Finding the way back to you — 9 tips on how to find yourself
At this very moment, you’re on an adventure.
Perhaps you’ve been on this adventure for a while, or you’re just starting. What adventure, you ask? You’re not looking to find the perfect job or the biggest, most amazing house. You’re looking for yourself.
But many people have a hard time finding themselves and become lost along the way. If you took a right turn when you should have taken a left, that’s all right. Changing your life to find your whole self comes with some road bumps, but that’s part of the adventure.
To better your well-being and discover your purpose and passions in life, you’re going to need a jumping-off point. Some direction and a better understanding of how to find yourself on the road to self-discovery will help you start.
What does it mean to find yourself?
Finding yourself happens when something clicks in your brain and you realize who you truly are as a human being. This means something different to everyone, but ultimately, it focuses on what you want out of your life.
You may wonder, “How does knowing who I am affects my life?” Having a better idea of your core values and who your authentic self is will help you accept your feelings and identity and identify your goals and motivations.
Being the best versions of ourselves doesn’t mean that we’re perfect or always grinning from ear to ear. It means that we feel better about ourselves and our mental health, and we don’t cave to pressures that others put on us.
This isn’t an easy accomplishment. Searching for yourself entails a lot of distracting chatter from your inner voice. But through life experiences, both positive and negative, we discover who we are and aren’t.
It demands you to put the puzzle pieces together, determine what’s missing from your life, and learn what steps you need to take to fill those gaps. Exercises like writing a personal vision statement can help you on your journey.
Ultimately, finding ourselves boosts our self-confidence, self-esteem, and our self-awareness. You’ll know yourself better than anyone else does.
What habits can I implement to find myself?
The habits you need in your life to find yourself aren’t things you can buy at a store. There’s no step-by-step guide on how to find your true self, but you can look within yourself to practice some mindful habits that can help you along the way.
Get uncomfortable. If you’re experiencing some existential angst or feel like you’ve lost yourself somehow, you need to learn how to find yourself again. The disconnection is valid, and many people go through it.
You’re going to need to step outside your comfort zone. It’s time to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. It’s also an opportunity to be brave when you feel like you’re experiencing something unfamiliar. Doing so will help you get into the habit of trying new things.
Finding yourself is a path full of obstacles that can make us question our self-worth and cast seeds of doubt everywhere. When you’re on your way to finding yourself, make it a habit to practice self-care. You can do this through positive self-talk and affirmations that you say to yourself each morning or when you write them down in a journal.
Rather than overwhelming yourself with negative thoughts, have some self-compassion and be proud of yourself for sticking to this adventure.
Another habit you can implement is opening up during this process. Chat with a family member, a loved one, or a coach about what you’re going through. Talking about it with others can bring you peace and give you ideas for the future. Hearing different perspectives can be a source of motivation if you’re tempted to slip back into bad habits.
It’s not easy to stick to a long-term goal. A BetterUp coach can provide the accountability you need for discovering yourself without feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.
9 tips and strategies to find yourself
It’s time to learn the strategies that you can do to help you find your true self. Below are eight tips that help you get acquainted with yourself.
1. Visualize your ideal lifestyle
You need to know what you’re hoping to achieve while on this journey. Visualizing what would fulfill you the most in life and how you want to feel gives you something to guide your goals, whether you do that with a vision board, a journal, or a life plan.
Start by asking yourself simple questions like what you want out of your life, where you want to be in the next five years, and what you’re proud of so far in your life. You might get stuck with a couple of these questions, but take your time so that you’re confident in your answers. A key component to discovering self.
2. Reflect on your relationships
Take a moment to reflect on your relationships, both past, and present. Do you think they’re just healthy and beneficial or do they drain you? How do they impact your mental health and, in turn, the rest of your view of yourself? Are you able to set healthy boundaries in your relationships?
We can pinpoint our traits, strengths, and weaknesses through our relationships. They show you your fears, help you understand why you have them, and strengthen your self-knowledge.
3. Do things on your own
Sometimes, we rely too much on those around us for guidance and direction. Doing things by yourself means that it’s just you experiencing new things or things from your usual routine. Life experiences like traveling solo boost your overall self-confidence. When you go solo, you make your own decisions, have fewer distractions, and have to make conversation with different types of people. Self-discovery can’t come from your friends or family members.
4. Focus on your passions
We can be passionate about anything, whether it’s cooking, charity work, the environment, or more. Rather than ignore what makes us excited and sparks joy, hone in on it. Pay attention to what gives you satisfaction and makes you feel good in life. Understanding and finding our passions teaches us what our values show us what we want to do in our daily lives.
5. Keep yourself organized
Through this whole journey, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed and unsure. Staying organized and keeping track of your progress helps with any clutter or feelings of confusion. A great way to do this is to flex your time management skills.
To keep your life organized to have more time to think deeply about yourself, try setting a weekly cleaning schedule for your home, practicing meal prepping, or using a planner to help you keep your focus clear. Block off time throughout your week to meditate or journal to get in touch with yourself.
6. Know when to unplug
Social media is a deceiving rabbit hole. Constantly scrolling through other people’s lives can serve as a distraction, making you forget what finding yourself means in the first place. To be the best version of yourself, try a digital detox when social media has become overwhelming.
Some distance will help you focus on yourself and not your followers’ perception of you. Don’t forget that it’s a highlight reel of people’s lives; it’s not always reality.
7. Learn to differentiate support from opinions
Maybe your friends will be confused by your journey of self-discovery. They might not get it, and the opinions they provide aren’t the support you need. Next time you talk to somebody about your journey, be aware of who you’re listening to and what they’re saying. While they may have good intentions, what works for them might not work for you. Above all, listen and trust your feelings and thoughts.
8. Make a list of things you value about yourself
What skills and qualities do you like about yourself? Write them down. Your values and skills can point you in the direction you want to take your life. They can show you what you’re good at or want to experience.
9. Keep learning about things that interest you
After you’ve settled into your career, you might feel like you know everything you need. But expanding your knowledge base isn’t only for children or students. You can lean into your intellectual curiosity and explore subjects that interest you. You can try teaching yourself about certain subjects or listening to podcasts and reading news articles to learn small pieces of information each day.
Finding yourself is a process that many people want to do quickly, but that’s not reality. You accomplish it by taking the time to engage with the world. You put in the Inner Work® to understand yourself, your values, interests, and fears. It’s an experience that needs a growth mindset that sees the value in continuous learning.
You shouldn’t feel like you’re being selfish, even if it’s a self-centered goal. You’re helping yourself embrace who you are so that you can be a better partner, parent, sibling, or employee.
If you need extra support along your adventure of self-discovery, we have you.
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