Gary Vaynerchuk recently did a video talking about the importance of figuring out who you are. Check it out below.
He’s right, without a solid grasp of knowing what you’re about, life can feel somewhat pointless. I don’t mean in the sense of what’s the point in living, but rather, knowing what you should be doing, and where you should be heading.
Those we look up to
We look up to people that have found their niche, who seem to be living the dream. They love what they do, and can’t get enough of it. Productivity is at an all time high, because they are consumed by their passion 247.
I am aware there are a lot of people, particularly those leaving school, who haven’t got a clue where their destiny lies, and frankly, how could they? Without gaining some practical experience, how can you know what you like and don’t like. You may romanticise certain professions, but until you’re doing it as an occupation, there’s no way of knowing if it’s for you.
Hobbies don’t always make good occupations
All occupations have their downside, and it’s often very different doing something for a living, to earn an income, than it is when you’re doing something as an hobby. There is a certain level of pressure, a certain degree of “have to” and deadlines to consider. This is often enough to take the fun out of it for many. So don’t fall into the trap of thinking every hobby will translate into a good occupation.
The hard bit
So back to Gary, he says “Punt everything else and go all-in. The best blue print for your success, is to look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself “What’s the purest form of who I am?“, then build a thing around that.”
So that’s the easy part, recognising you have to start by figuring yourself out. The hard part is actually doing so.
Self awareness is a key step in the process of building a life you love to live. It’s not just knowing what you like and don’t like but figuring out what you’re good and not so good at. This part is difficult and requires some soul searching. None of us like to admit we’re not so good, or even bad at things, particularly if we like to do that thing. If we don’t care about it, there’s no problem, if we care about it, or have invested time and effort into it and are still not very good at it, then there’s a problem.
We’ve all seen the Xfactor contestants that can’t hold a note, but have fooled themselves into thinking they’re the next big thing.
How to improve Self Awareness
Take a long hard look at yourself, be completely honest, ask for a honest second opinion from someone who’ll tell you the truth. Family and friends are usually not good for this, they just don’t want to upset you.
Putting your work out into the market, and seeing if people are willing to buy your stuff is probably the best gauge of the standard and desirability of your talent or lack of. I use a few methods like PPC adverts or Facebook adverts, which are great for fast, inexpensive feedback, but you need to know what you’re doing before burning through your money, if you go down this route. Drop me an email if you want some help with this at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now be warned you have to ensure you have not invested too much of yourself in whatever you are shining a light on, otherwise a knock back can be hard on your self esteem. Don’t let it be, take it as a positive, it’s informing you, it’s being honest with you and allowing you to find a more fruitful path, and preventing you from wasting our most important resource TIME.
To uncover your own interests, tendencies…
- Look at what you spend your time actually doing,
- What you like to read about,
- What websites you visit and are interested in,
- What TV programs you spend your time watching,
- What you find yourself doing when on holiday or during leisure periods
- Ask others that are close to you, what they think you like and don’t like, this can be very enlightening sometimes
And then ask “why?”. What is it about these things/activities that you enjoy, is there a common thread that runs through them. Sometimes identifying what you don’t like or even hate, helps to focus you on what you do like, so build a list of these as well.
It’s a journey of self discovery. Don’t try to fool yourself, be honest. For those that have a negative perspective of themselves already, which are usually as disproportionate as those that have overly positive perspectives, also look for a reality check, as others will not judge you as harshly as you judge yourself. So allow more positivity through if merited.
That’s it, you’ve got to do the rest for yourself. Use those around as well, in the ways discussed above. Enjoy the process, and don’t be too frustrated if it takes a little time. I often find once you have made your mind up to make a start, your unconscious mind springs into action and will gently help inform you, but you can’t push it to do so.