“I think self-awareness is probably the most important thing towards being a champion.” — Billie Jean King
Learning the principles might take a little while. It’s mostly about asking yourself questions and learning to be open to the fact that not all the answers will be all that flattering.
Now, what really takes time is getting to know yourself. The fact that we’re constantly evolving, changing, and adjusting makes it a life long pursuit. It’s a project with no other end than the fact that sooner or later we die.
What I think you’re trying to get at is a fixed number of years it usually takes before we reach the point at where we stop kidding ourselves and get rid of the pretense that we’re something we’re not.
Unfortunately I can’t give you one. All I can tell from my own experience and that of others is that it can be accelerated by constantly challenging and exposing yourself to people and ideas that go against your preconceived notions of who you are and the way in which you view the world.
For me questions, books, and meditation are a massive part of the equation.
There’s a lot of pain involved as well. There’ve been times when I’ve cried or experienced panic attacks. Yes, those wonderful bouts of not being able to breathe and feeling like I’m dying, because the feeling of “Who am I?!” came washing over me.
One thing that sticks out is when questioned myself about why I was constantly trying to be such a goody-two-shoes, when I suddenly realized I was just trying to be the man I wished my biological father had been.
Realizing that I wasn’t doing it out of my own free will made me question many decisions in my life, and it resulted in some serious weeping.
Fortunately those are just passing emotions, but you might want to be prepared to face those moments. They might be a part of your process. If they’re not, it’s OK too.
It isn’t meant to be a badge of honor. Everyone needs to deal with their own set of issues when discovering themselves.
While I’m never going to be finished I feel that the initial part of my journey took me from about the age of 16 to somewhere around 25–27. At 16 was when I seriously started questioning myself and my beliefs. Then it took me a decade to come to the moment where I felt I had a solid handle on what triggers me, when, where, and why.
Also, the first couple of years my development was pretty quick. Then around 20 I hit what felt like a plateau which lasted for 2–3 years. After that it took me another 4–5 years before I reached a small sense of “mastery”.
Now, this is just my journey so far. There’s still a lot to go through for me. Also, this isn’t meant to serve as some blue print of what it’s like for everyone.
Take the lessons and ideas people share, see what’s applicable to your life, and put the rest aside for now.
How well have you gotten to know yourself? Do you have an experience or story you’d like to share?
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Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!