Who am I? Why am I here? What is my purpose? What do I want in life? These are some of the questions we ask ourselves at some point in our lives when it feels like we are living other people’s lives. At the point when we feel a disconnection between our inner being and what we find ourselves doing, then, it may be time to embark on the journey of self- discovery to unravel some mysteries about our existence.
Not knowing who you are, or what you are meant to be in life could lead to a meaningless and fruitless existence. One major effect of not taking out time to find out about who you truly are, what values you hold dearly, what makes you happy, what differentiates you from other people is that, your whole life and existence is guarded by the dictates of other people such as parents, friends, family and the society. You sub-consciously accept the values and norms of other people as your own.
When you don’t know what defines you, it will be difficult for people to understand your values as your goals keep changing daily. This is why some people move from one job to another, move from one business to another annually, in a bid to find fulfillment without first of all understanding who they are. For example, a young man who was “forced” to go to medical school because it is assumed to be a well-respected and highly paid profession may never excel in that field if his purpose in life is to be an artist.
In the journey of self discovery, there are steps to take and questions to ask.
1.Accept your weaknesses
Discovering yourself means digging deep into your past and every experience that has shaped you to be whom you are today. The answers you get may sometimes be difficult for you to handle. It could be good or bad, but the ability to tell yourself the truth and accept the reality of your findings will put you on the path of being free and living your own life. Sometimes, people find it hard to accept their weaknesses, thereby constantly convincing themselves and other people of certain things. Knowing your weaknesses and embracing them, rather than pretend they don’t exist will help you work on them and eventually turn them to your strength/advantage. For instance, if your weakness is having the courage to ask for help, you can turn this to strength by gradually developing an inquisitive knack starting from your friends and colleagues. You will be amazed at how much knowledge you can acquire over time by just asking questions.
2.Celebrate your strengths
While you work on your weaknesses, do not forget to glow in your strengths. Your personal strengths are the things that you are good at. Leveraging your personal strengths means using more of what you are good at to get more of what you want. Your strength can lie in your ability to cook, sing, motivate people or writing. You are closer to realizing your dreams if you find yourself doing what you enjoy doing, because the motivation to continue even when things are not working out as expected flows freely.
3.What do you like about yourself ?
There is perhaps no greater love than that which a man has for himself. Until you accept yourself for who you are, it may be difficult to achieve inner peace. Identify the things you like about yourself and project them to the world positively. Don’t allow yourself to be put down by people who are afraid of your success.
4.What would you like to change about yourself ?
Are there habits you would want to change in your life to achieve the level of fulfillment you desire? As it is with the law of attraction, our behaviors and attitudes are sometimes responsible for the result we get. Even though, some of these behaviors were formed from our childhood experiences. For example, a child whose mother was severally abused while growing up is likely to be violent and afraid of commitment in a relationship. In the journey to discover yourself, you must realize that if though, you had no control over what you saw as a child, you can influence and control how you see the future. You must resolve to make peace with your inner being and forgive yourself from the guilt of being unable to defend your mother as a child.
5.Face your fears
Many people are afraid to go on the journey of self discovery, because they are afraid of what they will find. Rather than do a soul searching of what they really want in life and go for it, they settle for convenience because they are afraid of people not accepting them for who they really are.
Find out what your fears are and confront them. That is the only way to break yourself from everything holding you back.
6.Find out what and who inspires you ?
Some of the things that will help you in discovering yourself is knowing what and who inspires you to be a better version of you. If nature brings out your creative ability for instance, you may need to acquire the skills and knowledge to develop this ability, as that may be your gateway to freedom and fulfillment.
Write out the list of people you look up to and pick the one who inspires you the most and what inspires you about them. This will help you determine which part of their lives you want to set goals on and the necessary changes you need to make to achieve these goals.
7.Find your purpose in life
This is very fundamental to the journey of self discovery. Finding the purpose for which you were created will give you a sense of direction in life. This is more than just making ends meet, it’s more than just going wherever the wind blows, and it’s more than just having fun. This is what brings out the uniqueness in you and it gives you the greatest joy. Your purpose in life could be putting smiles on the faces of vulnerable children, writing books for children, combating crime, inspiring people, creating contents to help start up entrepreneurs. Once you find your purpose in life, living becomes easier and enjoyable.
8.Set a life time goal
Set a realistic goal for yourself that will clearly show where you want to be in 5, 10, 15 and 20 years from now. These goals should include education, family, career, financial etc. Once you have decided your lifetime goals in these categories, you have to assign a priority to them if you want to succeed.
Then review the lifetime goals and re-prioritize until you are satisfied that they reflect the shape of the life that you want to lead.
Also, you should ensure that the goals that you have set are the goals that you want to achieve, and not what your parents, spouse, family, or employers want them to be.
9.Where is the place of God?
Ask yourself if you believe in the supremacy of God and what God represent in your life? Identifying your religious beliefs will help shape your moral values. This will set you up on a pedestal of knowing and choosing between what is right and wrong. Believing in God also place on your shoulder a responsibility of being answerable to a supreme being who constantly checks our actions.
10.Keep a personal journal
It is helpful to write down your thoughts and ideas about life. Writing down your hopes and dreams help you learn more about yourself. Journals provide that place to jot down your personal impressions of life. It is where you can collect and reflect privately on the life lessons you have learned, the challenges you’ve faced and the obstacles that lie ahead.
Nowadays, we often lose ourselves in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, that we lose sight of our dreams and who we want to become.