For quite some time, since I’ve narrowed my teaching to self discovery, I always ask myself what the point of everything is.
I’ve written an article on what the process of self-discovery seeks to achieve and along the line I discovered that apart from the main focus and main benefits which self-discovery brings (helping the individual make informed decisions to live a fulfilling life), there are other important and noteworthy benefits that come with self discovery.
I won’t go into the definition of self-discovery in this article because it has been extensively covered in these articles:
- What Is Self Discovery?
- The Process of Self Discovery (What Does It Achieve?)
- The Self Discovery Cycle (Discover Your True Self In Three Simple Steps)
What then are the benefits of self-discovery?
Benefits of Self-Discovery
First benefit of self-discovery
1. Self-discovery bring self-awareness
Self-awareness is a result of self-discovery. Self-awareness means coming to a point of consciousness of the intrinsic conditioning that sponsor the behaviours you portray.
This consciousness is one of the vital aspect of self-discovery.
I always contrast self-awareness to self consciousness to help increase understanding. While self consciousness means unknowingly adjusting your behaviours because of the presence or perceived observation of others, self awareness is been conscious of what’s going on within you, and what is sponsoring your behaviour.
Self-awareness, for example, is being conscious of your self consciousness.
Self-awareness helps you keep track of your actions and behaviour so you don’t get fixated in a continuous stream of destructive or unproductive activities and behaviours.
Once you can identify what is causing them, you can avoid them and readjust.
The second benefit of self-discovery
2. Self-discovery helps career choice and planning
At its very root, self discovery helps the individual to make informed decisions. In the area of career choice and career planning, self-discovery helps because an individual will perform better in a career that best fits their personality, maximises their potential and builds on their experiences.
All of which self-discovery will help you understand. After the choice of career in the first place, for other major changes that the individual will need to make at various points in their career, there is a need for self-discovery.
Since self-discovery is a continuous and progressive process, it will play a vital part throughout your career journey.
The third benefit of self-discovery
3. Self discovery helps in effective goal setting
Setting life goals is almost impossible without self-discovery, at least if they are causes that will be worthwhile and achieved. Since an aspect of self-discovery is discovering your passions and abilities, you can now set clear goals that are achievable based on your understanding of your makeup and needs.
Through self-discovery you will discover your weaknesses and what need to be worked on; these discoveries will form the basis for your goals.
The nature of goals is that they are specific action steps that will take you from where you are to where you should be.
Self discovery shows you where you are and where you should be.
From my experience, everyone who continually engages in self-discovery usually is a goal setter and goal getter.
The fourth benefit of self-discovery
4. Self discovery brings self-actualization
Self-actualization is simply becoming all there is in you to become, I usually prefer to call it maximization of your potential. That is, becoming everything you can become that you haven’t yet become, achieving everything you can achieve that you haven’t yet achieved, etc.
Self-actualization is one of the key purpose of self-discovery. If you don’t take out time to understand yourself, you won’t maximize all the treasures your complexity as an individual holds.
Think of it as a seed that isn’t buried under the ground– it won’t bring forth the three that was hidden in it. Your knowledge of your potential, like a seed, will spur you into seeking of “fertile grounds” that will bring out the “tree” within you.
The fifth benefit of self-discovery
5. Self discovery brings healing
This is my favourite of all the benefits of self-discovery.
It seems there is currently no adult who doesn’t have some negative past hidden within them: either bad memories of a childhood distorted by parents or bullies, or memories of failures and disappointments they faced while growing up, or just anything.
These memories aren’t as dangerous as the effect those happenings have on the individual. It becomes even more severe when the individual cannot identify which events or experiences caused the deep hurts while they grew up.
These bad childhood experiences are what causes some psychological maladjustment like shame based thinking, guilt, low self-esteem, people-pleasing etc.
Once one has gone through self-discovery and has identified those experiences, healing is almost halfway done.
This is what we do in our counseling and therapy sessions: we seek to identify what past events are causing what the client is trying to get free from; after it is identified, we then seek to alter present realities to supplement what the past starved the individual of.
For example, if the individual is suffering from low self-esteem because of the constant abuse gotten from a dysfunctional home, what the individual is starved of is a sense of love, acceptance, or security in their self worth.
What will bring healing in this case is, therefore, an environment that will provide love and acceptance and try to convince them that they are truly worthy.
Healing takes time but it works. You can be free from all kinds of hurts from the past, but self-discovery is the first step.
