Knowing Who You Are
Human beings are all made from the same basic materials. All of us need the same rest, food and movement for our bodies to thrive. We all need the same connections with others, sense of purpose, and personal growth for our souls to thrive. Your personality will uniquely shape the way that you interact with those basic human needs. The degree to which you need connections with others, the strength of your drive for achievement, and even the amount of rest you require combines with a specific set of abilities (math-brain, artistic, language, design, etc.) and creates a you that is uniquely you. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Do you need a large intake of calories for a highly active lifestyle or simple foods in small amounts spread throughout the day? Do you need a lot of friends or just two people who are really close to you? Do you like solving problems and fixing things or are you driven to compete with others and get faster and better than everyone else? These questions connect to the unique shape of your life. Knowing and owning your uniquely arranged personality and needs will help you to express your individualism in a healthy way while respecting the uniqueness of others.
Connecting to Your Purpose
A lot of people want to just experience life as it comes to them; no plans, no agenda, no expectations. The evidence in human behavior suggests that this is an ideal that no one can follow very well… at least not for very long. Our nature craves purpose and meaning. For some that is big and noticeable – they want to change communities and impact the world. For others, being a positive influence in the lives of a small group of friends or family is good enough. What matters in either case is that we need to know that our life matters. The discovery of purpose is vital to the health of our soul and to the focus we need to move through life’s obstacles. There are questions you have to wrestle with every day to find your purpose.
Courage to be You
Everyone feels the pressure to put on a face that we show to others that is different than who we really are. The danger is that if we put on a false face too long, it becomes more difficult to see the difference between the real me and the me I’m pretending to be. Identity masks usually serve two purposes: One is to hide our insecurities; the other is to gain acceptance. Becoming confident in your personal identity and honest about your insecurities is the only sure way to recognize masks for what they are and put them away for good. This anchor point is especially important to move forward and grow into the kind of person you want to be rather than what others want or expect you to be. Here are a couple of mask-revealing questions:
Understanding Your Relationships
The strongest external influence on your identity comes from your relationships. Friends and family can bring out both the best and worst in us. Being honest about your need for their support, love, help and advice is important in making room for the positive influence that you can gain from your relationships. It also takes brutal honesty to admit were some of your friends or family are creating a negative influence and holding you back from the growth and forward progress you want to make. Grabbing this anchor point is difficult because of the way relationships weave into your identity. One relationship can create an unhealthy dependency while another can create a deep loyalty and that difference can be hard to sort out. Making decisions about how much influence a friend has or how close you should keep them is not easy. But weighing out the costs and benefits of our relationships is a vital skill in becoming a self-confident, adequately supported, and healthy human.