This is a question that lies on the lips of most people and yet it is a question that takes some time to uncover and to understand. Most of what we call our ‘identity’ comes from the choices we make in life, what we choose to focus on, what skills we develop, how we relate to others and how we want others to see us. However, we have a tendency to forget that the source of our identity is actually a result of the choices that we have made in the past and the choices that we continue to make in the present. We become what we think is expected of us and then assume that it is just a part of who we are. It can be very difficult to see ourselves differently thus making it difficult to make real changes to our identity. I am sure that you have heard yourself or others say ‘I can’t change because that is just the way I am’. Well this is not wholly true because it is possible to make choices that will bring about a change that can contribute to our lives and to change our identity.
Is it possible to change a key decision that has shaped us, even if it’s been a part of us for 20 years or longer? The answer to this question is ‘yes’ of course it is. We have all seen it happen. People quit smoking after 20 years, give up alcohol, return to education and receive a degree after a 20 year gap, leave secure employment to become an artist or a writer. People are taking big steps, coming out of their comfort zone and bringing about change all the time. Getting to know ourselves comes from rediscovering and bringing to light the reason why key decisions were made in the past, what needs they were meeting and what the benefits and consequences of that decision were. With this information new decisions can be made and we will get to know ourselves better.
Each time we make new decisions or to try out something new we come out of our comfort zone which will automatically bring about change. Coming out of the comfort zone can appear challenging to a lot of people and to avoid the challenge some will stay with safe decisions and familiar surrounding. So why is it that some people jump to a challenge and others move away or resist change? Well I’d like to say a little about the comfort zone; firstly it is the place where we feel most comfortable. Our homes for example can be seen as a comfort zone. We know the lay of the land, we know where the light switches are, where the fuse box is. We know where all the rooms are positioned and which room is which. We know which tap is the hot and which is cold tap and we know how to work the shower. We know the lay out of the kitchen and where everything is kept. Now if you were to leave your own home and go to live in someone else’s home for a while you will feel somewhat lost, or out of sorts for a bit until you find your way around. You are out of your comfort zone and
just once you find your way around then this now becomes your comfort zone. So in short we are in the comfort zone when we are doing the things that we have already mastered and feel comfortable doing.
The easier we become with change, and the more we accept that change is inevitable, the easier it will be to get to know ourselves and to deal with what life offers. If we live our lives by being afraid then we will run
away from situations and if we live life from a place of excitement we will go towards our goals and dreams. Susan Jeffers has a great book called ‘Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway’. If you haven’t read it then I would recommend that you go get yourself and copy and read it. Susan challenges us to face our fears, get out of the comfort zone and to live life to the full. While in the place of fear we can experience helplessness and yet helpless is not what we are as a race. We can come into our power by allowing ourselves feel what it is that we feel, move through the feeling and empower ourselves to take action. Getting to know ourselves and just ‘to be’ ourselves takes great courage.
Be courageous today and get to know yourself. This is one of the best gifts that you can give yourself.