personal development, self-discovery

Your Journey of Self-Discovery. Step 1: Uncover what ignites your inner spark

Uncover what ignites your inner spark

You might be wondering how finding what ignites your inner spark could be the first step on your self-discovery journey. How could answering the seemingly simple question, “What makes me happy?”, be the first step to understanding oneself?

We all know the saying “reputation is what others think of you, character is what you are”. Despite this, most women on their path of self-discovery seek assurance from others. Instead of looking within, they ask friends, family, or even colleagues, to validate who they are.

The definition of self-discovery is “the process of acquiring insight into one’s own character”

Oxford Dictionary

Let’s say you’re a bookkeeper and have a reputation for writing up great financial reports. For the past two years, you’ve been working on yourself and you come across yet another test to access your character. You decide to ask one of your close coworkers to share their perspective with you while answering some of the questions in the test about yourself.

They will likely have preconceived notions about your personality based solely on your work persona and skill set. However, does who you are at work define you? Does being an exceptional bookkeeper mean you should dedicate your life’s work to this?

If bookkeeping makes you feel alive and fulfilled, the answer is, absolutely! However, chances are being good a something doesn’t always equate to having found your life purpose or the path to the real you. Yes, your capabilities and personality are components that can shed light on who you are. But, the first step to living a fulfilled life is to discern the aspects of your life that really bring you happiness and bring you into a flow state…What ignites a spark within you?

Spark archetype theory

Over the years I have come across many theories and philosophies on how to reach self-actualization. And during my studies, I have found that unless you are completely invigorated by what you’re doing, it doesn’t matter how perfect the job or endeavor may seem, it isn’t going to sustain you.

One of my favorite frameworks to start with is Jonathan Fields’ sparketypes. He has taken many of the Jungian archetypes you come across in branding and personality theory and created spark archetypes.

you can buy the book here
Sparked by Jonathan Fields

The core principle of this theory is that you should be doing the things that leave you sparked. Basically, what could you do non-stop, to the point that you might even forget to eat or bathe? You enter the coveted flow state. Moreover, is this activity transferable? For instance, do you like learning about ancient Egypt or do you yearn to learn in general?

The 10 Sparketypes can be summarized as follows:

MavenMakerScientistEssentialistPerformer
SageWarriorAdvisorAdvocateNurturer
from Sparked by Jonathan Fields

Everyone has one primary sparketype, but many people also have a close second that supports their primary type. Additionally, we all have an anti-sparketype. You guessed it, this activity takes you out of your flow state and quickly depletes your energy reserve. I highly suggest taking the free test at https://sparketype.com/ to identify your primary and anti-sparketype.

Some tips and tricks when taking the test:

  1. Ensure you answer the questions as honestly as possible. Don’t base your answers on how others see you. Also, make sure the answers portray your reality and not a version of yourself that you wish you were.
    • For instance, you may love watching Marie Kondo organize everything from a kitchen to a bookshelf and the aesthetic she achieves by doing so, but can you honestly say that creating order from chaos energizes you? You might love the idea of color coordinating your closet after watching her show on Netflix, but can you maintain it? And is this love of organizing transferable? Do you lead a rather organized life? Do people close to you ask you to help them organize aspects of their lives as well?
  2. If you are struggling to choose between two sparketypes, ask yourself the question: Do I “insert verb A” in order to “insert verb B” or do I “insert verb B” in order to “Insert verb A”?
    • For example, when deciding between the Maker and the Maven, the question will read: Do I create in order to learn or learn in order to create? If the answer is create in order to learn, your primary type is the Maven.
  3. Remember, no sparketype is better than another! Let go of any prejudices you may have, as this could influence your results and hamper your development.
  4. Being talented in a specific area doesn’t immediately mean that you are a specific type.
    • A manager may love their job and be great at ensuring that their team meets their objectives, but this doesn’t automatically make them the warrior type. They may be making use of another skill to manage their team. Instead of having the desire to lead others in a more traditional sense, they may actually be making use of other skills, such as, mentoring, teaching or performing to get the job done.
  5. Everyone makes use of social media nowadays, but ever wondered why you may prefer one social media platform over another? The answer to this question could help you narrow down your type. Here are a few examples:
    • Love Pinterest? What’s the main reason you use this platform? Do you save pins of DIY projects to try out later? Do you love organizing your ideas? Do you like preparing meals for your family?
    • Can’t get enough of Youtube? Do you enjoy going down the rabbit hole of videos on a topic you want to learn more about? Do you follow courses to improve your singing skills?
    • By getting a better understanding of the reasons why you spend hours a day on certain social media platforms, you can zero in on your sparketype.

You narrowed down your sparketype, now what?

Congratulations! You’ve found your sparketype and with that have narrowed down the work that drives and invigorates you. By bringing the activities that spark joy within you into the light, you are better able to make a conscious effort to ensure that you spend the majority of your time focused on projects that leave you feeling satisfied and accomplished.

By concentrating on work that gets you into your flow state, you will also be able to express your true self more authentically. You will be amazed by the abundance of energy at your disposal when you spend more time on activities that ignite your inner spark.

This is just the first step on the road of self-discovery. In my next blog post, I will take a closer look at the energy you exude to the external world and how understanding your energetic composition can lead to a more balanced and authentic manifestation of your true essence.

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