I know a boy who’s funny, creative, imaginative, passionate, strong-willed, and authentic. He provides the theme music to his own life, belting out tunes to express his daily routine. He sings about everything from eating vanilla ice cream to playing with batman in the bat-cave. When this boy hears music, he doesn’t hold back, regardless of if he is in the grocery store or grandma’s kitchen—if he feels it, he has to let it loose.
Sometimes he’s a cowboy and sometimes a secret spy. He’s been Spider Man, Batman, and even a crocodile. His lack of inhibition comes from the fact that he knows himself and he likes himself. In fact he thinks he’s pretty great, and so do I.
This boy happens to be my son.
We all know children like this, little people with grand self-esteem. They understand something about life that many of us seem to have forgotten. They recognize their self-worth and the things that make them unique, and they celebrate those things. When I watch this little boy go about his day, I wish I had less inhibition and more courage to be myself at all times. I wish that I not only acknowledged the wonderful things about me, but enhanced them more often.
What about you? Do you celebrate your uniqueness? Do you find ways to sing about all the great things about your life? When was the last time you dared to dream without restraint? How authentically do you live your life every day? What things are you waiting to do until you have more courage?
Think for a moment about your best friend. It may be your husband, mom, or someone you’ve known since junior high. What makes this person wonderful to you? What do you love about him or her? My guess is that you could get out a pencil and paper right now and make a good solid list of what makes that person unique.
Could you do the same for yourself? Could you get out a piece of paper and a pencil and sit down with your favorite snack to make a list of 50 things that make you who you are?
This might sound hard at first, but once you get going, you’ll gain momentum and soon easily surpass 50. Try it.
Answer questions such as: Who are you? What makes you tick? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? How are you progressing? What are your favorite things? What are things you don’t like?
If you are struggling, it may be helpful to ask someone you trust and love: your husband, your mother, your best friend. Whatever it requires, take a little time to get to know yourself.
There is power in knowing yourself, in seeing yourself as a complete person with likes and dislikes and things that are truly unique to you. As we come to know ourselves, really know ourselves, we will have fewer inhibitions. We’ll feel more free to be who we are because we will know who we are. We won’t be trying to find a version of ourselves that fits with someone else’s mold.
If we could see ourselves for who we really are, we’d have more faith in our own abilities, more joy in our own strengths, and maybe, just maybe, we’d find ourselves bursting into a spontaneous song and dance just because we heard our favorite tune in the grocery store.
QUESTION: How well do you know yourself? When was the last time you really thought about the things that make you you?
CHALLENGE: Take time this week to sit down and make a list of 50 things about yourself. You can use the questions below if you need some “prompts” to get you started!
Questions to Get to Know Myself:
1. What is your favorite color? Why?
2. What is your favorite thing to do on a Friday night?
3. What is your best/worst high school memory?
4. Describe your best/worst day of college.
5. What kind of music do you like? Why?
6. Do you prefer sweet or sour?
7. Describe an experience that has shaped who you are in the last year.
8. If you had one hour to do anything you want, what would it be?
9. Where would you travel if money and time weren’t an issue?
10. What is your favorite “fast food” place?
11. What is the best dinner you make?
12. What is your most beloved dessert?
13. What are your three favorite traits about yourself?
14. What is one weakness you are working to overcome?
15. Who are two of your closest friends?
16. What is your favorite thing to read?
17. Name your least favorite food.
18. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
19. What is your favorite movie?
20. Would you rather travel to Europe or Asia?
21. What is your favorite month of the year, and why?
22. Who are five people that have been influential in your life? Why?
23. What is your favorite thing about winter?
24. What makes you laugh out loud?
25. What accomplishments are you most proud of?
26. What are you afraid of?
27. What is your favorite hobby?
28. What are you most grateful for each day?
29. What do you love most about where you live?
30. What is one of the most difficult things you’ve ever done?
31. What is your favorite memory of your grandmother?
32. Would you rather live on a farm or in a big city?
33. What was your worst birthday? Why?
34. What was your best Christmas? What made it the best?
35. What time do you like to get up in the morning?
36. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
37. Which smells remind you of your childhood?
38. When you’re feeling sad, what food do you like to eat?
39. What or who do you have full confidence in?
40. What is a characteristic of one of your children that you wish you could emulate?
41. Whom do you admire? Why?
42. What makes you feel balanced?
43. What did you like doing as a child that you still love doing today?
44. What is your favorite part of your daily routine?
45. What things move you to tears?
46. What is some of the best advice you’ve ever been given?
47. What is your favorite thing to do during the summer?
48. When your children are grown, what are three things you hope they say about you?
49. Who makes you want to be a better person?
50. When do you feel you are at your best?
Image provided by Hailey Bigelow.
Saren Eyre Loosli says
What a great post, Hailey! It’s so important that we get reacquainted with ourselves every so often. I love your questions. I’m going to sit down with myself and go through these this evening.