SRS How to get to know myself again?

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by BwanaKuu, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. BwanaKuu

    BwanaKuu New Member

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    Many people want to "know" themselves. However, I usually see these people wanting to just figure out what their personality is which I feel is really limiting instead of being liberating. It's like you're set in stone or something which just isn't true.

    When I want to know myself, I want to be able to make decisions and live in a way that will make me feel content or happy. Now I know it won't all be happy 100% of the time, nothing is. But lately I just feel like I'm treading water and have completely forgotten who I really am. I feel almost like an empty shell. I'm only 19, but I felt like when I was younger, I was much happier and was making choices on how to spend my time because I actually WANTED to do things.

    Now though, I kind of just sit around browsing forums constantly and never do anything. I feel like I've completely lost touch with who I really am. I hang out with friends, exercise and eat well, so it's nothing wrong there. I just don't feel like I'm acting and making decisions that I want to make and am kind of just going with the flow.

    For example, when presented with a choice, I usually gather as much info as possible on the choices but then I get stuck. I just still don't know which to pick, especially since most of the time, each choice is good, it's just up to personal preference. I read opinions of tons of people and this just makes things worse. I get too much information and I can't decide which I really do want because I just don't know. I seem to have no personal preference. Or if I do have a personal preference, it seems to change from day to day. I don't know what side to take in arguments. And I have this incredible fear that I'm just wasting my time in life.

    I feel this need and desire to change something but I have no idea what. I wish I could just start making decisions again because I want to make those decisions. I feel like my real self is trapped inside, suppressed by something. I want to be confident in who I am again and just live as myself instead of this empty shell. But I have no idea how to get to know myself again. Halp?
     
  2. OniMinion

    OniMinion ...recalls when this forum was actually about cars OT Supporter

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    I don't want to sprout to much since It's clear that can be overwhelming (I'm NOT being sarcastic in saying that).

    My first question is simple, are you afraid?
     
  3. Spaceering

    Spaceering I bite.

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    it seems that you are saying you want to get to know yourself from how you were in the past correct?



    If so, maybe just realize that life is like a giant wheel. Sometimes we are at the top, other times the bottom. If you are at the top, you will be at the bottom again sometime, and vice versa.


    Sometimes I find myself look back wondering what happened, and realizing that I am probably at a different point than I thought. And realizing this normally helps.

    Life is full of stages, and you are at one stage you may not like, and chances are you will be out of it and into a new one soon. Maybe the new stage will be more appealing to you.
     
  4. METALLlC BLUE

    METALLlC BLUE New Member

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    You're 19 years old, you're not going to be able to return to who you were, because who you were was a child and a teenager. It's over now. You have evolved and are moving into adulthood. All you have to do is ask yourself "Who do I want to be right here, right now?" Then become that, or at least minimally begin behaving in ways that reflect the direction you want to take.

    Transition periods are always marked by growing pains, nostalgia and adaptation.
     
  5. BwanaKuu

    BwanaKuu New Member

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    I have no answer to that question. I'm in college but only because it seemed like the logical next step. I really have no idea what I want to study.

    I have no direction because I don't know what direction I want. So I just get paralyzed by fear and don't do anything. The thing is, it's like I know there is some direction I should be going, I just can't seem to find it. I've searched and searched to no avail.

    And to the other poster, yes, I am very afraid.
     
  6. JustJeff

    JustJeff www.youtube.com/thisisjustjeff

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    I would say you are probably made of making mistakes. Mistakes are part of growing up: everyone makes mistakes. It's these mistakes that you REALLY learn who you are. Think about school. How do you learn the best? By doing examples and really WORKING through the problems and issues until you get it right.

    Why don't you follow this same logic with your life problems? Just because it works in one situation doesn't make it only for that situation. We can apply this logic to every issue that we encounter. Now it may not always be the best solution, but that is something we also must learn too.

    I say, just do it. The only thing to fear is fear itself.
     
  7. Spaceering

    Spaceering I bite.

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    there are tests you can take that tell you what sort of profession would be best for you. I have never taken them, but maybe that will help you. I have wasted about 6-8 years of my life not knowing what I am supposed to do, or what i want. I knew it was wasted time, and i dont regret it because I had a lot of wonderful lessons in that wasted time.


    Be very open to any possibility and do not be afraid to get a degree in something that may not be what you spend the rest of your life doing. For now, if you like English, get a degree in English. If you decide to take up Engineering later in life, then so be it. I did something like this, and surely many others did as well.
     
