As I sat down over the last month to review the past year, think about what I want out of the next year, and craft my words and intentions for the year, I began to also look at why this work has been so transformative in my life.
The work I did this year went even deeper than the work I did last year. I am even more clear about what I want, and it took less time and work to get there. Why the change?
Because every year, I know myself better and better.
Over the years, I have done a lot of personal growth work, invested in programs and trainings, and worked with coaches. My intention behind all of this work has been to get to know myself better.
Taking that journey of self-discovery has resulted in massive transformations in my life. Every year, I experience more growth, become more the woman I know I am and move in the direction of the life of my dreams.
Here is why it works.
Only when we know ourselves can we know what we want out of life
I spent my late teens and early 20s drifting through life, confused about what I wanted. A lot of this stemmed from external guidance and expectations, but that all wouldn’t have had such a profound effect on me and my life had I had more confidence in what I knew to be true about myself.
Later, when I reconnected with my desire to create, I started my graphic and web design business. I wasn’t totally off base there. I knew I loved graphic design. But I didn’t do the deep work and later realized this sort of business sacrificed one of my major values – freedom. I ended up reaching a place where I felt trapped in my business. It ended up leaving me feeling almost as unfulfilled as the jobs I previously held – a feeling I was looking to escape.
I don’t regret the pieces of my journey. I have learned so much over the years from each experience. However, if I had known myself better and had confidence in the things I knew to be true, I could have found my path to fulfilling work sooner.
The more we know about ourselves, the better we can identify what we want out of life. We can save ourselves time and unpleasant experiences by really doing the foundational work of who we are to discover what we truly want and what’s a good fit for us.
Knowing ourselves leads to more successful goal setting
This goes right into goal setting. So often when we set goals, we aren’t doing that foundational work. We pull a goal out of the air that sounds good. We think it gets us where we want to go. Or we set a goal that meets an external expectation of who we think we should be (the achievement-oriented career track or wearing a certain jean size for instance).
When we set goals in these manners, we don’t have a strong “why” for achieving the goal. We end up quickly abandoning the goal or we fall short at the end of the year and don’t feel very good about ourselves. Either way, these goals aren’t really getting us the results we want. That’s because we don’t even know what those desired results are!
When we do the work to get to know who we are and what we want, we can set aligned goals with a strong “why” behind them. We are more likely to follow through when the actions are aligned with what we want. And the journey to achieving those goals feels a whole lot better.
Knowing ourselves leads to meaningful change in our lives
When you pair these two together – knowing what you want and setting goals you’ll follow through on, you start to create change in your life. The thing is – this change isn’t just any old change. It’s meaningful change. These changes move you towards the life you want. When you know who you are and what you want and set goals and rituals that move you in that direction, you start to create a life that is an expression of who you are. And that is how you live a fulfilling, heart-centered life.
I want all of this for you too. I want you to really know yourself, inside and out. To be confident in the woman you are no matter what others have to say about who you are or who they think you should be. I want you to know what you want out of life and begin to create a life better than your dreams. I know it’s possible for you.