One of the most rewarding things in life is knowing who you are. Here I’ll tell my story about how I truly learned the definition and one of the ways I stay on the course.
Let’s go down memory lane, several years ago to my 17-year-old self. I was sitting in my very first college course, English Composition 1 to be exact. As the class gets settled, we all looked at each other in confusion because our professor was not there. A few minutes pass, and the door opens and in walks some dude with brown linen pants with a white linen button up shirt, a brown suede blazer. His hair was bone straight pulled back into a pony tail and I thought to myself, who the heck is this, and why is he so comfortable waltzing in class this late.
The man walks straight to the front of the class and began writing on the board in large letters “DEFINE YOURSELF”. Before turning to us and explaining our first assignment, which was to write a paper defining who we are. I can remember thinking to myself how easy this class was going to be. Fast forward to the end of class I handed in my paper and just knew I had my first A. On the next day of class, our professor told us how disappointed he was in the papers he read. He went on the say that everyone gave information about themselves but not one of us actually wrote about what we stood for, believed in and gotten to the core of what it is to be who we are. So, he reassigned the paper and posed this question “if you don’t know who you are, how will you be able to figure out what you want from life and more so what would motivate you to get there. I have carried this lesson with me through adulthood, being able to define myself has allowed me to push forward through the hardest points in my life. So that raises the question how do you figure out who you are. As simple as a question this may seem, I often get asked how I figured out who I am and what I wanted to do with my life at such a young age.
So first off let’s think about the definition of self or self-concept; Self is defined as a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, and Self-concept is our individual perceptions on our behavior, ability and unique characteristics. Easy right so how can you take the definition and apply it to yourself? Ask yourself the following questions (it helps if you write them down)
1. What are you passionate about?
2. What do you value?
3. What do you stand for (this will ultimately be your morals’)?
4. What do you enjoy doing?
5. Who do you perceive yourself to be? (really think about that, don’t cheat yourself by giving a superficial answer)
To keep myself on track, I ask these questions every few months to evaluate where I’m at. I call it a life review, it allows me to evaluate where I am and if the same things make me happy, if who I am is in line with what I’m doing at the moment. I would have to say this process hands down is the most beneficial in making sure I stay the course!