Attempting change when not fully self-aware is futile. Step one to change, confidence development, or any other type of self-development is to first come to know oneself through self-discovery. We have, and will continue to talk a lot about self-discovery on this blog, and so today, I want to address one of the most fun and effective way to get to know yourself: self-discovery through traveling.
There are endless reasons to hit the road, and embark on a trip to somewhere, but probably one of the most valuable is to come to know yourself better.
Ideally, for this to work best, you would travel alone (more on that in a later post), but it’s not necessary – you can find things out about yourself, even if others are around, as long as you choose to be conscious of yourself.
Please also note, this isn’t about changing yourself while on travel – this is about learning more about yourself through a travel experience.
Same You Somewhere New: Coming off Auto-Pilot
No matter where we go, we take ourselves, the good, the bad, and the ugly with us, but when you find yourself somewhere new; it provides you an opportunity to really learn what the good, the bad, and the ugly that make you who you are.
When you’re in your home environment (which includes work, your social circles and daily routine) it’s easy for you to operate on auto-pilot, and avoid the multiple facets that make up who you are. When you are traveling, when you are somewhere new and unfamiliar; you can’t operate on auto-pilot. You have to show up and pay attention to your new environment, which gives you an opportunity to learn about your behaviors, reactions, emotions and thoughts generated by the unfamiliar.
Whether alone or with someone else, plan a trip that will take you out of your comfort zones. While on the trip, pay particular attention to your thoughts, observations and feelings. Being out of your comfort zone and in a new environment will unveil things to you about you. Write those things down so you can further ponder what they mean once you get back (especially when traveling with someone else since you’ll need time alone to contemplate what these things mean about you.)
Same You Different Everything Else: Highlighting your Likes and Dislikes
Again for this to work, I’m ideally talking about a trip that has taken you out of your comfort zones and into a new culture and experiences. I’m definitely not talking about your Disneyland trip or a trip to the Grand Canyon (if you’re from the U.S.). This is a trip overseas…where you don’t speak the language, and are getting exposed to a lot of new experiences (food, culture, music, history, etc.) Could be a trip to Rome, Italy for example.
Being in completely different environment will actually highlight your likes and dislikes pretty quickly because as soon as you are faced with new sights, sounds, tastes, smells, people, etc., you’ll have a reaction to them. Some will be positive, some will be negative, some you’ll be okay with and some you’ll wish were different, but all of them have something to tell you about yourself.
Soak it in! Don’t rush any part of your trip. Take the time to soak in, absorb and memorize the moments. It’s not as important to remember your reactions, as it is to take mental snap shots of what your senses are experiencing. If you do that, you’ll be able to relive the moments and THEN record your reactions with details to what aspect of what, created what emotions, thoughts and reactions.
How you reacted and your feelings to the reactions are equally as important. One tells you a like and dislike, and the other tells you how you feel about your like and dislikes. Self-awareness is knowing about ourselves and knowing how we feel about ourselves.
New You Same Old Environment: Not Fitting Back In
Depending on the type and duration of your trip – it will have changed something(s) about you. So while exploring new things; you’ve been exposing old truths about yourself – the trip will have shaped a new you. This new you will come back to the same old…and now, within the same old and new you; there’s a reconciliation that will need to take place. This reconciliation will require you to dig into what’s causing friction, discomfort and changes within your old environment.
Get home, unpack and settle back in to your routine. Pay attention to what doesn’t feel right anymore, what about the comfortable, has become uncomfortable? Why doesn’t fit in anymore? What experience changed you…who were you before that you no longer are now?
Don’t make yourself fit back to an old mold.
You have entered the perfect time and space for making a permanent change. This is the place where self-discovery turns into self-development and improvement. Decide to take actions to make the change last.
Ready to Get Started?
Have you found these tips helpful? If so contact Ann Bernard, Confidence Builder here. You can also sign up for Ann’s Loop of Confidence course. This course will teach you everything you need to know to have the confidence to thrive in life and all your future adventures! Contact Ann Bernard today.
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