Often time, the heart of one's emotional distress is a lack of insight into who one really is. When we let society dictate who we should be, inevitably we always fall short of the mark placed on us. We all struggle to live up to other's financial expectations, career goals, social 'norms', and religious nuances. As a counselor, I recognize a common pattern amongst people suffering from anxiety/depression: a lack of self worth based on those failed expectations. Listening to a person's description of life when they first come in to counseling often reveals an inner dialogue that is fraught with failed attempts and a sense of failure to live up to the aforementioned expectations.
The Art of Self Discovery for individuals experiencing anxiety/depression, involves the process of identifying one's inner dialogue as an inaccurate account of one's total worth. This is perhaps the most difficult part of the process toward self-discovery. When we are overwhelmed, we rarely want to take risks on 'new' ways of thinking. We say to ourselves, "I don't want to hurt anymore than I do now", and dismiss the notion that there could be a healthier and clearer way for me to think. The thought of self- discovery in turn is viewed as a luxury that one can not afford at this time. Allowing people a space to talk about their negative 'self talk' is important to begin this process.
Author James Clear states "If you never decide on a vision for your life, you'll often find yourself living someone else's dream." I am convinced that we are all capable of experiencing a fullness of life. It begins with an inward look at self and taking account of how amazing you really are... once you give yourself a chance to look at your true self. Get off the vicious shame cycle that is blinding you from recognizing the amazing person God created you to be.