  8. BwanaKuu

    BwanaKuu New Member

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    I've taken those tests before and I always get different answers. Plus they're a bit limited in the types of professions and stick to the traditional ones when there are so many different ones.
     
  9. METALLlC BLUE

    METALLlC BLUE New Member

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    In a situation like this, generally the advice anyone who has been successful would give you is "Stop searching." Your problem is similar to someone who is trying to go to work but lost his keys. So he searches frantically -- blood pressure climbing and all -- only to finally stop in exasperation realizing he's not going to find them, and he's going to be late or be unable to show up at all. So he sits down, exhales -- blood pressure drops -- and suddenly he realize he had the fuckin' things in his hand the entire time. A big "doh" moment. We all have them, even when it comes to figuring out what directions we want to take in life.

    If you stop searching but continue to take your current classes and just keep moving forward, then you'll find your keys. When your mind isn't frantic and focused on one single thing other options become available.

    The slogan "Let go" should ring a bell. The other slogan "Easy does it" works well too.

    I have a mission statement that I wrote. It's not always easy for me to follow it but it's a daily process that will not end as long as I'm alive. One of my phrases is:

    A goal is not always meant to be reached but may only serve as something to aim at. Keep your eye on the prize. It will become clearer as you near the target, but remember you can have anything you want, but you can't have everything.

    Your goal is simple. Your present goal is to........find a goal. If you aim at that target but don't force it -- just let it go -- you'll realize that things will become clear as you do finally encroach on whatever it is that stirs your passion or interest. That's how "Easy does it works." What you're experiencing is what almost everyone I've known experiences at some point.
     
  10. Spaceering

    Spaceering I bite.

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    mb said it best, and with length. go with the flow, you will find your place. the tests can at least help narrow it down-but still are not required. You should really understand that you are not the only person going through this. Keep an open mind, and I assure you things will unfold. You will look back a few decades from now-if OT is still up- read this thread, and have a giggle or two. really, just enjoy life and as long as you do that and do what you want to do-it will all turn out. It would be awesome if you could just know this exact moment how your future would unfold-where you would be 30 years from now, and details about every step of the way....but that is where the fun in life comes-not knowing. So live each day and take the steps and details as they come!
     
  11. The Great Deceiver

    The Great Deceiver 21st Century Schizoid Man

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    Your real self is suppressed by your social character. The real self is who you are; while the social character is who you think you have to be. If you can begin to distinguish between these two modes, you can begin to differentiate between that which is innate and that which is imposed, and eventually find who you are. Who you are is what you want, what you want is what you desire, and what you desire is physical and mental gratification of your mind and body.
     
  12. The Great Deceiver

    The Great Deceiver 21st Century Schizoid Man

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    I disagree, don't go with the flow for the sake of going with the flow. Go against the flow, make your own mistakes, and experience the non-mass produced.
     
  13. Spaceering

    Spaceering I bite.

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    ok more specific. go with your flow (which sometimes may be the flow?)
     
  14. BwanaKuu

    BwanaKuu New Member

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    I've tried this before... it doesn't seem to really work. I just end up doing the same thing I always did. Nothing. Nothing I do has any real meaning, it's just to pass the time by till I can go back to bed. Nothing is really enjoyable or evokes any grand emotion in me, it's all kind of meh. However, I do feel like there are things out there that will be meaningful to me, I just can't figure out how to find them. I know they exist, they have to, just no idea how to get to them. Plus I feel like if I just go with the flow, I end up becoming like everyone around me and don't become my own person. Sure, people are going to influence who you become, but I end up feeling like an exact copy and I'm not happy because I feel like there is something else I should be doing, some other person I should be. But I have no idea how to get there.
     
  15. METALLlC BLUE

    METALLlC BLUE New Member

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    It's ok if you do nothing meaningful. If you tell yourself it's not ok, you won't be able to overcome it. Keep moving forward in your schooling even if you're uncertain of the motivation or your interests.

    When you can't figure something out and you've exhausted yourself, that's when you let it be. This phase you're going through will pass. It's important to also understand that there is always conflict and confusion before there is clarity.

    Here is another quote from my mission statement. Part of it is from something Bruce Lee said. It stuck with me.

    B
    e like flowing water - Naturally flow towards fulfilling your destiny. Never strive, never resist, never stand still. Be formless; find a way through any obstacle in your path. Water can't be broken. Water can flow gently or swiftly, swirl around, or crash violently, solidify as ice, turn to vapor in moments. Water maintains overall equilibrium and contains yin/yang and applies only as much force as is necessary. Water is life in motion.


