I still want to please everyone, but I'm learning that it's more important to be true to myself and to honour what my heart tells me. The year ahead is going to be an interesting one for me (and maybe for you too?)

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  2. Hey friend, my online book club chose the book "Long, Bright River," for January. I am just beginning the book but others who are further along say it is very thought-provoking. Apparently it looks at nurture vs nature, 2 sisters raised by a drug addict mother. One becomes a police officer and the other a drug addict. Might be something you would like to check out.
    I love your use of the word symphonies. At 61, I think I know myself pretty well. And most days I enjoy the tune I am whistling, even if my life isn't a full-fledged concerto! Going to check out the article on Psych Central.
    Thanks for sharing!!

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    1. Hi Leslie - that book sounds really interesting and I'll have to see if I can order it through the library. I have spent the last 10 years undoing a lot of what I'd assumed I was expected to like/do/behave, and I've started trusting my own judgement more and being true to myself. I like the idea that it's going to continue and by the time I'm 61 my symphony will be very harmonious and pleasant to be a part of!

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  3. I agree - I think we need to expand beyond ourselves and a little reinvention or refresh every so often isn't a bad thing. Those questions are more difficult than they look to answer though... It's something I'm thinking about a lot as I juggle priorities so this is a timely post.

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    1. I sat down and answered the ten I put up from the list Jo - just to try to align my direction a little bit. I'm feeling a bit rudderless atm and I want to be more confident in where I'm going from here on out. Your journey is going to be so interesting to follow and I'm really excited to see where you end up by the end of the year.

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  4. Hi Leanne, this is all the stuff I've been doing over the last 7 or so years. Though at heart we remain the same person, we do change with the years that pass and we need to reevaluate and change things up to suit the new versions of ourselves. I've learned a lot about myself but there's always more to learn! #TeamLovinLife

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    1. Hi Min - I think stopping work has been a revelation for me. I'm having to reinvent myself and who I see myself as being - am I retired, treading water, directionless, or heading into a new adventure??? So many questions, but if I'm confident in who I am and I'm being authentic then the questions aren't so scary. I'm quite pleased with the idea of the future unfolding for me on my own terms for a change.

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  5. What great questions! I am keeping them to answer in my journal. It makes me really think about the "Why am I here?" question. Am I fulfilling my purpose? Makes the head spin sometimes.

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    1. It can do your head in a bit Janet - but sometimes if we feel like we're a bit stuck and our wheels are spinning, it's nice to have some prompts for the "where to next?" question - the answer might be to just sit for a while and enjoy the peace!

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  6. I am at the point of needing to consolidate now...I have made so many changes and along the way I have learned much more about me and how to be a less worried me. However, I also just want to 'be' even though I long to 'do'. I am learning to let go more and THAT is huge. Denyse

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    1. Denyse, I'm having to accept that there's less opportunity to "do" now that I'm getting older, less jobs to tempt me, less drive to put myself out there, and less desire to be seen to be always busy and bustling. It's kind of a relief to be able to sit back a little and rest my brain and heart - maybe something new will come along to tempt me out into the big wide world, but I'm quite happy to just be "me" for now (and forever if that's how it pans out). I think we're reaping the benefits of all the hard yards and we're allowed to enjoy that :) x

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  7. Another very interesting post Leanne, with some thought provoking questions. I think there comes a time after we finish work that we re-look at ourselves and wonder what floats our boat. It's a good opportunity to re-examine our goals and ideals and your questions reflect that. We never stop learning do we?

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    1. Hi Deb - quitting my job left me with a bit of an empty space in my understanding of who I was and what was important to me - which then led to wondering what the rest of my life was going to look like. Questions like these helped me through the process and to a better understanding of who I am now - I knew you'd get it :)

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  8. Leanne, I am pleased to say that our Elise has chosen your post to be featured in the next Blogger's Pit Stop. That is the joy of features, they set posts apart from the crowd, to be noticed. Your posts do that as they challenge readers to think below the surface.
    Kathleen

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    1. Thanks for letting me know Kathleen - I'm so glad that my post resonated with Elise and hopefully others will get to read it the second time around :)

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  9. Those questions really got me thinking. I think life is all about change and adapting to new phases of life and circumstances - learning (especially about ourselves) is a lifelong journey!

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    1. I think we have to stop and ask ourselves a question or two now and then Sam to see if we're where we want to be. When the rug gets pulled out from under us it often leaves a lot of uncertainty - I know I had to do some serious head work on myself to get it all back on track after last year's horrible job ending.

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  10. It seems to be a little late in life to be figuring out ourselves, Leanne, but that's just what I'm doing too. This year, I'm doing a lot of journalling to discover more of my true self. I'm adding the questions you've shared to my list. Thank you.

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    1. Hi Corinne - I think our generation might have been a bit late to the self-care party and we're still catching up. I know I have more work to do in discovering what I really want (as opposed to what I've been told I want!) and the questions were a good starting point for me too.

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  11. Good to re-read this Leanne. We humans are always evolving and changing and how good is it that we can!

    Thanks for linking up for #lifethisweek. Next week's optional prompt is #ShareYourSnaps. I hope you will join in then too. Denyse.

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    1. Hi Denyse - thanks for the link up and for all the great blogs you share there. I find so much inspiration and encouragement when I touch base with you each Monday.

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  12. I think being retired and my blog have allowed me to know and understand the “real me”. And I like me!! This is proving to be the best time of my life because I am in charge of it. I seem to like being in charge!! 😉

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    1. I'm the same Linda! My blog gave me my voice, and retirement has given me my freedom. Put the two together and it just gets better every day. I think retirement is like becoming a grandmother - the best kept secrets that you only discover when you arrive there!

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  13. Wonderful post! Hopefully, this one will go through. :)

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    1. Yay! Robin it did! You've mastered the tricky art of Google Blogger posting :) xx

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