5 steps to your own self

There are many paths that lead to our true self. Experts have named us five main stages that will allow, looking inside ourselves, to open up more fully towards the world..

1. Make peace with the past


Our personality already contains the choices that were once made by our parents and all those with whom we identify ourselves. We cannot completely become ourselves if we are shy or afraid of the heritage of past generations, but it takes time to get rid of this burden. Only by the age of 30 they begin to try to live their own life, not comparing their own successes with the achievements of their parents at the same age. Others only get rid of the shame of an alcoholic mother or father who abandoned the family by forty. “Being real” is also not easy because, as the sociologist Vinsent de Gaulejac puts it, “the individual seeks to become the protagonist of the story that shaped it.” “Historians know that there is no truth,” he explains. – After all, history, especially our own, is a narrative, that is, a subjective construction, including our subjective opinions. The main thing is not to establish the truth, but to come to a calm perception of what we know. ” Our task is to consider facts from the life of our ancestors and their actions, using the methods of history, sociology and psychology for this. This work allows us to better understand their motives and remove the aura of drama from some of their decisions. We can find out why there is a secret or mental illness in the family, and relieve the guilt that sometimes our family history inspires in us..

2. Strive for self-realization


Reconciliation with the past is only the first step. Even soberly and calmly perceiving yourself and your past, you can feel that you are living on the sidelines of your own life. As 38-year-old Ekaterina confesses, she has not yet found the case that would allow her to fully reveal herself. “Selfhood is something that is inherent in every person from birth,” says Jungian psychotherapist Tatiana Rebeko. “This is something unique and unrepeatable that is in each of us. Finding yourself, finding the meaning of life, realizing yourself is the goal of any existential search. Crises, the problems we have to face, signal in which direction we need to move, where are our weaknesses. It is important to treat your problems as helpers and believe in your life purpose. The path of self-realization begins with trust in oneself, in one’s feelings, experiences and dreams. ”When we feel that our work does not give us the opportunity to realize our deepest aspirations, we lose enthusiasm, desire to create, and then the taste for life. If we are content with cheerlessly following other people’s instructions, then we risk falling into depression. To get closer to understanding yourself, it’s worth reflecting on four aspects of professional life: talent (what you do well), passion (what you enjoy doing), necessity (obligations that I have to take into account), and meaning (does the work fit my beliefs). By analyzing these factors for ourselves, we can find one or several areas in which they all connect. If we succeed in this, then we will receive great satisfaction from the coincidence of the desired and the actual, our inner world and our practical activity..

3. Work with emotions

“TREAT YOUR EMOTIONS AS A MESSAGE THAT NEEDS TO BE DECODED”. Boris Shapiro, family psychotherapist

Another way into the depths of our “I” is our emotions. You should be especially attentive to them when, at first glance, they seem inadequate: everything seems to be in order, but we suddenly feel sad, or we feel an inexplicable anxiety. “I have great control over myself and can behave very evenly, without showing the slightest sign of sadness or anger,” says 29-year-old Pavel. “The trouble is that I don’t listen to myself and only learn about my feelings at the moment of the explosion.” If emotions overwhelm us, it’s worth thinking: what are they trying to tell us about? It is more correct not to react to something that touched us right away and wait for the moment when we can put emotions into words. “You need to trust your emotions,” says family therapist Boris Shapiro. – They are much more accurate than reflections, they can explain to us how we relate to what is happening in our life. When we are happy or sad, surprised or angry, our feelings necessarily have a reason. ” Emotions often express needs that we ignore: to be understood, to receive recognition, and respect. “Emotions should be taken seriously,” continues Boris Shapiro, “to think of them as a message that should be deciphered”.

4. Learn to express your truth

“BEING TRUE DOESN’T MEAN TO SPEAK OUT EVERYTHING.” Svetlana Krivtsova, existential psychotherapist

We are taught from childhood to tell the truth, but we often forget that everyone has their own and that it is not so easy to express it. Darya, 33, says that in her youth she asserted herself, saying absolutely everything that came into her head: “Often my words were offensive and indecent. Well, let it be, I thought, but I am a whole person, I do not betray myself. ” “Being truthful does not mean saying everything,” comments existential psychotherapist Svetlana Krivtsova. – You can talk about the experience that you see in the other, or about the impression that he makes on you. This will also be true, but it will not hurt another. ” Sometimes telling the truth means going through a kind of initiation: when we say not what was expected of us, but what we feel, realizing how dear it will be to pay for it. Telling your boss that you disagree with him – and be prepared not to go on vacation in the summer. Knowing at the same time that you have children and they have their own truth: they want to spend the holidays with their parents. Truthfulness requires some effort – both in the choice of the form and in terms of the meaning of our statement. We must look for words that reflect our thoughts or state, while respecting the one to whom these words are addressed. In terms of form, we should try to speak first of all about ourselves, and not about the interlocutor, to use “I” rather than “you”, because our own feelings are the only truth available to us. And in fact, by our statements, we must admit our own vulnerability, what society considers weakness. Truthfulness about our shortcomings (but without self-pity and self-admiration) gives our personality beauty if we do not hide them, but try to fix them..

5. Decide on a close relationship


Proximity is the field where you can find yourself, because it implies the ability to let another person into our territory without pretending or perceiving him as an invader. Conversely, we must decide to enter the territory of the other in order to accept and love him as he is. “Living together helps me to be myself,” says 34-year-old Victoria. – But, perhaps, there is also an inverse relationship: precisely because I learned to accept myself, I was able to decide on a life together with my friend. “It is important to understand what feelings, states and needs arise in us during communication. Often, the main thing becomes the desire to please, and then we look closely at the interlocutor, “calculate” him, – says family psychotherapist Anna Varga. – And it turns out the way to him, and not the way to yourself. ” For a relationship to be truly close, you need to tell friends and family about your true thoughts, feelings, and desires. Sincerity requires trust (both to your neighbor and to yourself), and at the same time strengthens it. “But hearing and understanding each other is always not easy,” continues Anna Varga, “you need to make an effort to this. It is impossible to understand who you are without feedback, and in order to receive it, you need to open up to others. In order for communication to really lead to understanding of oneself and others, one must overcome the fear of condemnation and agree that misunderstanding, disappointment and discontent are also closeness. ” Communication will not be real without sincerity..