I’ve recently been taking time to get to know myself. Like, really, get to know myself. I’ve been analyzing not just the “what’s” but also the “why’s” behind who I am.
For instance, I know my favorite color is white, but why is it white? What is my very first memory I have in life and why do I remember that specific moment? How do others view me and how do I want to be perceived?
As I continue to grow and experience life changes in my mid-twenties, I’m learning just how crucial it is to take time to focus on yourself. Knowing your values, beliefs and dreams holds the secret to your happiness. I mean think about it. By designing your life off what you really want – not anyone else – you’re chances of bliss, contentment and peace of mind are pretty significant. Discovering your unique wishes and goals, and delving into self-awareness is an essential contributor to your story of success.
So how, exactly, do you “find yourself”? Let me tell you what works for me.
1. Do Things by Yourself
I don’t know if it’s the fact that I can make my own itinerary, or that it builds my confidence, or how it teaches me it’s okay to be lonely, but I genuinely enjoy going places by myself. It’s so refreshing! And once you get past the idea that people don’t care about the fact that you’re by yourself, it’s pretty liberating.
If you’ve always been someone who prefers to have a friend accompany you to a Saturday festival or to a movie premier, I encourage you to try a solo activity at least once. You’ll gain so much insight on yourself, and let’s get real, people watching will never be more fun. Side tip: for an approachable look on your outing, watch out for your RBF, put your shoulders back and keep your head high! 🙂
2. Buy a Self-Discovery Book
One of my favorite purchases I’ve ever made was a cute, little six-dollar workbook titled, “101 Self Exploration Journal Questions.” If you’re looking for a simplistic book to help gain profound and sobering answers, this is the one for you.
When I was flipping through mine the other day, I landed on the question “When was the happiest moment of your life?” I’m going to let you in on a little secret: before then, I had not cried about my breakup. Well, I cried once or twice about the dog but not the boy (oops). Until this moment, I was unintentionally suppressing tears and emotion. When I took the time to reflect on my recent past, I was finally physically able to mourn about it.
This was such a relief. After my quick tear-sesh, I discovered that was exactly what I needed. It’s healthy to mourn. And before I bought what some might call a cheesy self-help book, I wasn’t able to find that out on my own.
3. Find Time to Meditate
I think the word “meditation” has such a cliche connotation to it. Although it can, meditation doesn’t necessarily mean sitting on the floor with your hands upward singing “om” rhythms. In the hustle of our daily lives, it’s rare for people to find the time to partake in reflection sessions of any kind. I strongly feel this is an important step to self-awareness and a simple tweak to make your everyday life more fulfilling, so I suggest finding what works for you.
My personal meditation time is on my drive to work every morning. I put on my christian tunes, clear my head and focus on prayer. When I find my mind drifting to other things, I bounce my core thoughts back to worship. It’s such a positive and reassuring way to start the day. After making this a habit, I’ve even noticed my morning productiveness increase in the office.
4. Find an Active Hobby
Activeness = Endorphins = Positive Feeling = Pursuit to Happiness
Simply put, rather than just coming home from work and vegging on Netflix every night, do something that will distract you in a positive way. I’m not telling you to go to the gym or go on a run because, truth be told, that doesn’t work for everyone.
What I am suggesting though, is to find an effective activity you legitimately like doing. This could be anything from Yoga to mountain biking, golfing to swimming, visiting museums (hey there’s lots of walking involved) to gardening. I mean you never know until you try, right?