“He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.” – Lao Tzu
In our constantly changing world, we often lose sight of ourselves behind the wave of responsibilities, errands, and pressure put upon us. “I don’t have time to ‘find myself’; I’m busy just trying to survive!” You might find yourself saying this when you think about feeling lost, and you might just chalk it up as a normal feeling in today’s society.
However, finding our true selves can help us prosper in life, because having a clear vision of ourselves allows us to line up goals, desires, and even the right relationships for us.
If you’ve been feeling disconnected from yourself lately and want to figure out how to pull yourself from the trenches, read on for some helpful tips.
Here are 5 ways to find yourself when you feel lost:
1. Write down your interests and goals.
You don’t have to think years in advance on this one, just a few weeks or months ahead. What do you like to do? What do you want to accomplish within the interests you pursue? For example, you might enjoy mountain biking in your free time. Why not sign up for a race or join a local group that you can bike with? Part of knowing ourselves is learning our likes and dislikes, and having the courage and willpower to pursue our interests, even if they put us outside of our comfort zone.
After all, we cannot grow unless we push ourselves to become better than we ever imagined, and one way of doing that is to do what we love and never stop trying to improve!
2. Do something you’ve always been afraid of.
This might seem counterintuitive, but doing something that makes you scared will help you push past your comfort zone and learn what you’re really made of. We often put self-imposed limits on ourselves and say things like “I could never do that” or “That seems too hard/scary/impossible.” Few things in life are truly impossible; it’s just that we decide to avoid challenges before we even try!
Attempting to do something that scares you, even if you fail, will help you to overcome those limits and eliminate some of the fears that hold you back in life.
3. Follow your dreams every single day.
The only people who don’t accomplish their dreams are those who give up. The real secret to following your dreams is perseverance, because the road ahead will inevitably have challenges, but you have to make a commitment to sticking with it even when you feel like quitting. You might have to come home from work and set aside a few hours a day to work on your goals. However, once you finally do achieve what you set out to do, you’ll feel absolutely unstoppable.
You’ll realize that reality comes from our own minds, where we create what we see and turn it into something tangible. Therefore, you have the power to shape reality based on how hard you’re willing to work to turn those rocks into diamonds.
4. Spend time alone.
You can’t find yourself if you never learn to enjoy your own company. Go on a solo roadtrip, or even a backpacking trip across several countries. Meditate and learn to love the sound of silence, where you can find all the answers you’ve been seeking. To truly know and understand ourselves, we must go deep into our hearts, and only there will we find the real us that we’ve buried under years of cultural conditioning and perceived limits. Learn to trust your own intuition and the inner voice guiding you, because that will take you farther than anyone’s advice or counseling.
5. Forget what other people think.
Remember that “a lion doesn’t lose sleep over the opinion of sheep,” so don’t let what other people think stop you from being you. Most people are far too preoccupied with their own lives to even notice what moves you’re making anyway, and even if they pay attention, the only person’s opinion you should be concerned with is your own. As long as you’re happy with where you’re going and the person you’re becoming, nothing else matters. People can hate on you all they want, but realize that they probably don’t like themselves either. People project what they feel within, which is why you should just do what you want and put all the chatter from others aside.
You might feel as though you’re in a losing battle when it comes to finding yourself, but don’t get discouraged. Though we live in confusing times where most of us struggle with our identity, just remember that ultimately, you don’t have to put yourself in a box. Labeling yourself only limits yourself, so as long as you feel content with who you are and where you’re going, that’s all that matters.