    Going with the flow doesn't mean you allow circumstances or people around you to define you. You're still free to choose who you want to be in relationship to events. If you are inflexible and keep striving in an inefficient way, you will stay where you are. If you push against a brick wall or stand there silently, the result will be the same. You think I'm asking you to stand silently -- but I'm not. I'm asking you to be proactive in changing this circumstance. The problem is it seems counter intuitive. You think that if you relax that you'll be consumed even further in the feelings and circumstances that you're already in. However, if you stop pushing against the wall, calm yourself, you'll realize soon enough that you can climb "over" it rather than trying to push through it. Finding your way "through" an obstacle doesn't mean literally pushing through it.

    This is what I'm talking about. You feel like you should be someone other than who you are and thus think you should struggle against that. That isn't reality. You are who you are and you must accept that. If you do this, you'll find what you're looking for. You aren't what you do. You do what you are. Right now you're conflicted and confused and so the results you're seeing are just that. Focus on relaxing your mind instead of telling yourself you're not where you should be. Meditate, pray, write down some thoughts that come to mind about what you want or who you want to be. Write a list after you've accepted that you are where you are and you are who you are -- even if that person is confused, disorganized, bored, and feeling "meh."

    I once read a story that reflext the concept I'm explaining to you. It's about a willow tree. It's a japanese analogy. It begins with an oak tree and the small willow tree. The heavy snow came and the mighty oak resisted with all its might. Although strong, the oak tree finally gave way to the heavy weight of the snow and its limbs snapped falling to the ground. Meanwhile, the same snow fell on the willow tree. Instead of resisting, the willow bent easily with the weight of the snow. With each bend the snow fell from the branches, thus allowing the willow to survive.

    The more you want something the more you get exactly that -- more wanting. If you don't accept the present moment, you won't progress, because you can't move from point A to B unless you first acknowledge that you're at Point A and that it's perfectly ok to be there.
     
  16. BwanaKuu

    BwanaKuu New Member

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    Thanks for the lengthy response, it has been helpful. I guess I need to get over the idea that I must find myself right now and just focus on what I can do right now and not get consumed in trying to find one way to live or one direction in life and just try the ones I think of.

    That willow tree example reminded me of a stupid game of red rover I played at my high school (it was during a retreat, Catholic school). We switched teams up at one point and this one kid told us the only way to win was to let your arms relax and just let them push your arms. If you're tense, they break through easily. I did it with him and it worked perfectly.

    I've heard the Bruce Lee quote before but never really understood it.

    Again, thanks for the help, if anyone else still has advice, I'm all ears.
     
  17. METALLlC BLUE

    METALLlC BLUE New Member

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    You're welcome. Sorry if it was long winded.

    They use that "Easy dose it" Slogan in AA. Taking it easy -- but keeping your eyes on options as they appear -- is often the fastest route to recovery based on the reports of Recovering Alcoholics. Trying too hard results in relapse and counting the days of sobriety. It's like waiting to leave work. The more you watch the clock it ends up feeling like it's never going to end. Only by letting go and just doing the work will time be perceived as moving more quickly.

    If some of this information is useful to you, you'll likely find reading books on philosophical methods of overcoming adversity or obstacles to be inspiring and informative. I read them before bed. I have ungodly obstacles in my life so I know how difficult it is. I feel the same way you do a lot but I keep following the advice given. I can only do what I can do "right now" and right now I have to accept that I can't exercise or walk easily. I can't work, I can't sleep well -- none of it is my fault and the harder I push the more my illness pushes back. I have to go at the pace the illness allows and focus on the root of the problem, not the leaves on the tree. The root is the illness and so all my attention is focused on that and the rest I let go of.

    I found a book called "Conversations With God" very useful for it's philosophical concepts. It changed my entire outlook. I'm not religious so don't let the "God" thing scare you away. It's an entertaining book.
     
  18. Jester

    Jester OT Supporter

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    I went through the same shit. My old man told me (in a rare sentimental moment), when I brought this up with him...

    "You're looking for answers. At your age, I was looking for answers, too... what I didn't know at the time was that I didn't even know the right questions yet. I would never have guessed that the greatest answer I would ever find would be holding you in my arms when you were born, and I never even thought about the question before that moment."
     
  19. Jester

    Jester OT Supporter

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    Couldn't agree more

    If I could relive my life at a similar age, I'd do it in a way that wouldn't involve grasping at the rope that could pull me up into "myself"...

    Rather, I'd focus on accomplishing an enabling goal that might lead to a better solution down the road.
     
  20. Jester

    Jester OT Supporter

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    Pick a direction and dive the fuck in. Flip a coin if you have to, but do something. Even if it leads you astray, you can reload and take the, "path less traveled by."

