Self Exploration

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Many of us go through life skimming the surface of our identities. That is, we don’t truly dig deeply into our thoughts, feelings, desires and dreams. Part of the problem is that we’re always on the go. When to-do lists keep swelling, self-exploration takes a backseat. How can it not, when we barely find time for self-care? Specifically, self-exploration involves “taking a look at your own thoughts, feelings, behaviors and motivations and asking why. It’s looking for the roots of who we are — answers to all the questions we have about [ourselves],” according to Ryan Howes, Ph.D, psychologist, writer and professor in Pasadena, California. Having a deeper understanding of ourselves has many benefits. It “helps people understand and accept who they are and why they do what they do, which improves self-esteem, communication and relationships,” he said. -------------------------------------------------

Here, Howes discusses how he helps clients explore their own identities, the potential challenges that can hamper self-exploration and the strategies readers can try at home.

The process of exploring yourself is a meticulous one and takes determination and focus to accomplish. It means becoming aware of what’s important to you and understanding yourself, i.e. your values, interests, aptitudes, abilities, strengths and weaknesses. It is also a way to gain knowledge of what is a good fit or match for your personality type. Before you can explore the world of work or a career, you must first understand yourself. Start by asking yourself questions: “What do I want to do?” “ What are my goals, dreams and ambitions?” Self-exploration is looking inside yourself and concentrating and focusing on you, your needs, and your future…not mom’s, dad’s, or your friends. This is not to say that what others have to say isn’t important. On the contrary, hear them out, but ultimately this important decision is yours. After all, you know you better than anyone else, even mom. This...
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