Skip to content

How to Attain Self Realization and Control Your Life

How to Attain Self Realization & Control Your Life

What does it mean to attain self-realization? How do you attain self-realization? How do you know yourself?

Self-realization can be a complex topic for most of us and may seem like something deeply spiritual. However, each one of us has the potential for self-actualization, granted we meet certain considerations. Here we are going to take a look at how you can better control of your life and attain enlightenment in the most practical way.

“By becoming self-aware, you gain ownership of reality; in becoming real, you become the master of both inner and outer life.”
– Deepak Chopra

Chances are, you’re busy hustling between the 40 hours a week you need to work, the family you need to provide for, and the bills that need to be paid.

As the years pass by, you’ve begun to feel the burnout from all the needs and expectations required of you. You don’t feel like you are in control over your own life. In fact, it feels like the circumstances in your life are controlling you.

What if there was a way for you to be able to have better control of your life and create all the positive changes you’ve been aching for?

This can be done through self-realization.

You’ve probably heard of this concept before, but you’re not really sure what it really is or how it can help you.

I’m going to dive into what exactly self-realization is and the exact steps you can take to attain it for yourself. Read on if you want to learn how to unlock your potential and find a way to decrease your stress and anxiety, and gain crystal clear clarity about who you are and what you’re capable of.

“Men can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as they can from a lack of bread.” – Richard Wright

What Is Self-Realization?

Self-realization has a few big definitions. In the Western world, it’s generally defined as the activation of one’s full potential of talents and abilities.

How Psychologists Define Self-Realization

Humanistic psychology also follows a similar train of thought about self-realization.

Psychologist Abraham Maslow has named people he considered to have reached self-realization such as Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, and Eleanor Roosevelt to name a few. His famous hierarchy of needs theory states in order to achieve self-realization (or in this case, Maslow uses the term “self-actualization”),[1] one needs to have a certain set of needs met before achieving it:[2]

hierarchy of needs by abraham maslow

For example, self-realization cannot be attained if you are struggling financially and too caught up in worrying about how to pay for the rent and provide food for your family. Unfortunately, this is usually the case for many people, which leaves little opportunity for them to maximize their abilities.

How Religions Define Self-Realization

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” – Marianne Williamson

In religions, the concept of self-realization is taken from a different perspective altogether. Connecting with your truest self has a lot to do with transcending your own mind and body. This self is often considered as an eternal being that is not confined to the physical space that your mind and body take up. Many recognize this part of yourself as the soul.

To put all of these definitions together, self-realization is ultimately learning the answer to the foundational question,

“Who am I?”

The answer lies from understanding that you are not your emotions or your thoughts. Who you really are is not even your body or your mind. These are all things you as a self-experience, but they are not you.

And when you are too caught up in these things that are not yours, that’s when you fall victim to and get stuck in your negative experiences such as stress, anxiety, and fear.

While your thoughts, feelings, and physical body always change, you do not.

I know this concept can be a bit confusing to understand, so here’s a great video that explores who you really are explained by Prince EA. It was a video made in response to a bizarre interview session with Comedian Jim Carrey at the red carpet interview at the 2017 New York Fashion Week.

Why Self-Realization Matters to You

“Your own Self-Realization is the greatest service you can render the world.”
– Ramana Maharshi

How often are you distracted, lost in your thoughts, or overwhelmed by difficult emotions?

Being in the present is more difficult than ever with the technology today. People are often buried in their smartphones or laptops while others around are craving their attention.

Most people spend so little time in the present. They’re usually either hurt and having trouble letting go of their past, or busy worrying about their futures:[3]

Read Alan Watts on the Most Important Realization You Can Come to About Life

“People spend 46.9 percent of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they’re doing, and this mind-wandering typically makes them unhappy.”

Here are some amazing benefits to self-realization:

1. The ability to monitor your emotions.

Rather than being controlled by your emotions, you can now use your observations about them during the experience to learn how to effectively handle things like fear, anxiety, and stress. Self-realization helps you do this by giving you the skill of letting go of debilitating feelings and taking hold of the empowering ones instead.

Read 6 Ways To Control Your Unwanted Emotions In Any Situation

2. Improved focus and concentration.

Guided by your own inner goals and values, self-realization helps you easily identify when you are entering into distractions and eliminate them. By getting rid of the meaningless things in your life, you stay committed to what matters most and you begin to see real results as you reach your fullest potential.

