Walking the path of self-discovery can feel overwhelming. When confronted with so many confusing possibilities, where do you turn? That’s where guiding principles come in handy. The following seven principles are a heroic call to action that will help steer you away from some of the ego’s hidden traps and gives you a set of positive mindsets that will help you along your way.
Courageously seek truth
It’s a heroic act to know yourself. It takes courage to look into your psyche’s shadows, see the hurt you have done, and the pain you still hold onto. It requires deep honesty with yourself.
It’s a hard path, but every step of the way unlocks more of our potential. Don’t hide from the hard edges, but lean into them.
Cultivate a Diversity of Thought
One of our most significant resources for self-discovery is having multiple perspectives. We learn so much about ourselves by cultivating deep relationships with other people. You’re made stronger by adding diversity of thought and including people of different backgrounds, ethnicity, and values. This will give you a more comprehensive range of perspectives to help you along your path of self-discovery.
By being open to other people’s viewpoints, you can gain new frames of reference. It can unlock new solutions and understandings you might not have reached alone.
Walk your path
Your unique history, biology, values, and desires make you unique. There is no perfect mold of masculinity. Use the archetypes as an opportunity to explore what masculinity means to you. Take what serves you and leave behind what definitions do not.
It helps to view masculinity within an ecology of gender expression. You might have characteristics that our society sees as masculine but have other characteristics that are uniquely out of that definition. Or you might identify as a woman but find you connect with masculinity in different aspects of your life (sexuality, work, hobbies).
I invite you not to use the archetypes as a prescription, but a place to explore the vast possibilities within yourself. It can lead you to new understandings of your ecology of self.
Empowering others does not diminish your own
You are no closer to your fullest potential if that comes at the cost of others. When someone else finds power in their voices, it does not diminish your own. This is not a zero-sum game.
When we feel helpless or lose sight of our power, we get spiteful of seeing others succeed. Someone who sits in their strength gains pleasure in seeing other’s empowerment. To indeed rise, we must rise together, hand in hand.
As you walk this path, ask how your empowerment helps others around you. Evaluate if your actions allow others to step into their strength. Supporting other growth supports your own.
Take physical action
It’s essential to keep your goals grounded in reality. You will never find a new romantic relationship by only hiding away to contemplate. But exploring the complexities of who you are can give you confidence when you meet someone new in person.
When you gain new insight, think about how you can bring it into the world. If you are working with the Caregiver Archetype, think of how you can help others with physical action. If you are working with the Warrior Archetype, find physical practices to build a connection with that archetype in mind and body.
Change begins with a thought but only takes root with action.
Help others along the journey
You will see your blind spots by helping another, and find yourself creating a more concrete foundation of understanding. A student teaches the master as much as the master teaches the student. Connect with a mentor for support and pay it forward by helping others along their path. If you don’t have any mentors, then the river of knowledge can begin with you.
Remember, it’s ok not to know everything and don’t fall into the “know it all.” Listen to others and share what has worked for you without attachment or judgment.
Take your time
Your quests might seem unattainable far away, but it all begins with a single step. You won’t get there overnight, and you can’t change deep psychological patterns in one sitting. But each step gets you closer. This is a deep and long working. Slight changes will create deep ripples in your life. Have patients with your process and know that this takes time.
It might seem as if nothing has changed, but you will have a moment of epiphany once in a while. These are little victories along the way. Then one day, you will look back and see the great distance you have traveled.
Remember, the destination isn’t the point. The point is the journey itself. If you can learn to appreciate each step, you will find the path full of beauty and awe.