The sixth benefit of self-discovery
6. Self discovery is necessary for self development
Self development, just like the word “develop” suggests, requires that you build upon your existing self. That is, add knowledge to your present knowledge, get a new mindset in modification or addition to your present mindset, or build better habits than your current habits.
For this to happen it will also require that you first discover where you are correctly; you must identify your current beliefs and mindset and the effects they having on your life to know what needs to be built upon and what to build upon it.
Since the aim of self discovery is to help the individual make informed decision and maximize their potential, the entire process will ultimately make the individual become a better person. Self discovery doesn’t stop at just discovery, but it leads to several actions, one of which is self improvement.
The seventh benefit of self-discovery
7. Self-discovery will give you an identity of self
Identity crisis is a very rampant condition in our society. Social pressure, both from our environment and the social media tells so much on us that we are almost never certain of what we should be or believe.
Identity crisis is a state in an individual’s life where they are confused about their roles and what kind of life to stick with.
An understanding of self (self discovery) will help you find what kind of life matches their unique experiences, personality and needs. This understanding will enable you to stick to roles that will best maximize your potential, and help you identify which causes and communities correlate with where you come from and what you want to become.
The eighth benefit of self-discovery
8. Self discovery is necessary for self-acceptance
It is common with every individual that times will come when we can be so aware of our flaws and weaknesses and might be caught in a cycle of trying to change what cannot be changed.
If the cycle isn’t broken, the lack of acceptance of the individual’s nature will lead to other psychological issues like depression or self low self-esteem.
Self-acceptance is therefore necessary because there cannot be acceptance without first, an understanding of self or, acceptance wouldn’t come easily if you don’t understand why some things are the way they are in your life.
Your understanding of your experiences, for instance, will help you relate with the weaknesses you developed because of those experiences and although those weaknesses might be costing you some things, you don’t beat yourself up and continue to live in regret.
Instead you will take advantage of your understanding and route a way of getting desired life results despite those weaknesses.
The ninth benefit of self-discovery
9. Self discovery helps you develop healthy relationships
In an article where I identified 51 possible reasons why you can’t make friends and keep them, many of the reasons can be attributed to a lack of understanding of self.
Apart from lack of self-discovery being a reason on its own, there are other relationship-building skills that are naturally developed when you understand yourself.
You are able to understand your strengths and what you have to contribute to relationships (what makes others attracted to you). You are also able to identify your needs and weaknesses, and know the qualities you are to look out for in potential friends.
Building relationships is strengthened on the basis of mutual benefit, so understanding yourself will help you know what to benefit and what benefits to give.
Also, whenever your relationships are facing challenges, you can easily diagnose what could be causing it– if the cause is from you or not.
The last benefit of self-discovery
10. Self discovery helps in getting a sense of purpose and fulfillment
A sense of purpose is built when an individual has an assurance they are contributing to society in some significant way while fulfillment comes when progress is being made in whatever tasks or cause any one considers worth pursuing.
But making significant contribution and having continuous progress in a worthy task requires that you discover what you could contribute and continue contributing to till you see progress.
That is, you must identify your abilities and passion. Finding these abilities and passions and committing to them, saves you from a life that has no meaning and what to look forward to.
Also, you don’t fall to the other end of getting involved in activities that saps excitement out of your life. By understanding your experiences, potential and personality you can find a career and a life that will keep you engaged, and give you a sense of purpose and a continual feeling of fulfillment.
11. Self-discovery can save you from depression
Imagine a life where the individual understands the psychological activities behind their behaviours, is settled in a fulfilling career, sets and achieves goals, continually gets better in everything they do, have a clear sense of identity, has healthy and satisfying relationships, is healed from all emotional and psychological hurts, and is fulfilled with a clear sense of purpose!
This is the life self-discovery can bring to an individual if maximized.
This life is a cure to the depression many are facing that aren’t clinical (can’t be cured with pills) but rather congruent or situational (existing because of the ill circumstances that surround the life of the individual).
For all depressions that aren’t clinical, self discovery is the first step and a major step towards freedom.
The place of self-discovery cannot be overemphasized. It benefits the individual psychologically, socially, career-wise and ultimately gives them a life full of fulfillment and purpose, if maximized.
This entire website is aimed at taking you through the several aspects of self-discovery and helping you fully harness all individual benefits it brings.
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Olusegun Iyejare is career coach and certified counsellor. He helps entrepreneurs balance mental wellbeing and entrepreneurial success. Think about maximizing your potential or living a fulfilling life and Olusegun is your go to person.