Understanding who you are is a valuable thing because the better you understand and know yourself, the easier it will be for you to live your life. From my point of view, to dig inside your brain is to do and think differently than you’re used to, so you can see how you react to the uncommon.
The more things you do outside your comfort zone, the better you’ll know yourself.
The more you stay inside your comfort zone, the more you’ll be stuck in a version of yourself who’s limited to the comfort zone you decided to stay in.
Therefore, here are 9 uncommon ways to understand and know yourself by digging inside your brain.
01. Ask yourself ‘why?’
Asking yourself ‘why?’ is the most powerful question when it comes to how well you can understand and know yourself.
When you ask yourself ‘why?’ you challenge your limiting beliefs and, if you are open to accept the truth and comprehend its meaning, you’ll go beyond your comfort zone.
Of course, asking ‘how?’, ‘where?’, ‘when?’, and ‘what?’ is important, but asking ‘why?’ comes with the foundation for who you are. When you know why you’re doing the things you’re doing, you have clarity over your actions and your identity.
02. Use drawings
Drawing works amazing when you’re using it with a purpose – and you don’t even have to have drawing skills.
Remember your last important project at work. For sure, it demanded a lot of your time and energy. For a second, imagine it structured in various shapes: triangles, circles, rectangles, squares, and so on.
If you can imagine your project like that, drawing it is really helpful and you’ll see that as soon as you start drawing, you’ll feel inspired and energized to finish it.
You can draw anything for any type of activity. You can use drawings for your relationships, career, hobbies, and anything important to you so you can see things differently.
03. Experiment with new hobbies and habits
If you’re passionate about running, start dancing.
If you’re passionate about art, start swimming.
If you’re passionate about video games, start volunteering.
As soon as you start focusing on something that you think you’ll enjoy doing, after a while you’ll have both a passion and a habit. It’s weird like that, but being engaged with your passion comes with the benefit of building yourself a positive habit.
More than that, as soon as you experiment with new activities, your brain rewires your thoughts to help you generate more energy.
04. Do things backward
For example, if you have a 9 to 5 job and you’re going there from Monday to Friday, you probably have two common roads: one for going to your office and another one for returning home.
One thing you could do is to switch the roads you’re taking to the office and back home or decide on new roads entirely.
The more you get used to the things that you’re doing, the more comfortable you’ll be with doing those things, even the road to the office and back home. When you know what you have to do and you don’t need any brainpower to do these things, your brain becomes inactive and you’ll find it harder and harder to do uncommon things.
Therefore, put a small twist on whatever you’re doing and soon enough you’ll understand and know yourself a bit better.
05. Look for alternatives
Whenever you find yourself stuck with whatever you have to do, the best way of getting out of it is to look for alternatives.
To do that, describe shortly what you’re doing and then ask those close to you how would they do it. To make sure you get the most out of it, pick the alternative that you find the dumbest or the one that you strongly disagree with and then do that instead of what you’re doing.
The tricky part is to reach a point where the alternative that you strongly disagree with to be accepted and find ways of how it could work. When you’ll be able to do that, you’ll rewire your brain to agree with things that you don’t resonate with.
6. Don’t sleep for 72 hours and as soon as you’re feeling exhausted, start writing or painting
This is not a healthy way to understand and know yourself better. But it is one of the most powerful ways. Anyway, I wouldn’t start with it.
When you force yourself to stay awake even though your brain needs to rest, you get access to your unconscious side of the brain and that’s when the magic happens.
As soon as you start feeling exhausted, make sure you grab a pen and a paper and you start writing, drawing, or even painting. While you won’t understand a thing at that moment, those 72 hours will pass, you’ll fall asleep and then you’ll wake up with a lot of things that you didn’t know you had inside of you.
Remember to trust the process as soon as you start feeling exhausted and try to keep yourself awake as much as possible.
7. Travel alone and be surrounded by strangers
The fear of the unknown is real and most people are struggling to overcome it.
Traveling alone and being surrounded by strangers is not only helping you overcome this unwanted fear, but it is also helping you know yourself better by overcoming your limiting beliefs.
If you don’t feel comfortable around strangers and you don’t like doing new things, traveling alone is what you should do to make sure most of your limiting beliefs are gone.
8. Live 1 day without your senses
This is a real challenge and it will turn your world upside down.
It’s a bit extreme to turn off all your senses and it is also impossible. As far as I know, it’s hard not to feel anything when you’re touching others.
But you can choose to turn off your eyesight by wearing a sleep eye mask. Or turn off your hearing by wearing some soundproof headphones.
You don’t need to do this for more than 24 hours as it will make you understand how important these senses are and how much you’re depending on them.
9. Draw a square on your forehead
This is a weird experiment but its purpose is to rewire that side of your brain that deals with criticism.
I did this a few years ago and I remember it was both fun and weird. It was fun because I thought most people were looking at me in a weird way, and it was weird because after a while I was able to have fun and laugh at what others were saying.
But more than that, it helped me better understand how my brain is trying to deal with criticism.
Read more about the experiment here: Inner strength for becoming immune to criticism
To conclude, all these 9 uncommon ways to understand and know yourself better are meant to give you a pretty intense dose of discomfort. For sure, it won’t be easy. But the result is worth it.
With love and optimism,