Who Am I?
I am feeling so lost. How can I figure out who I really am?
Signed: Who Am I?
Dear Who Am I,
First, I want to assure you that every one of us has felt the way you are feeling, at some point in our lives. We get so busy taking care of other people, or with work, with raising a family, with trying to survive the ups and downs that life throws our way. And without meaning to, we start to lose the connection to our self. We barely have the time or energy to accomplish the necessities of the day. We sometimes don’t realize that one of those necessities is to focus inward, and to find a way to pay attention to our own self, too. Over time, we can lose the habit altogether. And one day, we realize we just don’t really know who we are anymore – not really. It can sometimes feel like we are looking at a stranger in the mirror.
Let’s start with the understanding that “YOU” are still in there somewhere – just because you feel lost doesn’t mean you have lost yourself (if that makes any sense). We are already our very best self, in every possible way. We do not have to “become” something more than what we already are. But we do need to start paying attention to who that person is. We need to recognize our needs and wants and hopes and desires. And in order to do that, we have to connect to our self again. This requires a bit of time and effort, on a regular basis.
Recognizing our self again is only the first step in the process though. Once we reconnect, we have to start living congruently (in harmony) with who we really are (the parts of ourselves that we want to see shine). Or we risk disconnecting again. Let me be clear – this is not being selfish! This is being healthy. It allows us to live in balance – meeting our needs before we are burnt out; recognizing our wants so we can plan for how to achieve them; imagining our hopes and dreams so we have motivation and drive and a direction to follow in life. This is how we grow as a person.
Discovering who you truly are is a journey of self-exploration and introspection. It’s essential to be patient and compassionate with yourself throughout this process, as it is a never-ending journey and it takes time and effort. Here are some steps to help you figure out who you really are:
- Self-reflection: Take some time to reflect on your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Journaling can be a helpful tool to write down your thoughts and to gain insights into your emotions and desires.
- Identify your values: Consider what values are most important to you. What principles do you hold dear? Identifying your values can give you a better sense of what truly matters in your life.
- Explore your passions: Engage in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment. Pursuing your passions can give you a sense of purpose and will help you understand what truly resonates with your authentic self. You might need to explore a bit, at first, to figure this out.
- Assess your strengths and weaknesses: Recognize your strengths and the areas where you might need improvement. Embrace your strengths and work on accepting and examining your weaknesses as part of your personal growth.
- Question your beliefs: Examine your beliefs, opinions, and assumptions about yourself and the world around you. Are they genuinely yours, or have they been influenced by others? Being open to challenging and evolving your beliefs can lead to a deeper understanding of yourself.
- Seek feedback: Talk to close friends, family, or mentors who know you well. Sometimes, getting an outside perspective can provide valuable insights into your personality and behavior.
- Embrace your uniqueness: Recognize that everyone is different, and that’s what makes us special. Embrace your individuality and avoid comparing yourself to others.
- Face your fears: Sometimes, fear can hold us back from fully expressing ourselves. Confronting and overcoming your fears can lead to personal growth and a deeper understanding of yourself.
- Practice self-compassion: Be kind to yourself during this process. Avoid self-criticism and practice self-compassion, acknowledging that it’s okay not to have all the answers right away.
- Seek professional help if needed: If you find it challenging to navigate this journey on your own or if you encounter emotional difficulties, consider seeking support from a therapist.
Remember, self-discovery is a lifelong process. It is healthy to evolve and change over time. Embrace the journey and be open to growth and new experiences.
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