Too often we take on board roles and responsibilities, whether chosen by us or not and we walk the streets in the robes of our roles. We are daughters taking care of our parents, we are partners in relationships, we are parents tending to our children, we are career women earning a living, we are friends supporting our peers, and the list can be endless varying from person to person. Amidst all of these roles, who we are? Are there hidden roles and responsibilities we have taken on board without it even knowing it? Do you only take stock of your life after a crises or major event? Are you so busy with responsibilities that you have lost yourself, your happiness, balance and energy in the process?
Take a snapshot of your life, re-discover your identity beyond roles and responsibilities and regain balance, energy and happiness. The following techniques are designed to raise awareness helping you on a journey of self-discovery with practical ways to implement the real you into your everyday life.
Part 1: Take a snapshot of your life
We often take stock of our lives during or after major life events, on birthdays or new years eve - proclaiming that this is the year that will bring change. However, you need not wait for such events to take a quick snapshot of your life and this simple exercise will shift your perspective and raise your awareness.
Look at the diagram below, shade each segment on a scale of 0-6 to show how satisfied you are with that particular part of your life. 6 is most satisfied, 0 is least satisfied.
When you look at the diagram now, what do you notice? Are you surprised that some elements of your life are quite good or require more attention? If the outline of your shaded area was the wheel of a bicycle - how bumpy or smooth would that ride be?
Now go through each section of the circle and ask yourself the following questions:
1. What do I appreciate the most about this part of my life?
2. What frustrates me the most about this part of my life?
3. What can I do in the next week to improve this part of my life?
4. Who can assist me in improving this part of my life?
5. What would it be like if this part of my life was rated higher?
Part 2: Discover your identity
Our personalities evolve over time through life experiences and people. The core of who we are usually remains constant and in tact regardless of career changes, forthcoming parenthood, looming retirement etc. To discover your identity amidst the roles and responsibilities you have, take a few minutes to ponder over the following questions which will also help to unravel your core values:
1. What are the qualities that define you?
2. What is important to you in life?
3. What frustrates you in life?
4. What brings you joy in life?
5. What are you good at?
Part 3: Regain balance, energy and happiness
On a daily basis start asking yourself these powerful and practical questions aimed to help bring forth more of who you are into your experience.
- Be curious before taking on more roles, responsibilities or duties consider asking yourself:
'Why do I want to do this? How does this fit in with who I am? Am I able to take this on and still make time for myself and my other responsibilities? Whose expectation am I managing here, mine or someone else's?'
- Be aware of your behaviour:
'Am I mothering those around me and therefore taking on board hidden roles and responsibilities? Am I denying experiences others can have in their own lives when I take on their responsibilities?
- Be an allower: 'Do I take on all of these responsibilities because I feel that others can't do them? Am I inadvertently training others to give me more responsibilities because I always say yes and deliver? Am I discouraging others to learn and grow by always opting to take on responsibilities?
- Be kind: 'Do I take out any time for myself on a regular basis? What changes can I make in the next week to make time for myself to do things I enjoy? What would bring me some joy into my life today?
- Be supported: 'Who will support me in these changes and check in to see that I am on track? Is there a friend who I can share this part of self-discovery with?'
Peace of mind really starts with our thoughts and what we decide to focus our attention on. By taking stock of your life and discovering your identity you have already focused your attention in a different way. Part of bringing forth balance, energy and happiness is remembering who you are, what you stand for and knowing that life's moments whether they are judged as good or bad are just snapshots in time.
Don't spend your nights worrying! Latest news on Malminder's new book
The latest guide book on how to curb worry and stress quickly and effectively is due to be released mid June exclusively on Amazon. As part of an ongoing series, this guide book gives readers the tools needed to let go of worry and to focus clearly on what they want. Follow on Twitter and Facebook for more news.