I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.’ Carl Gustav Jung
When you come out of a long term relationship, or indeed any relationship that has had a profound impact on you, sometimes there is an overwhelming sense of feeling lost. Not being sure exactly who you are anymore.
During a relationship, you can become a part of one person. Or it can certainly feel that way. You became a ‘we’, an ‘us’. Someone’s wife or husband, girlfriend or boyfriend. Friend circles can become joint friend groups. Opinions and values can become shared and there is a fuzzy line between what were once your views and what has become what ‘you (we)’ think. Or perhaps you still know what you think, but parts of you have been quietened or silenced.
So you have arrived at this point. Single. Just you in this world once more. You might find yourself asking ‘Who am I?’ That certainty of who you were, that sureness of yourself….can sometimes feel elusive.
What a perfect time……
Now is the perfect time to re-discover yourself. You don’t want to get back to who you were. You are not the same person. You have grown. Evolved. However long your relationship was, if you find yourself asking the ‘who am i’ question, then you are a new version of you. There may certainly be parts you want to get back to and re-discover, especially if you have been bound within your relationship. However there could also be new parts of you that you want to embrace. New strengths such as what you are using right now!!! Resilience.
You have healing to do, but you also have learning, and this could be a fun and beautiful journey if you want it to be. As the quote says ‘I am not what happened to me, I am who I choose to be’ by psychologist Carl Jung, what if now was your opportunity to choose who you WANTED to be? Not what someone else thinks you are, or what you are capable of, or what you should be doing….but what YOU think about all of those things. This is not just a time for re-discovering but also a time for re-inventing!
Here are five steps that could help you find out who you really are and who you really want to be.
1. Know your values.
When we know what our core values are the world makes more sense. Values are a set of beliefs that are important to us and will influence our decisions, our actions, our behaviours and how we show up in the world. Our core values are those that are most important to us and really guide us. For example my core values are freedom, compassion, honesty and fun and my choices are influenced by the presence, or lack of, these values. If you are interested in finding out what your core values are check my blog here on how to identify them! How To Find My Core Values
2. What excites you?
This might well be linked to one of your core values, but what hobbies, activities, environments, situations really excite you? You know that feeling when you are really buzzing and full of energy? It might be going dancing, or doing some sports, being out in nature, performing on stage, creating new pieces or art or music, talking with people and socialising, or it might be the thought of going away and retreating from the world immersed in peace and tranquillity. Whatever it is that ticks that box- strive to do more of that!!!
3. Notice what makes you feel uneasy?
Are you doing things, perhaps through habit, routine or obligation, that give you that uneasy feeling? Are you working in a job you have to drag yourself to each morning? Are you running errands for someone that shows no appreciation? Are you spending time with someone that takes time away from other valued people? Take a moment to think about that situation, where is that uncomfortable feeling coming from? What about the situation is making you feel uneasy? The likelihood is, whatever you are doing, it is against your core values. When we are working and playing in alignment with our core values it feels easy. Like flowing downstream. When we are doing things that are against our values, it can feel very, very, uncomfortable. Like trying to paddle upstream. Once you have pinpointed what they are….stop doing them! If you can, decide to just stop. If that isn’t practical, make a plan of how to cut back on doing those things until you can perhaps get to a point where you can stop…or only do it on your terms.
4. What would you like to be better at?
What have you always wanted to do but have decided that you wouldn’t be very good at? Who do you look at with admiration wondering ‘If only I could be more like them!’ Well- you can!!! Remember, this is a perfect time for you to reinvent yourself! All you need to do is DECIDE that you are going to be good at that thing. Then take action. Take the steps to make you good at it. People do it all the time- how often do you see people after they have separated, all of a sudden running marathons when before they wouldn’t even enter the mums race on sports day?! People decide, this is not who I am anymore…or…this IS who I am, and then they do it. They make a choice. It doesn’t have to be a physical thing. It can be ANYthing! You have always felt really shy but want to do public speaking- you can do it! And wow, won’t it feel good to blow people away with this new you. But despite that, won’t it feel good to YOU, to be living as the person you want to be? And that is the most important part.
5. What would you want your legacy to be?
I’m not talking about being noted in history books and remembered by the masses. Though that may well be you, and that is great. What i mean is, how do you want to be remembered by those that knew you? Those that loved you. What would you want people to be saying about you? Do you want them to say that you were kind? That you lived life to the full, you were always on an adventure, you inspired others with your actions or that you were the heart and soul of the family. What would you want your achievements to be? What would you be looking back and feeling really proud about, or feeling regretful if you did not do? Are you being that person now? Are you taking those actions now? Are you living as that person already? If not, start. Now!
Spend some time pondering these questions and you will get some real clarity on what is important to you and who you want to be. Who you really are inside. Then all you need to do is decide that you are going to be that person! It is simple really, but not always easy to do. Those pesky ingrained habits and belief patterns kick in, telling us all the reasons why we can’t do this and can’t be that. You can ABSOLUTELY rewire those beliefs so they become ones that support your new vision instead of hold you back. It starts with awareness. If you have some pesky beliefs that are keeping you stuck and you want to talk to me about them, please get in touch and we can have a chat about them.
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