Admit it… sometimes you wonder. Who are you, really?

You hesitate because there’s no definitive answer. A mother, colleague, friend, agriculturist—you find many descriptions, and yet none encompass what you feel is truly, unapologetically you.

So, where to look for your true self? And do you really want to discover it?

“The term ‘Self-discovery’ shows us we consider our true self hidden.” 

Ergo, you cannot find it in what you do nor what role you play in society—those things aren’t hidden. What’s unique to you is how you perceive the world and react to it, in other words by how you feel, think, and your physiology.

Which is defined, some would say, by your environment. And you have this experience yourself; something unexpected happens, and your mood changes—for better or for worse—and with it how you perceive the world.

Scientists are backing up this theory with hormones and other fancy terms, concluding that we are all far more connected and easily influenced than we might believe.

So, if these things aren’t actually hidden, to find the hidden self, we must dig deeper.

The Hidden Self

If something is hiding within that can be discovered—like anything in nature—it must have a purpose. And if our true self is hidden, invisible, so to say, its purpose and actions would be invisible, too.

Let us assume the true, hidden self exists. Then, there must be a missing link that connects it to what we can see.

This also implies that this self changes or grows with experience—otherwise it wouldn’t need to take action. So, to discover it, you must first discover its action, in other words, its current purpose.

How to Decode the Messages from Your Hidden Self

If your true self is hidden within, you must look within to find it. That’s why so many people use meditation for self-discovery. But we forget that we dive into the depths of our consciousness on a daily basis—when we sleep.

The only thing is, this invisible world we experience in dreams is wired completely differently to our reality in daily life—hence we do not understand it. But, with a little help, you can decode the messages you carry into your daily life: your dreams.

Decode Your Dreams in 6 Simple Steps:

1) Prepare the way you want to record them, be it in a hand-written dream journal, voice recordings, etc. Whatever you feel most comfortable with.

2) While going to sleep, bring to consciousness that you want to remember your dreams.

3) When you wake in the morning, don’t move, don’t even open your eyes. Hold on to the last dream you had. Maybe you’re still half in it. Go through the events backward as far as you can go. Don’t worry if you remember little at first. Over time, you will reach further and further back into your nightly journeys.

4) Then record all the details you can remember. Don’t try to make sense of it, but try to get every detail. Only the last dreams are important for this purpose because, at the beginning of the night, the consciousness digests what it experienced during the day.

5) Find the symbolism by asking questions such as:

– Was there an animal?

– What was the setting? Was it a forest, a house, a road?

– Were you traveling (such as on a vehicle, animal) or were you in one place?

– Who surrounded you?

– Was there a threat? How did you perceive it?

6) Research the symbolism you found.

There are many websites offering explanations for different symbols in dreams—take your time and see which meaning resonates in you. Then piece them together. It may seem daunting at first, but trust yourself. It will get easier every time. You can also ask others for help—but this process becomes most potent when you learn to use it yourself.
With time, you will see how these messages resonate not only within you but how they seem to attract situations that help you get the experience their symbolism conveys—as if by an invisible link.

So, even though we are strongly influenced by our environment, maybe our environment is secretly arranged by our hidden selves. But do not take this at its face value—the hidden self may not share the morals of our exterior thinking mind or feeling heart. Rather, if it influences our circumstances to help us grow, we may have similar difficulty understanding it as children do their parents.

How to Use These Messages for Self-Discovery

Now that you know what message your hidden self is giving you, act accordingly. If you saw a bear in your dream and you were afraid of it even though it never harmed you or showed such intentions, and the meaning you gather is that you are needlessly afraid of your own strength—the bear is a symbol for strength—then look into what part of you has this fear.

You can do so by observing your feelings. In what situation do you stop yourself from showing that strength? Once you’ve discovered it, try to change that reaction. Step back and allow your inner strength to shine through and overcome this fear. Remembering the feeling in the dream may be one way this becomes easier.

It may take a while to master—but you can do this in your daily routine, and once you’ve decoded the message, you don’t need to set aside extra time to do this — just a little attention. Soon, you will realize you’re getting a feel for the purpose your hidden self has, and the more you let it guide you, the closer you get to the ultimate self-discovery.

Luckily, the path there is as wondrous as the discovery itself. And this is a path only you can travel. You don’t even need to tell anyone about it—it is your adventure alone. So, hang on to these steps and take a leap within.

Mira Kanehl

Mira Kanehl is a passionate author who loves adventures of the soul. Having grown up in a little town in South India, her stories reveal a grounded and yet distinct approach to reality. Get your free starter library to join a woman pirate and a French surgeon in two emotionally gripping series.