Take a minute to think about yourself. (Yes, a full 60 seconds. Crazy, right?)
Now tell me something: who are you?
How do you answer this? I mean you, personally. Where do you look to “find yourself” or describe your identity?
Maybe your instinct is to share your job title. (I think that’s the jumping off point for many people.) Maybe you tell me your hobbies and passions. Or you think about your past and how you’ve grown from certain experiences.
Regardless of what you’re inclined to share, your answer is determined by cards you’re already holding. Who you are isn’t hidden under a rock somewhere. It’s not out in the world for you to find.
You already have the answer. You just have to build on it within yourself.
I can guess what you might be thinking: this is starting to sound a little bit cliché. A little bit hippie, if you will.
You may be right. Let’s back up a bit.
We’re often taught to look outward and compare our lives against what others are doing, what they’ve accomplished, and who they’ve become. But they’ve gone through their own roller coaster growth process (one we don’t often see).
So let me propose a wild idea: What if we stopped looking outward for answers and started working on ourselves?
Are you still with me? I hope so because it’s not really that outlandish a thought. In fact, it’s totally possible. (Yep, I’ve done it myself.)
In working inside-out, my experience has been this:
- I’ve stopped comparing myself with others.
- I now appreciate my journey—past, present, and future.
- I can focus on how to move forward from where I am.
That last one is especially crucial for me. Before I shifted my mindset to this “inside-out growth” approach, I found it challenging (often impossible) to gain momentum. This is because I constantly compared myself to others’ journeys instead of appreciating my own.
I felt so discouraged by the gap between where I was and where I wanted to be that I couldn’t move forward.
Act on this:
So let me ask you: where do you look to identify yourself? How can you start looking inside-out today?
Maybe you spend less time on social media.
Maybe you start journaling to keep track of ideals and progress.
Whatever it is, I encourage you to start today. Start with you.