“I hate chocolate!” my co-worker shot at me with a disgusted look.
Shocked, I pulled back the special edition caramel filled truffle I had been so excited to share.
“How in the world can anyone not like chocolate? It’s chocolate!” How could something so delightful to my senses feel so unpleasant to someone else?
I started thinking about what really creates our preferences and aversions, and how these characteristics impact our greater life experience and story. When I started taking stock of what really drives my own likes, dislikes, fears and pet peeves, I started gaining a stronger sense of what inspires, triggers, delays and moves me.
By asking myself questions I’d never answered before, I got to know myself on a whole different level. I jumped in the driver’s seat of my own life, and discovered the really cool core of what makes me, me. I guarantee, what you discover will be just as fabulous.
Ask and you shall open.
Who am I?
Self-discovery is about getting on the right track. By connecting with the core of our identity, we start approaching life according to our deepest purpose. It’s a higher mind-body connection that permanently plugs into personal truth. Underneath pain, insecurity, uncertainty, stress and fear, lives an incredible, unbreakable core of what differentiates us from everyone else on the planet.
What do I believe?
This isn’t about religious or spiritual leaning. It’s about our perspective on, well, everything. Because how we see ourselves and the world, is based on our strongest beliefs. We should ask questions like: What do I believe about becoming successful or experiencing happiness? What do I believe it means to be good, moral, smart, compassionate or loving?
The answers aren’t just opinions. They are beliefs that are sown into the fabric of who we are and drive our decisions, relationships, behaviors and overall quality of life. When we become more closely connected to our deepest beliefs, we’ll be able to separate the ones that empower us from the ones that slow us down. Even better? We have the ultimate power to transform our beliefs so they always serve us!
Where do my feelings come from?
We all recognize sadness, joy, fear or shock. But where we feel these emotions in our body and what triggers these feelings are completely different for every single person on Earth. Next time we experience a sudden change in emotion—whether good or bad—we should stop, focus on our body and experience where that emotion presents itself physically.
We should ask ourselves: Do I feel it in my stomach, head, shoulders, eyes, feet or somewhere else? By starting to physically feel our emotions, we lay the groundwork for understanding the core driver of our happiness and beliefs which motivate our thoughts, decisions, behaviors and overall quality of life.
What are my greatest personal challenges?
We’ve all experienced trials and triumphs but what about those pesky and/or painful challenges and bad habits that keep rearing their ugly heads despite our best intentions? Getting to the bottom of our greatest set-backs is a matter of re-living some of our most cringe-worthy moments.
We should ask ourselves: What was the most uncomfortable part of the whole experience? What did I feel in that moment (shock, hurt, or sadness) and where did I feel that emotion in my body (stomach, head, or arms)? These questions serve to connect the dots between your feelings and their deeper source. The impulse to push these painful experiences aside is a powerful one but so are the rewards of re-living our missteps, failures and falls. The more we face our not-so-fun moments directly, the faster we begin to break free of their grasp, forever.
“Why” is the most important question we can ask about our health and happiness. When we think beyond cures, treatments and management and focus on cause, we start moving closer to the real root source of human struggle and pain—and ultimately, dismantle it. With these heavy roadblocks out of the way, the path is cleared and quickened towards our greater purpose- and there is no better feeling than that!
The truth is, our awareness is our greatest power.
But what’s the point of self-reflection if it doesn’t improve our lives? The right questions reveal our greatest opportunities for growth and push us towards the root source of transformation where we’ll propel our life to new heights of happiness, health and success, felt for a lifetime!
Author: Ingrid Schabbing
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Adrian V. Floyd/Flickr