The 4 Dangerous Beliefs in Self-Discovery I Uncovered through Street Interviews

What does it mean to discover yourself? I asked this question to strangers on the street. Let’s discover which potentially dangerous beliefs can be connected to each of the given answers.

Belief 1. Self-discovery has no fixed end.


The spontaneous answer of a 20-year-old on my question: Have you already found yourself in life? #SelfDiscovery #InnerExploration #DiscoverYourself #PersonalDevelopment #SelfImprovement

♬ original sound – Youri Hermes
This young man told me he believes there is no fixed end in self-discovery. I especially liked that he mentioned that his reply on my question would probably be different if I asked him at a different moment. I believe this knowing is carried by quite some wisdom!

If life is constantly evolving, how can you ever discover yourself? If you believe you’re life itself, it would mean you can never be truly found, right? Although, does self-discovery mean you know what’s coming next? Does it finally give you a predictable outcome? Does it mean you can completely understand everything, all-at-once? Are these possible conclusions just ideas you can either believe in or just let go off? If one chose the latter, what remains? Could the retainer already be self-discovery itself? It can definitely be interesting to find out, don’t you think?

Belief 2. Self-discovery is a riddle that cannot be solved.


Some people think I’m asking them a trick question, when in reality I’m genuinely curious 🙃 #SelfDiscovery #InnerExploration #DiscoverYourself

♬ original sound – Youri Hermes
This older lady maybe thought I asked her a trick question. According to this perception, she answered in a short way that’s can be interpreted in many ways. I can understand why she wasn’t comfortable with my follow-up question. The question probably became too personal for her to answer and elaborate on.

In the realm of non-duality, you can find many paradoxes. It sometimes feels like an unsolvable riddle. So why even start? Why would you take such a trick question seriously? Shouldn’t you just get rid of it by attaching a quick conclusion to it? Maybe that’s not truly satisfying, but it doesn’t make you insecure either.

Riddles are riddles and should be accepted as such, especially when it comes to life questions. This forced acceptance could be an approach for dealing with life’s great uncertainty. It may be a coping mechanism for facing life completely. True confrontation would scare the hell out of you. Or maybe not you specifically, but you in the expression of somebody else.

Belief 3. Self-discovery requires certain boxes you can check off.


I asked another stranger on the street: Have you already found yourself in life? He patiently took me through his story of what this means to him. #SelfDiscovery #InnerExploration #DiscoverYourself #PersonalDevelopment #PersoonlijkeOntwikkeling #PersoonlijkeGroei #ZelfOntwikkeling

♬ original sound – Youri Hermes
This young man has formed certain ideas for himself that are connected to what it means to have discovered oneself.

Various interpretations exist regarding self-discovery, such as knowing your preferences, embracing authenticity, or practicing honesty. There are endless of variations on the meaning of self-discovery. The danger arises when a rigid definition is imposed. That would hinder present acceptance, don’t you think? Conditional thinking will inevitably hold you back to be here already. This last sentence could implicate that I believe it’s about just being in the here and now. However, the moment I stick to this belief, I will get lost. I would have done exactly the same through assigning the condition of ‘living in present moment’ to self-discovery. We may want to prevent that, as long as the prevention doesn’t become forced and yet another limitation.

Belief 4. Self-discovery is something that can eventually be cultivated.


The answer itself on my question of life isn’t that exciting to me. The way you answer it says so much more. Does one want to prevent the question or suddenly become insecure and too serious? For her, it’s the exact opposite. She answers in such a happy and spontaneous way 😊 #SelfDiscovery #InnerExploration #DiscoverYourself #PersonalDevelopment #SelfImprovement

♬ original sound – Youri Hermes
Thing young lady told me that she could spent a whole lifetime finding herself. For her, getting older goes along with being more at peace with who she is.

This belief parallels the first, with a nuanced distinction. While the first suggests the impossibility of reaching self-discovery, this one implies a belief in eventually finding oneself in life.

The consensus among those I interviewed is that perceiving self-discovery as an ongoing process unites them. How can it not be a process? Well, maybe it depends on how you would define self-discovery. Are you referring to getting rid of identifications? Are you thinking about better understanding yourself and your needs? Are you talking about being in more harmony with yourself?

Whatever your definition may be, it probably implies that it has to be a process. You’ve got to do something in order to achieve and retain it. In other words, something has to be cultivated, such as self-acceptance, self-improvement, or self-love. However, is this really needed for true self-discovery? Perhaps one’s self is inherently omnipresent, needing only recognition. Is is needed to develop the capacity to recognise your innermost self? Or is the perception of this needed capacity the obstacle on itself?

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Every Sunday, I’m publishing a new article (click here go to the article overview) in which I share a little analysis on the short interviews I did.