    If you're constantly in pursuit, you'll feel a lot better about yourself... and you just might find something you genuinely like along the way.
     
  21. BwanaKuu

    BwanaKuu New Member

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    Though I won't know for sure that I will stay this way, I think the idea that I am whoever I am finally sunk in. I think I've just been so pressured (by myself and others) to have some sort of life plan laid out already. What career to pursue, what type of person I'll be, etc.

    This analogy may be stupid, but this is how I see it. I've been stuck in a bubble and had all sorts of information available to me. Lots of different information about careers, trying to figure out my personality. I've constantly worked over this information but I still can't come up with a decision on how to proceed. Every little choice I make is analyzed, hoping to "reveal" who I am and what sort of choices I must make. But I never am sure what is right so I just stay in that bubble, not going anywhere.

    But now I realize I should just take a step forward. Stop being afraid of what might happen and try to control it all. Instead, just do something. And never stop walking. Always keep going, continue to make decisions and see how it all unfolds before you. Sure, there will be times when I must gather information before making a choice, but the questions I was trying to answer were far too hard. And if after gathering the info I still can't decide, just choose. Better than not choosing. I'll see how things weave together, but I'll try to let go of not moving forward. I guess I can't really answers the questions I was asking and instead need to take action and see where my journey takes me. I NEED to just keep choosing and not let my life become stagnant and never accept one idea or philosophy as the ONE way of doing things. Because that will just lead to more stagnation in my life. Hell, even if it's small things, I need to keep going forward. Each little piece links together and who knows what might happen. I want to explore life and not know the answers to where I should go. I'll find out. Also, maybe I need to realize there is no "right" or "wrong" way for most people, but we just keep pushing and see what happens.

    EDIT: Also, maybe now I can focus on the things I'm actually doing since I won't have my head so full of questions and thinking about where I should take my life.
     
  22. METALLlC BLUE

    METALLlC BLUE New Member

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    You've not just moved onto the next part of my Mission Statement!

    E
    xperiences are neither "good" or "bad" they just "are" - There is always purpose, meaning, and opportunities to be found so don't judge the "moment".


    It can be, it is meant to be, it will be. Be thankful in advance for the "pre-sent" opportunities in your world. (Pre-sent means Present) If you neglect what you have, and who you are, and who is there, all is meaningless.

    Decide what your greatest burdens and dissatisfactions are and work to fix them before anything else, so they do not subconsciously drag you down. Surface your deepest causes of unhappiness and deal with them, by action or forgiveness. "Know the truth and the truth will set you free." Until you release these negative states, there will be conflicts within you – conflicts that will express themselves in disease(mental and or physical), unhappiness, confusion, and the illusion of failure. If lost, ask for directions: kneel and pray or meditate and contemplate.

    If you have questions about any of these, ask and I'll explain further. By making the decision you are, you are surfacing some causes of your unhappiness. You've also stopped to ask for directions by talking with us. You've also begun to let go and to recognize that "good and bad" don't have to label your particular circumstances, but rather you can avoid that and simply experience it, accept it for that moment as it is, and then work through it.
     
  23. vodka_lover

    vodka_lover OT Supporter

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    i dont have time to read the whole thread at the moment but the first post is exactly how i feel too
    im turning 23 and i feel like i used to be a much more decisive person than i am today. i used to be able to see things more black and white and make concrete decisions.
    for career i chose accounting, bam! it was a no brainer at the time. i still think its a solid choice and im sticking with it, but if i had to chose again my mind would probably explode and i wouldnt be able to make a decision.
    socially as well i feel like i used to be able to cut ppl out of my life if i thought they were fucking with me or just not contributing anything. but now i often latch on to destructive friendships/relationships just because they have been around for so long.
    i cant really define myself or anything in life. i dont think it has to do with gaining a broader perspective with age, ive always been a very aware person.
    blah
     
  24. polishillusion

    polishillusion New Member

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    Non-Violent Communication

    Social Therapy, East Side Institute

    Start with these two and you'll get what you are looking for.
     
  25. Godspeed

    Godspeed New Member

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    You're looking for something that's going to make you go "Hey, this is what I've been looking for!" That sort of thing doesn't REALLY exist. You may get moments where you think you found what you're looking for but it never lasts. Get yourself out of that mindset and think more "In the now". It sounds terribly cliche but it's true. Make a conscious effort to be more spontaneous and when you find yourself thinking about things too much, because it also sounds like you have way too much time on your hands, do something productive. Just jump up and do something, even if its late at night or whatever.
     

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