The ideas Sigmund Freud proposed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries are no longer valid when it comes to trying to explain human behavior, but there is something true about them: for every person. , there is a gap between what you want to do and what you say you want to do. Most of our mental life is secret, and the reasons for doing all kinds of actions are to some extent hidden.
This is precisely why it increases in value what we often call self-discovery. In this article, we will see what it is exactly and how it impacts our daily life.
What is self-discovery?
Self-discovery is a process by which we generate a realistic concept and close to the reality of ourselves, Ignoring prejudices that depend on our optimism (idealizing our self-image) or our pessimism (creating an overly negative self-image due to sadness or a depressed mood). So it is a complex process, because to participate in it we have to let go of those immediate and intuitive impressions that come to our mind at the very moment something is happening that is capable of seducing us.
Keys to Achieving a Realistic Self-Concept
When it comes to getting to know each other, you should avoid simple, intuitive explanations of who we are. As a short guide, the following lines provide some key ideas you should keep in mind before embarking on self-discovery.
1. The truth is hidden in self-justifications
If we humans are experts at anything, it’s to create stories about who we are and what we do. These stories can help us create a cohesive “I” concept.Consistent and easy to remember, but at the cost of sacrificing some of the truthfulness of this self-concept.
Therefore, in order to place a strong emphasis on self-discovery, it is worth focusing on thinking about the aspects of ourselves that we like the least and looking for explanations of what really prompts us to do this in other places. such situations. After all, in these cases what we have most at hand are self-justifications and half-truths that we say to ourselves.
2. Self-discovery does not rely on introspection
Many people believe that self-discovery primarily involves introspection to find mental content that had been hidden until then. In other words, to achieve this you need to do something like stay in a quiet and secluded place, close your eyes, and focus on analyzing your own thought flow.
However, this view of the mind is an illusion, as it is influenced by a philosophical position known as dualism. According to the dualism applied to psychology, the mind and the body are two different things, and therefore to develop self-discovery, one has to try to “cancel” the body and focus only on the mind, which would have layers. of different depths, because although it is not a physical thing, it emulates what it is and, metaphorically, has volume.
So lead self-discovery initiatives it’s not about focusing on yourself and forgetting your surroundings. In any case, we must stop to analyze how we interact with our environment on a daily basis. We are what we do, not what we think.
3. The opinion of others matters too
It is not true that each of us has clearly privileged access to information about the way we are.
In some aspects of our life, it is clear that we know more than the rest, especially with regard to those facets of our own daily life that we prefer to keep hidden, but with regard to the overall conception of who we are, friends. , family. . and generally people from our closest social circles they know a lot about who we are and how we behave.
In fact, unlike what happens to us, since they do not need to strive to distance themselves from their awareness of the more negative aspects of who we are, they are often able to weigh in a more balanced way which forces and imperfections define us. Of course: it is important not to be labeled and to be clear that time and experiences can change us.
4. New situations tell us more about who we are
By embarking on the path of self-discovery, it is important to completely reject essentialism. What is essentialism? It is simply a philosophical position known to nurture the idea that things and people have a clear identity and different from the rest of the elements, which remains constant and withstands the passage of time.
When someone says, for example, that an old acquaintance was born as a neighborhood and will continue to be a neighborhood regardless of what happens to them (e.g. winning the lottery), they have an essentialist perspective, well that without knowing it.
Essentialism is an obstacle to self-discovery, because it is not true that we are born being one thing and die being exactly the same.
If our explanations of who we are don’t change, even as we continue to have new experiences that give us new information about who we are, something is wrong. Maybe we still cling to those myths about ourselves through which we automatically fabricate a self-concept, without noticing it.