Step #3: Getting To Know Yourself

This project is another collage project.

Items you might need:

color chips and wallpaper books, hairstyle magazines, garden and fashion magazines, poster board, glue, scissors, markers.

Most of us don’t know who we really are. We have been molded by our circumstances and by those around us. If you are reading Women Who Run With The Wolves, this is a good time to read Chapter about the woman who settles for less than what makes her happy and loses herself in the process. I am not sure where to find it right now in the book. As soon as I find it I will edit this page with the information.

Looking at this collage from time to time will help us define who we are from the very basic core of our being. When you are done, note those colors or items that you find staring back at you– these items and colors will be what you are drawn to. Remember, you are creating a new person from the ground up.

From the very beginning of our lives, we have been prevented from being who we really are. Society has put restrictions and limitations on us. We have been forced to comply—to lose bits of our self so that we can be acceptable. What we are doing is reinventing ourselves in a way. You may find that your true self does not only fit in to your old, established life. However, finding your true self is the only way you can thrive and be truly happy.

This does not mean that you throw out all the old and start fresh…just yet. Feeling comfortable with the new you will take time. If it takes time for you, imagine how uncomfortable it will be for those around you. Go slow. Take this one step at a time. Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water. Give your friends, family and co-workers time to get to know the new you. Give yourself time to get to know the new you. And, don’t try to do it all at once. Start with one thing and experiment with it until you are comfortable. This is not a race, it is a life journey. You have plenty of time to implement the changes.

Acknowledge other people’s fear of change. Because you are change it forces them to have to change and there will always be opposition to that change. So, things could get worse before they get better. Change is never easy for anyone, and when you are the one changing, it raises all kinds of fear and worry for those around you. They will no longer be able to relate to you in the old ways. This will be difficult for them. So, be kind, yet assertive. Stick to your guns. Help them understand what is happening to you and why it is necessary. Don’t let them drag you back into the same old habits. Be strong but loving as you proceed to make the changes necessary for your happiness. And remember, when it is all said and done, those around you don’t have to accept the changes and may opt to go a different direction.

This could happen. You must be aware of the possible consequences before you start your changes. That is why it is best to start slowly. I found outward changes were easier for others to accept. And, it gave me time to get to know myself better. Give others time to digest and internalize things. This will be one of the hardest things you will ever do. So, be gentle with yourself and others. You cannot force people to accept the new you. If you don’t accept yourself, no one else will. And even then, they may try to change you back…not because they don’t want you to be happy, but they are having a difficult time adjusting to the changes.

Once you have explored your collage, look at your wardrobe- You will not want to discard all your clothing. You can create a new wardrobe from what they have by adding BASIC items to compliment and give them the oomph they need so they can work for you. Buying a new wardrobe is expensive. Try to create as much use out of what you have before buying new. Sometimes it is just a matter of changing the way you wear your clothes. You can add scarves, jewelry, belts, purses, shoes, & hats. You can shorten your skirt or lengthen it. You can bedazzle it or do what ever you decide need to be done. And then, don’t forget the thrift stores. You can find all kinds of things there that will fit right in to your wardrobe.

You should also go to the mall to do window shopping. Try on clothes until you find the style that looks splendid on you. Then, go home and try to make your present wardrobe work. Only after you become comfortable with your new look should you go out and buy clothing. Do it slowly. Buy one outfit at a time and add it to what you have. When you are ready, start discarding the old whenever you bring something new home. It will be less of a financial crunch this way.

While you are at the mall, people watch with a journal and a pen. Observe how other look and relate. This will give you some insight into what you like and don’t like. Drop by a hair salon and thumb through their books and magazines for a look you like. Go to the grocery store and look at the hair coloring kits until you find the color you are drawn to. These discoveries will also give you more insight into who you really are. Don’t stop there! Explore why this particular hair style grabs you. Why is the hair color you are drawn to so appealing? Why do you like this particular clothing style. What is it about the lady you are watching that excites or repels you? Answer all these questions and you are well on your way to discovering your true self.

Remember though, we have a long way to go yet. Changing the outside is easy. It is the inside that will take a long time. Are you ready?

Now, hold up the two collages you have in front of you and compare them. One is how you saw yourself at the moment you did it. The other is how you see yourself in the future. How do they compare? What have you discovered about both of you.



~ by womenstudycenter on January 13, 2009.

2 Responses to “Step #3: Getting To Know Yourself”

  1. Interesting take on collages. What do you make of this?

    • A collage is a collage is a collage. It certainly is interesting! I am glad they do censor somewhat. It would make for an interesting research paper for a grad student studying in the field of sociology. The choice of picture sent in by each person says a lot about them. I am going to forward this site to my daughter who is a sociologist and see what she has to say.

      I think trying to turn it into a world wide project is amazing. I will be interested in seeing where this goes. Thanks for the head up on it.


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