Self-discovery is more than just a passing buzzword. Self-discovery is a process we all have to go through to find our purpose, become better leaders, and stay connected with what’s most important in our lives. And in the world of nutrition and personal training, you should know why self-discovery is important for fitness leaders.
The Oxford Dictionary defines self-discovery as: “The process of acquiring insight into one's own character.”
The more you know about yourself, the more choices you can make that are aligned with who you are and what you want—and the happier you’ll be.
Aristotle once said, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom” because, when taking a step back to learn more about yourself, you learn about your strengths and weaknesses. You also learn how to help others do the same, empowering them to be stronger, healthier, and more connected with themselves.
At Lionel University, we’re committed to your academic success and professional fitness future. We want you to be successful as you pursue your fitness education. But, just as important to us is your professional future and success in the health and wellness industry. Contact us today for more information!
Learn more about the importance and benefits of self-discovery as a fitness leader and how to bring it into your life starting today.
The Importance And Benefits of Self-Discovery
When you, as a leader, take time to learn about yourself, you strengthen their abilities to work with others. Daniel Goleman, American author, explains:
“If your emotional abilities aren't in hand, if you don't have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can't have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.”
With a focus on self-discovery, you can reap the many benefits of being more aligned with yourself, your emotions, and the things that make you the great leader that you are. Here are some of the many benefits of self-discovery.
Increased Self Confidence
The more you recognize emotions holding you back, the better equipped you become to take control of how you feel. You have the power to claim ownership of body and mind. Awareness of what you’re feeling and then adopting the kind of mindset you need promotes confidence in yourself. You’ll discover that by practicing these things, your resiliency grows stronger. The more resilient, the stronger you are, the more confident you are.
This level of self-confidence comes with its own wealth of benefits that leaders will enjoy such as less fear and anxiety.
Increased Leadership Capabilities
Being a leader involves speaking in front of others, talking with confidence, and having the ability to influence other people. When a person attempts to do this without confidence, their lack of confidence is seen in every word that is spoken.
This lack of confidence has a negative impact on their ability to lead other people. Likewise, an increase in self-confidence will make other people more likely to follow them as a leader. This level of confidence can easily be achieved through self-discovery. In fact, entrepreneurship education enhances an individual's level of self efficacy.
Stronger Sense of Presence
We have all met people that had a presence as soon as they walked into a room. That presence is due to an air of confidence. When you have that, you have the attention of the entire room. Most of this comes down to the way one views themselves.
Positive Outlook on Life
People that have a higher level of self-confidence exude positivity. In fact, confident people are also the happiest people. These are the people that do not let stress weigh them down. They see failures as opportunities. Positive people are successful people. In order to reach that level of positivity, you must increase your self-confidence first.
The path to self-discovery will take you down a path that will provide you with several key characteristics that propel you towards success.
These include, but are not limited to:
- Fewer downfalls
- Higher self-confidence
- Increased motivation
- Increased self-awareness
- More self-control
- Having well-established goals
These characteristics are key traits that have been seen in successful people. When leaders take the time to explore self-discovery, they will find that they instantly begin to have these same characteristics.
Heal From Previous Trauma
One of the things that most people find as they discover who they truly are is that their past has created their inner self. This can be a good thing, but it can also be a shocking realization. As you learn who you are, you will discover why you are the way you are. This will inherently help you heal from previous trauma that has led to toxic characteristics and low self-esteem that you may have.
Give Your Life Meaning
Most people wander down the path of life with no purpose. This lack of purpose is often because they feel that their life does not have meaning. The end result is a lack of motivation, a lack of drive, and little or no ambition. When you take the time to truly explore yourself, you will also discover your passion, and you will slowly find that your life does have meaning. Most individuals discover that they feel like a new person.
Remember: Self-Discovery Is a Process
It’s important to remember that self-discovery is a process. Self-discovery and leadership go hand in hand, but the process does not happen overnight. In order to enjoy all the benefits of self-discovery, you must implement several self-discovery tips into everyday life. Only then will you start down the path towards being more self-aware. The more you do the following self-discovery tips, the further you will get in your journey.
The following self-discovery tips are wonderful ways to help yourself become a better leader. It’s important to note that all of these tips will not be practical for everyone. However, you should implement the ones that you like and that you can into your everyday life.
Meditation is a wonderful way to reconnect with yourself and to settle your soul. It helps you find peace and calm in the midst of a busy world. Meditation can be done daily for five minutes, but some find it more practical to meditate three times weekly. Instead of practicing one self-discovery tip daily, most implement different ones at different times. These meditation tips will help you find inner peace.
