You’ve probably heard some things about soul searching and getting in touch with your higher self.
But what does that even mean?
If you have a higher self, that must mean you have a lower self, too.
And it makes sense to get both parts of you working together as a team.
In order to do that, you have to know your whole self. And that means facing personal attributes you’d rather not think about.
Finding yourself generally starts at the bottom and often in the less socially acceptable parts of your personality. No one builds a house by starting on the roof.
There’s an order to these things for a reason.
What is soul searching?
When you go soul searching, it doesn’t imply that your soul is missing or even beyond your reach — though it may seem that way if you’ve been neglecting your own spiritual needs.
“Soul diving” or “soul exploring” might better express what we’re doing with soul searching; the point is to get better acquainted with our deeper selves.
And that might turn up things we’d rather not face.
But soul searching doesn’t do us much good if we’re only willing to accept the parts of us that we’re already comfortable with.
When we enter the cave, we have to be prepared to meet our shadow-dwelling self.
Not only that, we have to be prepared to accept and integrate those shadow traits into a fuller understanding of our whole self.
7 Soul Searching Actions to Find Your Higher Self
Getting to know both your higher self and your shadow self involves asking soul-searching questions. So, some of the actions listed below start with that.
Digging into yourself with questions that need to be asked definitely qualifies as action.
Aside from that, there are other ways to get to know yourself better. I hope you try everything — and not just once. Self-knowledge is an ongoing process.
The seven actions described in this article will help you get further in less time.
1. Look at your personal life and daily habits.
The things you do over the course of a day — habitually or on impulse — say a lot about how you see yourself and how comfortable you are with your own company.
How much time do you spend just getting to know who you are and who you want to be?
Think of all the ways you distract yourself when you’re alone — watching TV, listening to music, shopping online, etc.
Then spend at least five minutes of that time each day focusing on the present moment and paying attention to your own thoughts, needs, and body language.
2. Look at your close relationships and family life.
Our relationships not only reveal more about our true selves; they also influence our self-perception and how much we reveal of ourselves to others.
Some relationships make it harder for us to see or appreciate the parts of ourselves that others don’t notice or value.
If we’ve learned to hide parts of ourselves even from the people most important to us, it gets easier to hide those parts from ourselves, too.
Eventually, though, hidden things come out, whether we want them to or not.
And the more we hide from them, the more we’ll scramble to cover them back up before anyone notices or condemns us for them.
3. Look at your work or professional life.
How do you view your work or the way you earn your living?
Is it something that fills you with pride when you talk to others about it?
Or are you filled with something darker at the thought of it?
How did you get to this point in your professional development? And where would you like to go from here?
Or do you feel hopelessly stuck where you are — unable to improve your financial situation or to become what you want to be?
The more you know about how your professional life relates to and influences your self-perception, the better able you are to make positive changes where you need them most.
4. Look at your relationship with the natural world.
How much time do you spend out in nature? And where are your favorite outdoor places to go to relax?
- The beach or lakeside
- The mountains
- The desert
Whether you feel an instant affinity with trees or bodies of water or you feel an overwhelming need to climb every mountain, your connection to nature is essential to your understanding of who and what you are.
Some elements of nature will have a stronger pull for you than others, and it can only help you in your self-knowledge and development to acknowledge and explore this.
So, what could you do today to nurture that connection and to deepen your acquaintance with it?
5. Look at your religious or spiritual beliefs.
When was the last time you clearly articulated — in speech or in writing — what you believe?
Is there room for doubt in any of those beliefs, or are you open to discussing them with someone who believes differently?
The more clearly you can articulate what you believe and why you believe it, the better able you’re to defend those beliefs when others call them into question.
And if someone else convinces you that one of your beliefs is not well-founded, you need to be able to look into that without feeling threatened by the prospect of being wrong about something.
Fortunately, your value as a person doesn’t depend on your being right all the time.
6. Look at your dreams, hopes, and aspirations.
What do you dream about?
Have you noticed a stark difference between the life you dream about and the life you’re living now?
Whatever you long for says a lot about the deeper part of you.
Maybe you’ve decided you need to be more practical for now and save those dreams for later — when you have more money or more time.
But what would your life be like if you were living one of those dreams right now? How would that affect the way you see yourself?
Imagine it. And allow yourself to feel the way you would feel.
Trust that this or something better is on its way to you. Water that dream every day by meditating on it and writing about it.
The gratitude you feel is all the sunlight it needs to flourish.
7. Look at how you identify yourself and your potential.
What do you think you were put on this earth to do?
What is your big-picture dream, or what do you want to be remembered for by those whose impressions of you matter the most?
Does something in you pay closer attention whenever someone uses expressions like “discover your true power”?
If you have a nagging suspicion that you’ve yet to discover your true potential or to make the most of your innate gifts, you owe it to yourself and to others to look into that.
A daily meditation habit can help with this, but don’t overlook opportunities to step outside your comfort zone and try new things.
Your potential might be waiting for you in a place you wouldn’t normally look.
Are you ready to begin soul searching?
Now that you know how to soul search, what will you do today to get better acquainted with your higher or your whole self?
What do you hope to learn from your higher self about the person you were born to be?
What are you hoping to learn from your shadow self, and what will you do to give this part of yourself a voice it didn’t have before?
What do you secretly admire about that hidden part of yourself — and what have you had a hard time accepting?
The more you understand the bigger picture of yourself, the more you can see how you fit into the bigger picture of every community of which you’re a part — from the smallest, most intimate group to the universe.
Blind yourself to any part of your personality, and you blind yourself to the bigger picture. And you miss out on the biggest adventure your life can offer.
So, may your courage, compassion, and sense of adventure influence everything you do today.