How Symbolism Can Bring Greater Self-Awareness
Have you ever wondered…
How easily do you take risks?
What do you think will happen in the future?
What images do you believe others have of you?
Use your imagination to take an imaginary walk in a castle to discover more about your character.
As you go through the exercise, the symbols provide perceptions of your overall view of life, your attitude toward new experiences, the image you have of your life, and how you imagine your future. Take into account that culture influences and signifies your personal context on how certain metaphors, images, and symbols suggest various uses and understanding of your life.
It is up to you to decide for your self how the symbols function in your life. This exercise is offered as an aid to enrich the activity and perspectives of your life.
You will need a sheet of paper and a pen or pencil to note your responses.
Begin by taking a few long deep breaths to relax your mind and to settle into your seat. Now imagine you are in front of a castle. Continue to read and answer the following questions to unfold your personal storyline.
- You are in front of the door of the castle. How exactly do you imagine it?
a. It is a simple door b. It is covered by plants and is somewhat hard to find c. It is a huge wooden door with metal details and it looks a little frightening
2. You pass the door of the castle and realize that there is no soul. It is desert. What is the first thing you see?
a. A huge library, wall to wall full of books b. A huge fireplace and a hot fire burning c. A large banquet hall with huge chandeliers and red carpets d. A long corridor with many closed doors
- You look around and find a staircase. You decide to climb the stairs. What does the staircase look like?
a. It looks sharp and massive, leading nowhere b. It is an impressive spiral, grand staircase
- After you climb the stairs, you reach a small room in which there is only one window. How big is the window?
a. It appears normal b. It’s small, like a porthole c. It’s massive and take up most of the surface of the wall
- You look out the window. What do you see?
a. Large waves crashing furiously on rock b. A snowy forest c. A green valley d. A small, vibrant city
- You go down the stairs and you’re back in the area where you were when you first entered the castle. You go ahead and find a door at the rear of the building. You open it and go out in a yard. What exactly does it look like?
a. It is full of hypertrophic plants, grasses, broken wood and fallen barbed wire b. It is impeccably maintained with countless colorful flowers c. It’s a jungle, but you can imagine how beautiful it would be if someone cleaned and put it in order
QUESTION 1 – The Door
Your Attitude to New Experiences
The door represents your attitude to new experiences.
a. The Simple Door
If you imagined a simple, everyday door, you probably are not afraid of any new challenge and will test your luck in new things and situations without a second thought.
b. The Hidden Door
If you have chosen the hidden door, you probably do not know what you need to do in the future and your life in it, and it looks blurry and undefined.
c. Big, Scary Door
Of course, if you have chosen a big, scary door, then you probably are afraid of the unknown and find it difficult to get out of your comfort zone and try new experiences.
QUESTION 2– Inside the Castle
Idea You Believe Others Have of You
The space inside the castle is the idea that you believe others to have of you. For example, if you saw a library, you probably think that you are the person who supports others and helps them find answers to their problems.
a. Large Fireplace
The large fireplace gives a feeling of warmth and passion that you think you cause in people.
b. Fancy Ballroom
A fancy ballroom suggests that you feel that you can dazzle people around you and that you have a lot to give.
c. Long Corridor
If you ended up in a long corridor with closed doors, you feel that you are difficult to understand and others will have to try much to ‘penetrate’ more within you.
QUESTION 3– The Staircase
The stairway shows the image that you have of life.
a. Sharp and Massive Staircase
The sharp and massive staircase shows a person who sees life as suffering, with many difficulties.
b. Beautiful Spiral Staircase
The beautiful spiral staircase shows that you are romantic a person.
QUESTION 4– The Window
The window is the way you feel right now. The size of a window is relative to your culture, where you grew-up, and you environment. Thus what one person may call “small” may be “large” to another person. What matters most is your interpretation.
a. Small Window
A small window means that you feel depressed and trapped in your life. It may feel like there’s no way out of what you are experiencing in this period.
b. Normal Window
A normal window shows a person with realistic demands and expectations of life at this stage. You realize that there are limitations, but the future is here and it looks clear for you.
c. Gigantic Window
If you chose, the gigantic window, you probably feel invincible, free and able to achieve what you want.
QUESTION 5 – The View From The Window
The view from the window is the overview of your whole life.
a. Stormy Sea
A stormy sea shows a hectic and erratic life.
b. Snowy Forest
A snowy forest is associated with a person who lived isolated and detached from the crowds.
c. Green Valley
The green valley shows that your life is calm and steady, without much stress and anxiety.
d. Vibrant City
People relate the vibrant city to someone who generally lives life with lots of socializing and generally surrounded.
QUESTION 6 – The Courtyard Of The Castle
The image of the courtyard is the image that you have in mind of your future.
a. Neat and Shiny Garden
If you chose a neat and shiny garden, then you feel that your future will be heavenly.
b. Picture of a Neglected Garden
Picture of a promising but neglected garden shows an optimistic person, who is worried if he can find the energy to take control of his life and make his future more beautiful.
c. Grassy Damaged Garden
Those who chose the grassy, damaged garden are pessimistic that do not have a nice picture of the future.
The symbols represent aspects of your life but are not like most typical symbols where there is a code or rule to obey. An example of common, modern symbols include traffic lights, where red means stop and green means go.
The images here are part of a complex language in which green can mean jealousy or fertility or even both, depending on your personal background. It is up to you to explore the script you chose in the walk through the castle and work through it sensitively.
, . (2017). How Symbolism Can Bring Greater Self-Awareness. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 23, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/mind-body-soul/2017/10/how-symbolism-can-bring-greater-self-awareness/