What Makes You Who You Are

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Who are you? What a compelling question that is. If due attention has never been paid to this inquiry before time, it often leaves the recipient confused. Here’s the truth: unless a man has made due efforts to answer a question like this, it would be immensely difficult to measure, on any form of scale, the satisfaction and fulfilment such an individual would draw out of life. So first, let’s have a look at how it all starts.

A regular human is brought up by influence and association whether within the nuclear home or in school and even in a friend’s home or on regular holidays spent at the grand parent’s place. It could be summed up as formation by socialization. Born with so much innocence as a blank card but as we grow, we learn languages and culture, names and religion, limitations and possibilities. Then we ascend to build hopes and aspire to be something we’ve seen or heard or just by sheer power of our mind. All these disappear when “reality strikes”. As we grow, we begin to understand how things work and our initial limitless mind starts building barricade around some of our aspirations. Hurdles that were never existing in the mind before now begin to pop up really big and the light and innocence of our dreams begin to fade.

We then learn to love and hate, to trust and to avoid. We learn attachments, faith, patriotism, habits, convictions, ambitions and so on which further feeds on the innocence we started with and takes away the limitless perspective we had. So here we are now, unable to give a vivid answer to the question of our identity.

Not knowing who we are is a dangerous thing. It could define so many things in us that could be pivotal to finding reason in existence. Everyone has a day when they wake up and these questions keep popping up.

Why am I existing? and why do I feel hollow with little or no fulfilment? It could lead to being unsure about what we like, where we want to go and what we want to do.

Also, when we cannot definitely identify ourselves, we allow the major decision in our lives to be extrinsically determined. The things external to us make our decisions for us. When our core believes, values, goals, faith and so on are not well defined, we open ourselves to external influences which in the end, we might not be excited with the decisions made for us.

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Our fears and weaknesses, emotional issues, negative beliefs, low self-worth and so on are not just hidden in a corner of our lives, they hide and shoot arrows at the person we seek to be. These things hinder our love and affection for our self and thus disrupt our longing to release the person we want to be. They must be found out and if possible listed out as we aim at confronting them and eradicating them constructively.

This is not just about acknowledging the shady parts in who we are. It includes celebrating our strengths and appreciating our abilities. Create more self-awareness for the things you are good at, what we enjoy, what keeps us excited, what inspires us and these in turn would definitely lighten any negative effect made by the first list of weaknesses.

It is one of the most important quest of every life to find out what we want out of life. Our motivations and inspirations lead us this way. How about we make another list. Now, this one is about goals and dreams. Let’s highlight the ones that make our heart melt or skip a beat and refuse to limit ourselves in this list. It should include social, financial, relationship, mental, spiritual goals.

If we really seek to know who we are, our core values are undeniable pointers to our identity. Core values like compassion, honesty, love, kindness, loyalty show us a picture of exactly who we are. These values are our anchors for decision making and help us to view ourselves in a clearer light.

Nature is a good comfort for finding answers to tough self-discovery questions. There are positive things all around us that can help us attend to questions we seek answers to. We can find them in books, online lectures, teachers and coaches also help out. These are extrinsic sources of positivity in self-discovery.

This is a strict process of getting intimate with ourselves by spending good time getting to know ourselves. It might not happen by default or be easy while going about our regular day’s duties. But it is of unquantifiable advantage if we take a meditation retreat.

Let’s make a habit of writing. We should document our likes, dislikes, affections, inspirations, aspirations, distractions and as much as we could muster. Writing down our experiences and encounters, heights we’ve surmounted and the ones ahead of us. We can create a blog, if we want to. These things connect the present us to the real us that is the aim at the end.

In conclusion, what makes you who you are? Self-discovery is not the journey for a day or a week. But the more we know about ourselves, the more we love and appreciate our uniqueness and thus we get to attract positivity to ourselves. And the answer to that question stops being ambiguous. 

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