Why Losing Yourself is Just as Important As Finding Yourself

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Life doesn't come with a "How-To" manual. Much of what happens in life is trial and error. We find out what works by learning from what doesn't. That same philosophy can be used to help us find out who we are. "Finding yourself" doesn't mean having a zen moment or an epiphany. It is a process that can be difficult and heart wrenching at times. People who sail through life seem to have it all. What we don't see, however, is what goes on inside their heads. While watching others can be a learning experience, the most valuable lessons are those we learn about ourselves.

Losing yourself is ok.

We have been exposed to a society where strength is everything and failing is a sign of weakness. The only true sign of weakness is letting failure best you. If a person wants to find themselves, they need to look at how they respond to their lowest points. It's OK to lose yourself and have a bad day. Eventually, though, you let go of the bad things that happened and start to regroup. First, your thoughts, and then your actions. Odds are you won't have to make the same mistake twice to learn your lesson. The same is true if we are forced to acknowledge one of our faults. When you make a mistake you can either deny it and try to cover up your mess, or you can step up and own it. It may not be pretty, but it's yours.

Sometimes you have to go low to know how high you can reach.

No one will ever skate through life on an all time high. At some point, something will crash into their cloud and bring them plummeting back to reality. For most of us, if you want to realize the high points, you need to look at them from below.

We all go through bad times. It doesn't make us bad people and it isn't because we did something wrong. Our downfall may be caused by someone else's actions. You can try and get revenge, but the only thing that accomplishes is making you look bad in the long run. It's fine to defend yourself and build yourself up, but never do so at the expense of others. Your value and worth come from who you are and how you react to the most difficult situations. Don't stoop to another person's level. It just lowers you back down from where you just came from. Instead, assess the damage, evaluate your position and move forward. The best way to get back at someone who is out to get you is to be a success in spite of them.

Understand the benefit of failing.

Everyone makes mistakes and we all know the sting of failure. The phrase, "pick yourself up and dust yourself off" applies. While you are in the process of picking yourself up, look around. Take a good look at yourself. Assess your part in what has happened and figure out what you need to do to change the situation so it doesn't happen again. Failures are only failures if you let them best you. If you turn each failure into a learning experience then you have actually succeeded.

Losing yourself...

Finding yourself and understanding who you really are is what life is all about. The problem is, you can't find yourself if you don't know what losing yourself feels like. In order to find you, you have to create the learning experiences you need to prove to yourself just how strong and resilient you really are. Have faith in yourself and look at each mistake as a challenge to be bested. Not only will you find yourself, you may actually learn to love yourself even more.