When a person has no fixed path, no goals and no real interests, they might try to ‘find themselves’ by jumping from one extreme interest to another. Although this is their version of a journey to self-discovery, it doesn’t need to be yours. You don’t necessarily need to go trekking through the Andes Mountains (unless you want to) to realise who you are.
There are a lot of articles online which suggest you ‘stop trying to find yourself’ and that instead you should ‘create yourself’. The problem is that sometimes, we have to attempt to find ourselves in order to really create ourselves.
Don’t use your journey to self-discovery as an excuse.
It’s important to try new things but don’t put yourself down while you work on yourself. Phrases such as ‘I’m still trying to find myself as a designer’ or ‘I need to take some time off work to find myself’ are excuses, they don’t get to the core of the problem, low self esteem.
Getting to know yourself, deciding what you really want and trying to make it happen takes time. Patience is important. Don’t rush into your life or stick to other people’s schedules. You’re never too old or too young to start working towards your ambitions!
There are a lot of ways to get to know yourself. The best way is to start questioning yourself more, you aren’t self-absorbed or selfish for trying to understand yourself better. There are a list of general questions below to get you started.
What risks are you willing to take? What sacrifices are you willing to make? Some people might choose to spend less time with their families for more money or a more fulfilling career path. Some people take less money in exchange for more time doing the things they love or working for a company they believe in.
Do you love yourself? A lot of people struggle with this question as they tend to only associate love with the love they have for other people or the love other people have for them. Before you’re able to love others, you should at least try to love yourself.
What are your long term goals? Do you want to eventually get a degree (or another degree), start your own business, get married, have children, build your own home? How are you working towards achieving the things you’d like to achieve?
Is there anyone holding you back? When you mention something you’d like to do or achieve, does anyone put you or your ideas down? Do you feel as though you’re not reaching your true potential due to someone?
Do you recognise your bad habits? Do you want to change them? Why? Are you able to seek help to help you make those changes? If you smoke, do you intend to stop smoking? If you drink too much, do you intend to cut down or stop drinking?
Is there anything you’re really good at? Are you trying to focus your efforts on the thing (or maybe things) you’re good at? If yes, you’re on the right path! If not, why not? What could you do to get yourself to where you’d like to be?
If you’re really struggling with who you are, you could try writing down more detailed answers to the above questions. It might help you get to grips with your personal journey to self-discovery.
Alternatively, these are all questions you could try to answer in your head. If you can think of a simple answer to a question, more often than not that answer will stick around in your mind longer than something overly complicated.
Try to live your life without ‘maybe’, be able to say ‘yes’ to some things and ‘no’ to others. Make decisions, even if they’re the wrong decisions, make choices, even if they’re the wrong choices. Being able to learn from your mistakes can make you a stronger person, it can help you grow.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to improve your well-being and sense of self, we have another post about this on our blog.
Photo by Polina Zimmerman from Pexels
Write a realistic bucket list for yourself.
If money wasn’t an issue, what would you do? Sometimes we might not initiate something because we’re not financially stable enough to do so. That shouldn’t stop you from pursuing your goal, it might just take longer than you initially anticipated. Try to save a little bit of money every day, week or month and put it towards your dream. You’ll get there eventually.
If you want to learn how to play the guitar, you don’t need to buy a guitar, you could rent one or try a couple of lessons with a teacher who can lend you one as part of the course. If you want to learn how to dive, it’s probably best not to buy all of the expensive equipment before doing a taster session at a local diving school (usually held in a swimming pool). A lot of people do this with cars, they haven’t passed their test but they’ve bought a car.
Remember, you have to learn how to walk before you try to run. If heights aren’t your thing then it’s more than likely that bungee jumping or abseiling won’t be your thing. Don’t add it to your bucket list because other people do. Try to think ‘smaller’, a little closer to home.
Perhaps there’s a museum, restaurant or a historic city near you that you’ve never visited? You could add that to your list. Atlas Obscura has some great ideas for unusual things to see all over the world. When was the last time you went to a library or read a book from cover to cover? Add realistic things to your bucket list so that even if you don’t enjoy them, you didn’t go out of your way to do them.
Daily reminders can keep you on the right track, we’ve added some below to help you. If you achieve one or two of these ideas a day, you should start to feel better about yourself.
Try to improve something about yourself every day, you could learn a new word, try something new, read something, experience something, practice something and so on.
Be kind to other people, even during disagreements, try to maintain your composure.
Look after yourself, get your hair cut, trimmed or styled, take a long bath or shower, go swimming or to the gym, cut your finger or toe nails, brush your teeth etc.
Think about something you can improve on tomorrow, if you’ve been procrastinating, you might want to finish a task you started previously.
Set yourself a challenge. This also relates to ‘try to improve something about yourself’ but it tends to work. You could write a poem, draw a picture or memorize a quote.
If daily reminders are a little bit too much for you and you’re already starting to feel overwhelmed, then you could attempt a bit of self-evaluation to enhance your self-discovery adventure. There are some ways you can evaluate yourself, like thinking about your strengths, weaknesses, the things that make you happy or sad, elated or mad.
Go for it, there’s no time like the present.
There are things out there that you might be good at even though you’ve never tried them before, so sign up for those painting classes, do a cookery or dance class, get out there and start your journey to self-discovery.
Is there anything you’d like to add, have we missed anything? We’d love to know what you think. If you’re interested in sharing your experiences with us or writing a guest post for us, send us an email via firstname.lastname@example.org!
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