3. Increased confidence, self-awareness, and self-esteem.

“Without self-awareness, we are as babies in the cradles.” – Virginia Woolf

By being connected deeply to your truest self, attaining self-realization frees you from any insecurities, worries, and a low sense of self-worth that you feel tangled up in by helping you really grasp the truth that you are not defined by them.

4. Becoming more accepting of yourself and of other people.

You are able to be more authentic and express emotions freely and clearly. As a result, you are able to form deeper relationships and spend more time connecting with people rather than trying to impress them.

When people don’t have a strong sense of their own self, they get easily swayed to live life the way other people tell them to live it.

The truth of this has been shown through Bronnie Ware’s famous work, which has shown that one of the top regrets of people who are dying was:[4]

“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

There can be tons of pressure whether it’s from work, society, and even friends and family for you to be a certain way. Maybe your rough upbringing instilled a strong need for other’s approval in you so you do what others expect of you. Maybe you’ve stopped trusting people because of your struggles with letting go of the thoughts and experiences that hurt you.

Whatever the situation, self-realization gives you the safe space you need to heal and grow.

“Often, it’s not about becoming a new person, but becoming the person you were meant to be, and already are, but don’t know how to be.” – Heath L. Buckmaster

How to Start Developing and Attaining Self-Realization

1. Start Meditating Regularly

Aside from all the scientific evidence that shows the health benefits of meditation, it is also a prime way to attain self-realization.

One of my favorite apps that guide you through meditation is Headspace.

I particularly love this app because it is very straightforward without all the woo-woo types of things you normally associate with meditation. It does a great job of demystifying what meditation really is and how it can benefit you in achieving self-realization.

Here’s a great explanation of what meditation does for you:

You can get the basic meditation guidance for free or pay for a premium version for access to more specific meditations that improve things like self-esteem, creativity, and relationships.

In case you don’t want to download the app, here is the simple meditation practice you can do right now:

1. Sit comfortably on a chair.
2. Start by leaving your eyes open with a relaxed soft focus.
3. Take about a minute to take deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.
4. After a few deep breaths, gently close your eyes while you are breathing out.
5. Resume normal breathing.
6. Take a moment to pause and enjoy being present in the moment with having nothing to do, nowhere to go, nothing to check.
7. Take a moment to feel the pressure of your body on the chair beneath you, the feet on the floor and the hands and the arms just resting on the legs.
8. Gently bring the focus back to your breathing.
9. As you sit there beginning to notice the breath and the body with its rising and falling sensation, don’t try and stop your thoughts. Simply allow them to just come and go.
10. At this point, the only thing you need to do is when you’ve realized your mind has wandered, gently bring the focus back to your breath again.
11. Gently bring the attention back to your body, back to that feeling of contact to your chair and the space around you and when ready, gently open your eyes again.

Even if it’s only 5-10 minutes a day, learning to train your mind to be present is so important to your journey towards self-realization. You need to take a step back from the craziness of life and recompose yourself to be present for the things that matter most.

Another great method that can be used to attain self-realization that involves a bit more body strength is yoga. While there are many variations of yoga and has also become a very popular form of exercise in western culture, its original purpose served as a meditative practice to achieve the higher level of consciousness that comes from self-realization.

Read Meditation For Beginners: Everything You Need To Know About Meditation

You can access plenty of free Yoga channels on Youtube or join a gym to get started.

2. Make Time for Self-Realization Every Day

“Don’t pretend to be what you’re not, instead, pretend to what you want to be, it is not pretence, it is a journey to self-realization.” – Michael Bassey Johnson

I know what you’re thinking.

“I don’t have time for this!”

I beg to differ.

About 40 percent of the things you do in a day doesn’t involve you actively making a decision. Instead, it is actually a habit.

Out of all of your habits, there are probably a handful of bad ones. If you can observe your daily routines, there is a simple way to change a bad habit into a good one, which is to start making changes to your environment to make it easier for you to change your habits.

The idea is rather than trying to squeeze in more time to do something, simply alter a daily habit you have into something else.

For example, let’s say you start your morning by brewing your coffee and sitting down on the dining table for 20 minutes to browse the internet to catch up on the news.

The news is usually full of negative information, so why not spend those 20 minutes in meditation instead?

One easy way to make this change is to change your environment up by keeping your laptop and phone in a different room so you don’t have immediate access to it when you sit down on the dining table. You make it easier for yourself to spend time meditating rather than staring at a screen.

Want some more great tips on breaking bad habits? You can try out Lifehack CEO’s secret Control Alternate Delete method, which was the method he used to break 3 bad habits in less than 2 months.

