At some point or the other, everyone experiences a period where they feel like they don’t know their own selves. Identity is a seemingly simple and uncomplicated concept. But, it can be the cause of great distress to some. Nevertheless, introspection helped me recognize the real me.
Who was I?
I used to be a girl who was confused about nearly everything. Uncertainty prevailed over decisions, choices, goals, aims. I didn’t even know who I really am! Whenever I was asked to describe myself, I found myself at a loss of words. I had so little idea of who I was that I would just stick to the basics – name, age, gender and class.
Now, imagine a girl so confused about her identity moving to a new city every two years. She must introduce herself over and over again. Interacting with new people was not a helpful experience because it just made me feel like other people had their lives sorted. I, on the other hand, felt like a nobody.
I did not know what I was good at, what I wanted to do or even how I wanted to spend my free time! Being asked to make lists of my strengths and my weaknesses is a task that I feel I’m not capable of doing well even today.
Why was I a stranger to myself?
Up until this point, I used to spend little time with myself. Most of my time was spent in the company of other people. At other times, I would be doing things that worked as distractions to take my mind off whatever made me uncomfortable. Rarely would I sit back and talk to myself. But with this doubt about my abilities and my capabilities, I started reducing my interaction with others people and developed a preference for solitary, productive activities.
Luckily, I was able to use this time efficiently. I realized that the reason I lacked knowledge about myself was that I never paid any attention to my own thoughts and emotions. I never reflected on anything at all! My preoccupation with the outer world and its distractions lead to an absolute ignorance about my inner world.
Discovering myself through introspection
Taking time off other activities and actually sitting with my own self without being judgemental of any thought or feeling that I had helped me find my identity. I saw the importance of accepting myself and treating myself with respect. I am glad I was able to see how essential it is to take time out from our fast-paced life and spend some of it with ourselves. Introspecting and reflecting on things helped me a lot in this process.
Although humans are social beings, we do need to spend quality time with our thoughts and feelings. A lot of us run away from spending time alone. We always search for the company of other people. Even those who want “alone time” often find themselves unable to find any because of the demands of the society.
Introspection is a great way for not just getting in touch with oneself, but also for evaluating and improving one’s mental health. It makes us aware of whatever we are experiencing. Simply giving a little time to ourselves can do wonders for us!