Lost in this crazy world?
Some of us surround ourselves with friends and social activities to avoid being alone because we don’t want to see the mess that is there and being locked in and being forced to spend this time with no one but yourself is less than ideal. But perhaps we can flip the script. Perhaps we can make this time about ourselves, discovering who we truly are and focus on building the most important relationship of your career as a human; the relationship you build with yourself. Ready to take this journey?
Most of what we know; our belief systems, our ideologies, and philosophies are based on what the society, and the world, at large taught us since we were born. You know 1+1=2 because this is what you were taught. Our personalities form from these ideologies and what we know about ‘ourselves’ as well.
How to Find Yourself When You are Unsure
These guidelines to help you find yourself when you’re lost are courtesy of Hackspirit and we couldn’t be more thankful.
1. Let the past be your guide into the future
For most of us, looking into the past is a painful, heartbreaking experience that we’d rather block out of our minds. You will need to work through these blocks in order to discover who you are and why you are the way you are; know your own story. Discover the systems that were put in place to shape the person that you are now.
Take some time to create a timeline of where you’ve been in the world, who you’ve shared experiences with, and the mark they left in your life. Some of these experiences may be hard to remember but pushing through the discomfort of going through them will give you the confidence and strength in further understanding and exploration of who you are.
The aim here is not to wallow in self-pity but to give you an understanding of who you’ve become as a result of these situations.
2. Your difference is unique
What are your unique traits? Take time to identify and discover what makes you stand out. You need to learn to appreciate who you are before you can discover who you need to be. Unfortunately, this is not an easy task because we are often our own biggest critics, judging ourselves based on the standards of others.
Silence your inner critic and meld her/him into the acceptance of who you are. Teach her/him to celebrate your differences and accept them as part of you. A good exercise to help you put this into perspective is to list 10 traits that you’re proud of. It’s also easy to let the voice of negativity reign over your positives but understanding your positive traits will help you silence the negativity. Go on the guide that, in order to work on your future self, you need to reconcile who you are right now.
To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself. When you are born a lotus flower, be a beautiful lotus flower, don’t try to be a magnolia flower. If you crave acceptance and recognition and try to change yourself to fit what other people want you to be, you will suffer all your life. True happiness and true power lie in understanding yourself, accepting yourself, having confidence in yourself.
A beautiful passage from Master Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh on the power of self-acceptance
Appreciate the person looking back at you in the mirror and be kind to them in thought and treatment. Only when you understand and love this person will change, in whatever way or form, find you.
3. Find a new way of being
You know that saying, ‘Foolishness is doing the same thing expecting different results’ this is where it applies. The whole reason you’re here right now, why you’re looking to discover yourself is because you’re looking for a change.
Change up the way you do things and be more present in your daily life. When someone talks to you, be there with them instead of retreating into your mind. Be curious about life and don’t be afraid to ask questions about who you are. In the same spirit, don’t be afraid of the answers you find. It’s all part of the process.
Acknowledge and learn to accept your weakness and what you don’t like about yourself. This will put the power firmly in your hand and in accepting this part of you, can you make space for all the good that you are.
4. Focus on what makes you happy
This is not a journey that you will take in one day. The path of looking into the past and then learning self-acceptance will take time. Once you appreciate yourself and understand your most basic traits, focus on what makes you happy according to this. What makes you happy may not work for everyone else so be prepared to lose people as you choose you on this journey. It’s okay because at the end of the day you’ll have the most important person; yourself. Ask yourself these questions;
i) What makes you truly happy
ii) At what moment do you feel most alive?
The answer to these questions is what you need to be focusing on.
5. Find your power
There is a power that dwells inside that enables us to shape our lives the way we want to. Challenge yourself to reach deep inside and tap into that power. It gives us the strength to challenge the systems we currently live in but we are afraid to tap into it because we prefer to ‘keep the peace’. Tapping into this power will help you recognize as a powerful tool in the shaping of your own life. This means building that strength, confidence, and competence to direct your destiny.
6. Stand for what you believe in
When you tap into your power, you’ll be able to stand a little taller and firmly stand for what you believe in. Speak your mind, not in a condescending way to belittle others and make yourself feel better but let your thoughts be known more often. Cultivate the culture of being open to hear other’s opinions and putting them into consideration but be accepting of your own beliefs. Don’t be a people pleaser. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and know that sometimes you’ll be wrong but stand tall and accept all these as part of your journey to discovery.
7. Seek meaning and Serve others
Find your meaning and purpose on this earth. This will mean turning your focus inwards and listen to what your essence is saying to you. You may have to filter out the noise of other people telling you what your purpose should be and stand your ground and fulfill what you were put here to do. Seeking out meaning may be a difficult part of the process but you will be inherently happier for it. Love and appreciate those around you, your family, and friends. Working on yourself means improving the relationships in your life and striving to have better interpersonal relations with those you care about.
The other part of this is serving others. Service to the mankind and the planet, in general, will remain one of the biggest and most fulfilling things you can do with your life. When you focus your energies on helping others rather than on self-serving purposes, you’ll find a deeper meaning to life, into who you are and why you’re here.
8. Act Now!
There’s no better time than now! So, seize this wonderous opportunity that’s been placed in your path and take action. This journey id not going to take itself and through this process you’ve gained insight on who you want to be. Start taking the necessary steps towards self-discovery and growth. Any time you feel like it’s too much, remember that you have the tools to effect change within you and all you need to do is tap into the power within.
Recommended Books and Podcasts resources
1. Be your own life coach- ebook
Be your own life coach/ ideapod
Celebrities and well-abled people hire life coaches to help them direct their lives but you can get all the best content on how to direct your own life at the palm of your hand. The book is well researched and delivers powerful content with a punch. We recommend this book as a guide on your self-discovery journey.
2. Why taking responsibility is key to being the best you
Book on taking responsibility: book by Ideapod
Learn how to take responsibility for your own life and the situations you are in. If you want to stare down your challenges and seize control of your future, this unique eBook is for you.
3. Happier with Gretchen Rubin
Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast: gretchenrubinpodcast
Brought to you by Gretchen Rubin, the best-selling author of The Happiness Project and Better than Before, the Happier podcast is aimed at giving you strategies and tips to build ‘happier’ habits into your life.
There’s something about being alone that forces us to look inwards into the core of who we are. Taking ourselves from the social context helps us to better focus our energy inwards and we end up bringing about change within ourselves that we could only dream of before