We are always in research mode.
It may sound odd, but it’s true! We’re always finding out new things about ourselves, other people, and the world around us. We will often take that information and subsequently apply it in a way that’s useful going forward.
An example of this might be if you try a food that you’ve never eaten before. If you end up liking it, you’ll know that it’s safe to order or make again. If you don’t like it, you’ll probably avoid it in the future.
Either way, you’ve learned something new by researching yourself, taking the information, and using it.
In today’s article, I want to expand on this concept of researching yourself. How can you be more deliberate in your research? How do you go about asking yourself questions, even if you think you already have the answer?
Basically, how can you continue to be curious about yourself?
What Does Researching Yourself Mean?
When you’re preparing, say, for a job interview, you might do a search of yourself on the internet in order to see the information that your potential employers have about you. That way, you’re prepared to answer any questions they may have on what they see. This could be seen as an external search.
When I talk about researching yourself, I’m referring to an internal search: Who are you growing into? What are your next steps? In a nutshell: Who are you?
I always say that clarity comes in the dialogue. This can be true for dialogue and clarity within yourself, too.
Take the time to research your goals, ambitions, and options for moving forward. With this knowledge, you’ll be armed with what it is you may actually want and how to go about getting it.
Why Is It Important to Know Yourself?
According to an article by Psychology Today, there are plenty of reasons why it’s important to know yourself. Overall happiness, better decision-making, and empathy toward others are just a few of the benefits cited in the article.
Knowing yourself puts you one step closer to knowing what it is you want from this life. It can change at any given moment, but that’s where this continuous research comes into play.
Sometimes, we don’t ask ourselves questions because we believe we already have the answer. While this may be true in some cases, it’s also important to remember that you’re constantly growing and changing. Who you were six months ago may not be who you are today, and your answers might have changed.
Make a habit of checking in with yourself and exploring questions, even when you think you already have the answer. It may help to journal your thoughts. Then you can go back periodically and see how your answers have changed over time.
Questions to Ask When Researching Yourself
As you go about researching yourself, I have a few questions that you may use to get started. It could be helpful to journal about your answers, or otherwise find ways to explore the deeper meaning behind your feelings.
Remain constantly curious as you go through this research, and make sure to be patient with yourself. Sometimes, asking the “why?” is more important than getting an immediate answer.
1. What Do I Care About Most?
This is a helpful question for discovering your priorities. It could relate to your work life, as well as your personal life.
What do you care about most when you’re in the office (whether that be in person or virtual)? Getting your work done and being a supportive team member? Looking good and getting it right? Your answer to that can help determine why you’re actually doing your job and if it’s what you want to continue doing for the foreseeable future.
What do you care about most when you’re at home? Taking the time to relax and recharge? Spending time with friends and family? Working on side projects? This will help you understand your habits outside of work. It may even tell you more about what your next steps might be if you’re looking for a new job or career.
2. What Does My Perfect Day Look Like?
If you could have one day to spend doing absolutely anything you wanted to, what would you do?
Maybe you would go about your regular daily routine. If that’s the case, good for you!
Perhaps you would spend it working on your passion project. If that’s your answer, how could you go about working on your passion project each and every day?
This is another question that tells you what you may want out of life. Not every day is going to be your perfect day, but you can take steps to incorporate aspects of this ideal day into your schedule.
3. Who Can I Depend On? (Or, Who’s In My Tribe?)
We all have people that we can talk to, even if the conversation is difficult or uncomfortable. Take some time to recognize who these people are.
You may even take the time to reach out and thank them for always being there for you.
Identifying who these people are ahead of time can help you out when you’re in the midst of a crisis. You won’t even have to think before going to your most trusted person.
Plus, knowing who you depend on can tell you a lot about yourself. What about that other person do you find most comforting? Why? Why do you need to hear what they have to say when you’re in that difficult moment?
Learning and growing often comes along with uncertainties. That’s why it’s so important to continuously research yourself to better understand your needs and wants.
Maybe you need a guide as you go through this journey of self reflection. I’d be delighted to help out and give you actionable advice for exploring who you are. Get in touch with me to set up a meeting.