Final Thoughts

Self-realization doesn’t happen overnight. It will take some time and practice, but if you turn the practices into a habit, you’ll be guaranteed to get there. Once you do, you’ll finally feel like you are in more control over your life and be able to get yourself to the next level.

Now that you have a better understanding of the importance and benefits of self-realization, why not take a moment to put everything down and give it a try?

The path towards self-realization is a fascinating paradox. Your path can be unbelievably easy or it can be extremely difficult. It all depends on you how much you invest yourself into the practice and how determined you are to reap the benefits of self-realization. The path can take many turns and go uphill or downhill at various intersections. Regardless of that, you must walk on the path alone to realize your inner self.

Reference:

[1] Sprouts: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
[2] Loomi: a Deeper understanding of the self: Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, wifI and battery life
[3] The Harvard Gazette, “Wandering mind not a happy mind”
[4] Bronnie Ware: Regrets of the dying


Written by Eugene K. Choi
Originally Published on LifeHack.com

How to Attain Self Realization & Control Your Life

Eugene K. Choi

Eugene is the founder of Destiny Hacks. Eugene works with professionals who are frustrated because they’ve made it as far as they can go and start to feel stuck. His unique neuroscience-based method of coaching helps them figure out what their next steps can be whether it’s a way to grow within their company or even switch careers.Download his free guide to help find your unique calling here Feel free to let me know if you have any questions at all.View Author posts

Leave a Reply

Up Next

How To Manage Your Dark Side – 10 Tips To Embrace Your Shadow Self

How manage control your dark side

Do you have a dark side? Of course, you do. We all do. But none of us ever talk about it because we are afraid and ashamed of it. If you are struggling to manage your dark side, then here’s how to get started. 

When your dark side takes control

When your dark side is in control, you don’t recognize yourself. The dark side of your psyche gives rise to thoughts and feelings that make you afraid yet tempted. It distorts your thoughts and emotions, yet it feels so right. And perhaps this is why we are even more scared of our dark side. So we suppress it and keep it hidden away from the world, even our loved ones. But we know deep within us, within its confines, our dark side grows silently, patiently looking for a way out. And when it does come out, all hell might break loose.

Up Next

13 Habits Of Highly Intelligent People That Make Them Truly Unique

Things Highly Intelligent People Do Differently

What do you think of when you imagine a highly intelligent person? Someone who is super smart and knows a lot about everything. Right? But being highly intelligent has nothing to do with having a high IQ.

Intelligence comes in many forms and most highly intelligent individuals don’t even know how smart they actually are.

Highly intelligent people think, act and behave differently. They approach the world differently and possess certain qualities and habits that make them truly unique.

Do you think you are highly intelligent? Let’s find out.

Here are 13 things highly intelligent people do differently

1. They are always

Up Next

How To Identify A Delta Male? 30 Signs Of The Common Man

Delta Male Signs

Life can be challenging as a man. And for women in relationships, not understanding their male partners well can make things more complicated. As all men are not created equal, it is crucial to know where a man stands in the socio sexual hierarchy. Enter the delta male.

As alpha, beta and sigma male personalities are already popular, today we are going to explore the lesser known, yet extremely common, delta male personality.

What is a delta male?

The delta male is the common, everyday man who can be f

Up Next

How To Improve Your Relationship With Yourself

Improve Relationship With Yourself

Having a healthy relationship with yourself is extremely important when it comes to living a happy and content life. Let's find out what you can do to improve your relationship with yourself.

Key Points:

Many people would be glad to work on self-improvement but believe they don't have enough time for it.

A change in mindset can help them take advantage of the time they already spend transitioning between locations or tasks.

These transition times can be used to check in with themselves and gain a better understanding of how they're feeling.

The thought of adding or removing a habit fr

Up Next

Feeling Down? 5 Reasons Why You Feel Like Shit And What To Do About It

Feelings that make you feel like shit

Feeling down? Me too, buddy. The keyword here is ‘feeling’. Feelings are weird, if you ask me. Emotions make life complicated. It ruins relationships, families and even careers. It makes you feel like shit and like hitting your head against the wall. But that’s not completely true, is it? 

Not all emotions pull you down. After all, who would we be if we didn’t feel anything? Emotions make us who we are and it adds meaning to our lives. The secret lies in identifying which negative emotions make you feel like shit and knowing how to deal with them.

Dear negative feelings, thanks for making me feel like shit 

Yes, I know we should experience the whole spectrum of human emotions