In today’s world, with so much to worry about and everything moving at such a fast pace, it has become increasingly easy to lose oneself. This can cause you to feel like you need to conform to fit in and, while there’s nothing wrong with that, it shouldn’t be at the expense of what makes you unique.
Self-discovery is about finding what kind of person you really are, what you want in life, and where your values lie. While it may be difficult to take a deep look at yourself, here are a few ways you can make that process easier and find out who you are:
Be Alone with Your Thoughts: There are a lot of distractions in our modern world so trying to find validation through others or events going on around the world can seriously affect your mental health. This constant exposure to everything all at once can become overwhelming, so it is important that you learn to step away from it all and to be alone with your thoughts.
This may take the form of going for a walk or drive, getting outside and being in nature, or doing something that doesn’t include a computer and the internet. You must find a way to make the time and space to sort through your own thoughts. This can grant you a sense of clarity and peace of mind, while ensuring that you aren’t affected by outside influences. Moreover, it will give your mind a chance to rest and recharge so you’re more focused.
Keep a Journal: Daily journaling has been a popular soul-searching practice used by millions throughout history. Writing down your thoughts in a tangible medium allows you to express your thoughts in a focused and unfiltered manner. It also lets you get concerns about work and life out of your system so you can explore how you feel mentally and physically.
Keeping a journal will also allow you to reflect on things you’ve written previously to see how you’re learning and growing. You can use it to take notes, explore ideas, write about your aspirations, and set goals for yourself. Journaling has also been shown to improve mental health as well as creative and critical thinking, and memory, all of which will help you discover yourself.
Accept the Truths You Already Know About Yourself: The New Zealand All Blacks, rugby team is by far, the most consistent and successful sports team in history with a winning percentage of 80% over a period of 112 years. After every loss or poor performance, the coaches remind the players to go and sit in front of a mirror and “tell yourself the truth.” It’s not an easy thing to do but it does force you to confront the things that deep down, you already know about yourself.
When doing this exercise, it’s important not to forget the things that you like about yourself as well as the things you do well and are happy with. Focus on the fact you’re ambitious rather than the fact you don’t exactly know where you’re going yet. That said, if you really want to get to the bottom of who you are, it’s important not to gloss over any of your shortcomings either. This is not a personal affirmation exercise, and it won’t work if you can’t be completely honest with yourself.
Once you have a good list of your personal “pros and cons” – and you should put these in your journal – try to understand what in your life has led to them, and why they matter to you. This process may make you decide you want to change where your life is going or figure out how to reach your dream. It may also reveal a deep-seated insecurity that you need to address before you can get where you want to go.
Try New Things: Your parents had it right! How do you know you don’t like something unless you try it? By trying new things, you might find you really enjoy doing something and decide to regularly integrate it into your life. For all you know, it might just turn out to be the one little thing your life is missing. Likewise, you might discover something you thought was important in your life is actually something you really don’t like doing. So, get out there, try some new things and meet some new people! Remember, Edison famously did not fail 10,000 times before he invented the light bulb. He successfully eliminated 10,000 things that would not work.
Conclusion: Finding out who you are can be a long and arduous process. It requires getting out of your comfort zone and reflecting on things you might rather not. But who knows? Maybe the best version of you is just sitting right there under the surface and a little bit of digging can put you on the path to a more successful and fulfilling life.