Learn Who You Are
Do you really know and understand the person looking back at you in the mirror? To effectively and confidently lead others, we must first get to know ourselves. Oftentimes, we may not like who we are, and to overcome a negative self-perception, we try to mask the real “us” behind a false persona. So, what are some ways we can truly come to understand “us?”
- As you stand in front of the mirror, find ten things you like about the person staring back at you and write these down on paper. Take your time and truly search deep and see if you can come up with things that are more than your hair, skin, teeth, etc.
- Now take the paper with the ten attributes you’ve written down and examine them.
- Do they have a positive or negative overtone?
- Are they things you are proud of?
- If you’ve listed anything negative, go back to the mirror and try again. This time, say out loud the good things you see. By verbalizing them, you are making positive affirmations your ears hear and then transmit to the brain. The brain then goes into a reset where your whole mindset changes.
- Lastly, love yourself enough to practice this daily except each day, find one great thing about the person in the mirror, say it out loud, and end it with “I love you because you are unique and a beautiful human being.”
There’s nothing more healing for the soul than to have an outlet for emotions that we store deep down within ourselves. Those emotions that go unchecked and unrecognized fester and surface through various manifestations such as depression, anger, insecurity, etc. Acknowledge how you feel, give your anger, sadness, loneliness, frustration, or fear a voice. You can do this in several ways.
Journaling is one of the most cathartic methods of purging the muck that builds up inside ourselves. You don’t need to have grammar skills or writing expertise to do this. Keep a notepad, journal book, or even a digital journal somewhere handy. The minute you experience a negative emotion, write it down. You’ll discover the more you write, the better you feel. Writing provides you with a whole new perspective on something going on in your life that you weren’t even aware of. Patterns in behavior, as well as triggers for emotions, begin to jump out as you read what you’ve written.
Any art form, whether it be painting, sculpting, or drawing, works similarly to journaling. However, the art you create acts as a landing place where negative emotions are caught and frozen. You don’t need to be great at doing any form of art. A well-known artist (Louise Bourgeois) created visual expressions of her emotions and life experiences. The trauma she endured and unhealthy emotions she stored up were transferred into suspended spaces that liberated her from those emotions and experiences.
Hire a Life Coach to Teach You Emotional Intelligence
Once you’ve learned to love yourself and purge negative emotions, let’s look at how you can harness negative emotions another way when they hit. Effective leaders have the ability to leverage their emotions to benefit themselves, others, and the task at hand.
- Identify a negative emotion.
- Understand why you have that emotion.
- Express that emotion in a healthy manner.
So, how do you do this exactly? Well, most CEOs, entrepreneurs, and leaders of all industries are using life coaches to develop emotional intelligence. Life coaches help you assess your personal reactions to various situations and how you could have handled them better. Through mentorship, they will put you through experiential exercises, problem-solving, decision making, stress management, and ways of interacting with others.
The Dimensions of Self Care
When we strive to be the best in a leadership role, we tend to forget about the entity that is behind the force that fuels our passion. That entity is you. How can you lead others (especially in the fitness industry) if you don’t “lead” yourself? That entails nurturing your mind and your body.
Go home when it’s quitting time. Leave work at work, don’t bring it home with you.
Do the things you enjoy, such as hobbies, exercise, socializing, etc.
Pamper And Care For Yourself
20-minute naps during the workday
Manage Stress Effectively
Get a pet
Meditate, Yoga, or Exercise
Eat Healthy Foods
Self-Discovery is Critical for Fitness Leaders
The path to self-discovery can be long. You can make it easier on yourself by beginning to implement these changes and you will begin to see your life-changing for the better in front of your very eyes. People with influential positions in life need to take this especially seriously.
Barker, S. (2019). Mental Wellbeing and Psychology. Routledge.
Berghoef, K. (2017). The Modern Enneagram: Discover Who You Are and Who You Can. Berkeley: Althea Press.
Borysenko, J., Cook, H., Faulkner, M., McCormick, L., & Taegel, W. (2018). The Heart Reconnection Guidebook. Health Communications, Inc.
Fordham, M. (2018). Explorations into the Self. Routledge.
McKiernan, S. (2020). 10 Meditation Tips for Beginners. From Do You Yoga: https://www.doyou.com/10-meditation-tips-for-beginners-45245/