Considering yourself involves giving yourself time, and getting to know yourself, in order to make decisions most fitting to your life.
I began to consider myself more intentionally about 2 years ago. The catalyst was my realisation that I had a horrifying lack of self-knowledge. I had spent the past decade or so caring for and considering others ahead of myself. My intention was good and clear; I was the main caregiver for a young family. But as happens so often, I gave more than I should have and diluted myself in the process.
So with time spent learning and adding more self-focus into my life, I realised that coming back to yourself requires 2 things:
Step 1 – A Decision to Prioritise Yourself
I started small with new habits like meditation, writing and starting the day with a glass of water while setting my intentions,
Step 2 – Commitment and Time Spent Rediscovering Who You Are
– and what you like – through self-focus.
I have tried quizzes, writing, looking back, dreaming forward, and I would always suggest doing more of anything that brings you clarity about your priorities.
You will need to get comfortable with putting yourself first again and getting to understand what you really need, not just what you really want.
Self-care comes into it, but also time spent getting to know yourself again; and learning about your interests, passions, values, aspirations, and past stories.
“‘Self-care’ is a set of ritual routines of behaviors and activities that you perform regularly that contribute to your ongoing care,” “These things include hygiene, diet/nutrition, getting enough sleep, exercise, maintaining social connections, work and healthy open communication.”Fran Walfish, a family and relationship psychotherapist
Step 1 – Prioritise Yourself
Find a corner at home where you can sit comfortably, preferably alone, and do so.
I start my day with meditation. Some prefer the evening. Sometimes I do both morning and evening. No judgement. Meditation is a practice. It should suit your lifestyle.
I have young children. I did not meditate when I had babies, although looking back I wish I had. I forgot to prioritise myself at all for a few years, but that is a separate story that you can read about here if you wish.
How To Prioritise Yourself
Remember that your life and time are precious. Treat yourself as such.
I now take time to:
- sit in silence and meditate regularly because for me this is the most simple way of creating a smoother, nicer day.
- write out my thoughts, worries, aspirations, intentions, moods to clear out some space in my mind.
- drink a glass of water at the start of the day to set me off to a healthy, slower, self-focused start.
- consider my intentions for the day/ month ahead – by stating what I intend to accomplish through my actions.
Previously I didn’t apportion out my time fairly, because I gave it all away to others. I now keep some time for myself.
I am a yes-person but am learning to say no when I need to. I learnt to do so simply through repetition.
Through my growing self-knowledge, I am learning better what I need, and getting more comfortable with considering my needs too. This leads nicely into step 2 of Considering Yourself.
Step 2 – Rediscover Who You Are
Self-awareness focuses attention on the self. This inward focus encourages analytical thinking about people’s needs and environments, which contributes to a variety of self-knowledge.
Self-knowledge leads to the construction of self-concepts that guide our behaviors and beliefs.oxfordre.com/psychology
Self-awareness and self-knowledge, therefore, are necessary for decision making and personal growth.
I find it hard to remember if I had better self-knowledge 20 years ago, in my twenties and diluted it once I became a partner and parent, working and chopping and juggling my time. Perhaps I did and lost it. Perhaps I simply reached an age where I realised I needed more self-awareness.
There are seasons to our lives and as we go through them, we evolve and change. So a time comes when we might need to spend some time with ourselves again, getting to know ourselves again.
In my experience of myself and friends, this seems to happen once children reach an age where they are no longer so dependent on our care. We suddenly have a gap of time and we can choose to turn towards ourselves to fill it.
“Today, reflect on seasons of change in your life. Trees shed their leaves and are dormant before there is regrowth. What do you need to shed in order to grow?“Enneagram institute
Why Prioritise Your Rediscovery?
I believe you should prioritise yourself, and get to know yourself, for yourself, simply because your life is precious and deserves your attention.
As an immediate boon, spending time getting to know yourself, as you are now, and considering yourself again, is very likely to lead or push you along your very own journey of personal evolution, your growing up, which is something uncomfortable that we all need to do!
Also, as a very important side effect, by doing this, you will be a solid role model for your watching offspring. Further, it is highly likely that your parenting, partnering, working, and – living itself will come henceforth from a better personal space!
Besides, there are a great many people in this world, so wouldn’t it be a good thing if we got to know ourselves, and celebrated our uniqueness? Wouldn’t it be a positive thing if we treated ourselves well by considering ourselves as well as others?
I wrote a blog post about being your unique self.
How To Rediscover Who You Are
Writing is a simple, accessible tool for helping rediscover who you are. I am a big believer in writing; journaling, morning pages, stream of consciousness writing. Name it what you will – I find writing to be an easy way of sifting through the scrambled thoughts and clearing paths towards more clarity.
Writing has also helped me get reacquainted with myself by spilling myself honestly onto my notebook pages. It has also helped me to notice habits and patterns and cycles in my life, some of which I have decided to shift.
I came across these writing prompts in healthline which I enjoyed.
- keeping a daily journal of your routine, conversations with friends, emotions, hobbies, personal frustrations — anything that comes to mind.
- making a list of experiences you’d like to have
- challenging yourself to try something new each day
- identifying, through lists or journaling, your key likes and dislikes
- identifying strengths and areas where you’d like to grow
Besides writing, start simply by noticing what lights you up, and what upsets you. Take notice of yourself. Notice what comes easily and what you can do for hours. Ask friends for feedback (“courage, dear heart”) if you think that will serve your rediscovery. Take time to excavate the treasure that is you! Keep it light, because you are learning about yourself for yourself first, and also for others.
Considering yourself is a gift from you to you. Your life is as precious as anyone else’s, so cherish it and add your needs and rest and aspirations into your schedule too.
To facilitate a simpler structured day, I put together a freebie for you so you can start to make some simple habit shifts and begin to improve the quality of your life, simply. I called it Scattered to Serene and you can grab it below.
It has a few simple systems for your mornings, your days and your evenings to serve as a loose framework for not just getting through the days, but getting through them well.
Over to you.
And thanks as always for reading.