Personal Growth is the Reward of a Healthy Self Image

In the past several weeks, with encouragement from my wife, I have begun familiarizing myself with the Enneagram. I have heard many people discuss it in the past, yet never explored it for myself until, like many things I learn, I was encouraged to do so by my mate.

I am still a veritable novice in understanding and grasping all of the intricacies of it, and in fact, am still trying to determine if I know for sure what my Enneagram number is. What is has opened for me, and I want to encourage you with this week, is the desire to take a deeper dive than I ever have into self-discovery.

I suspect like me, many of us are able to say and even do the right things when called to action. That is not really taking stock of yourself, nor reflecting on your core values and purposes, though many of us, including myself until recently would like to stop and start. 

Perhaps for some of you, this is a no-brainer, when it comes to self-evaluation. My wife is one of these people who are deeply in touch with her feelings, emotions, and motivations. As I am discovering I am not and for me to do so requires real effort.

I do not have a magic formula and even if I did I imagine that what works for me would not work as well for you. Therefore, I am encouraging you to simply take time to reflect. Not just a few hours. Done properly, I suggest this exercise may take several weeks, if not months.

For me, the Enneagram was a good place to start, but along with that, I have also been contemplating my core values, my dreams and goals, and how what I am writing, speaking, and coaching about is impacting my own behaviors. Frankly, it has made me uncomfortable.

I can say, however, that in getting uncomfortable, I am gaining personal clarity. I am reflecting more deeply on my thoughts and actions, and how I communicate with others, especially those closest to me. This includes me, and my self-talk and mindset. I have found myself to be more contemplative and patient because I am focusing on results rather than outcomes. 

To me, results are the things we try to fix and move on as we go through our day. Outcomes are longer-term decisions that affect our relationships and our positive view of ourselves. The more I focus on outcomes, the deeper my relationships grow with others and myself. For most of my life, I focused on results and I can tell you without question I prefer outcomes.

As I alluded to earlier, I suspect that your results and methods may vary greatly from mine, yet I encourage you to begin your own journey of self-discovery. The results may or may not surprise you, but the clarity and perspective you gain from it will be invaluable. For yourself and others around you. 

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