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Do you know who you are, really? 12 steps to finding out ~ by Sapphire Dalton

Introducing Sapphire Dalton, baby boomer, magistrate, therapist, widow, mother and supporting character in Martine’s POISE Archives, urban fantasy series. Sapphire’s blog, which will be a weekly event, will explore motivational and inspirational quotes, looking at what they might mean for you and how you might use them. Her thoughts are presented here ‘in character.’

Hello readers, and welcome to my blog. This is a new and exciting venture for me, having previously been confined to the pages of a paranormal contemporary fantasy book, but although I exist only through the imagination of my English novelist, I take what I do very seriously, aiming to help and support everyone I make contact with. That is not to say that we won’t have some fun along the way. I have put a link at the bottom of the blog to follow if you wish so that you don’t miss a thing.

So, shall we get started? Today we are looking at a very powerful piece of advice from Sheila Murray Bethel:

One of the most courageous things you can do is identify yourself. Know who you are, what you believe in and where you want to go.

Great advice, but easier said than done. Where do you start? What questions should you ask? How do you know when you have got it right?

Where to start?

Whilst there are online personality tests that you can take, and questionnaires to determine what kind of leader, trainer or team member you are, I find the best way to start is to begin with yourself. You will need time and a peaceful environment in which to think, without feeling under pressure. (I confess to doing some of my best thinking in the bath, but for others it could be a walk on the beach or in the park, or just sitting alone in a room with your thoughts). Make sure you have something with you take notes (yes, they do get a bit soggy in the bath, but I manage.)

  1. What brings you joy Ask yourself what is it that you do that brings joy to your life? What are the things you like, not only things about your physical self and things you like doing, but about your nature, how you treat people, your values, attitudes and beliefs. What feels good?

  2. Look at your strengths What is it that you are good at? Are you using that skill or ability in the most worthwhile way, or could you be putting it to better use? Are you comfortable with where you are?

  3. Be honest with yourself, acknowledge what you discover. Do not judge yourself for it. Who you are is neither better nor worse that any other soul, it is what you do with who you are that makes the difference. Accept yourself, and if that is not the person that brings you joy work to make changes so that it will be. You cannot contemplate making changes for the better if you do not understand who you are to begin with.

  4. Be Open When you are ready you will find that the right people come into your life, or people you have known for ages will suddenly offer up the opportunity to share your thoughts with them. Make sure it is someone you trust, but if you can share what you have discovered it does help to get things clearer in your mind and building open and honest relationships is very rewarding. If you prefer to keep it all to yourself, write yourself a letter, that works too.

  5. Your are unique; own it. There is no other individual on this planet with your unique blend of skills, attributes, thoughts and feelings, which means what you have to offer the world is something nobody else can do. Love this fact. Embrace that you are special, believe it, own it, use it.

  6. Don’t be afraid to try something new. New experiences, especially those that allow you to try out some of those changes you want to make for the better, help you to grow.

  7. Be kind to yourself. It may seem strange, but finding out who you really are is a journey, it is not a switch you can throw and suddenly everything fits into place. Sure, you may have times when the penny drops and so much more of who you are makes sense, but on the whole it’s a process. You discover, you change, you grow, you discover some more. Be patient and be kind, you are worth it.

What questions should you ask?

Well, we have already considered the main questions, but let’s take a moment now to look at them in a bit more detail.

  1. What feels good? This is going to be different for everyone, but if you find yourself smiling, if you feel lighter, more at ease, warm inside, I guess you could say you feel good. Abraham Maslow, creator of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs demonstrated the different levels of our existence that have to be met before we can go on to meet the next. It has never been a more important time to understand this with so many people in debt, homeless and living in fear. If you are one of the lucky ones who have your basic needs met and can make your way up the hierarchy, helping others to do the same can be a large part of finding that joy. I found this lovely list of ideas to help you.

  2. How can you get the best out of what you are and what you can do? If you are in a job that does not allow you to feel good about what you are doing, there are still several things you can do. You can look to make changes in the future whilst building your skills and education through the many free or subsidised online or local college opportunities, you can volunteer at a food bank or charity shop, or any number of community organisations, or, depending on who you work for, you can approach your bosses and suggest ways in which your work could be more fulfilling. (If you chose this last option, make sure you present it to them in a way that will benefit them somehow – either by creating a happier workforce, better customer service or an improved bottom line.

  3. Are you comfortable with where/how things are? Changing your job, or getting a job might not always be immediately possible, but there is much you can do in your spare time to bring that joy into your life. Think about what is working, what could be changed, if you are going to train or re-train, make it something you are passionate about. Open Learn, from the Open University provides almost 1000 free taster courses in hundreds of different subject areas. Have a look through the list and see what shouts out at you. Even if you don’t feel like taking a course, it will help to give you some idea of what might work.

  4. What are you doing to be kind to yourself? How many times a day do you call yourself names, put yourself down, underestimate your abilities? Being kind to yourself means that this must stop. No more harsh words or critical thinking, you are doing your best with what is available to you at this time. Being kind to yourself might mean allowing time for you, putting yourself first for a change, learning to say ‘No.’ If you recognise yourself here as someone who is always finding time for others, but not for yourself, I would recommend reading A Woman in Your Own Right, by Ann Dickson. Check out this TED Talk.

I would add something from my own experience within the pages of The POISE Archives. This statement and the question it poses, provide the philosophy for Cocomo, my daughter’s Social Enterprise business in the fantasy paranormal series and, as will be revealed in the third book in the series, my own little venture. I like to consider this every day.

Statement:

The world should be a better place for a person having lived. (Anon)

Question:

What have you done today to make it so?

How do you know when you have got it right?

Actually, this is the easiest question of the lot. When you have it right you will feel joy in your heart, your mind will be content and your soul fulfilled. Things will become easier for you, that’s not to say all of your problems will go away, but you will feel as though the world is moving with you rather than against you, and only your newly defined ‘important things’ in life will matter.

I wish you joy in your journey and invite you to comment on and share this post. Do explore the rest of the site here, and if you want to make sure you don’t miss my next blog, be sure to subscribe below.

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