Finding yourself can be both exciting and challenging—and the process from the moment the realization hits to getting where you want to be can often be quite overwhelming, especially if you’re navigating it alone.
While no two people will offer you the same definition of what it means to “find yourself” for them, the self-discovery journey is usually about exploring who you are, what makes you happy, and what you want to achieve in life.
If you're feeling lost or unsure about your direction, don't worry, you are not alone; apart from liars and fools, every human to ever walk the face of the earth is a never-ending work in process. We reinvent ourselves the more we learn and we change according to what we experience; finding yourself is all about using that change and adaptability to create an environment that you thrive in, both internally and externally.
A lot of self-improvement and growth starts from taking a longer and deeper look at your past self: your actions, experiences, feelings, thoughts, and preferences. Knowing how you felt about certain things and practices, what felt right and what left a lingering feeling of unease, can help you define what your core values and views are—which will be essential in building the best version of yourself.
Introspection can also come in handy to figure out your strength and weaknesses. Be honest with yourself about what you're good at and what areas you need to work on. Accepting both your strengths and weaknesses is important for personal growth.
This could be anything from trying a new hobby to travelling to a new place. The key is to challenge yourself and open yourself up to new opportunities to have more data to judge from. Sometimes we stay in boxes that no longer fit us comfortably just because we think it’s all we can achieve—all we deserve to have. Sometimes those boxes are the result of mental health, insecurity, or outside pressure and that’s OK; identify what’s holding you back from stepping outside your comfort zone and face your fears head-on.
Keep in mind that courage is the first, and most important, ingredient in creating a less suffocating life and a more fulfilling future. Trying new things can also help you build confidence, expand your skillset, and challenge yourself positively.
Do you know that “lost” feeling you’re battling right now? That’s usually the result of a lack of vision. A boat needs to know its destination to manipulate the wind in its favour, otherwise, it will get thrown from one side to another and wander off aimlessly. Humans are the same; without a clear goal or purpose to work towards, our efforts often seem pointless, and we eventually get discouraged. Take some time to set goals for yourself and work towards them to stay motivated.
Where do you want to see yourself in one week? or one month? or one year? This can be as big as a job change or as small as a cleaner living space; you decide what you want to do, but always make sure your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Try to break them down into smaller, actionable steps to make them more manageable.
Finding yourself is a process, and a life-long one at that, so there is no right or wrong way to do it; no time limit on when you need to do it; and no one but you has the right to judge your process or progress. So, take your time, stay curious, and enjoy the ride!
Remember that taking care of yourself is another vital aspect of finding yourself. Make sure to prioritize your physical and mental health, and take time to relax and do things you enjoy. It’s also important to surround yourself with positive people that will encourage and support you through this process; these can be your family, friends, or complete strangers on the internet (join our community!).