As a young adult who just recently discovered the building blocks to discovering who I am, I feel obligated to share my wisdom with others who feel like they are following a path, as opposed to creating their own trail. Once you deviate away from a path to create your own, you then make discoveries for yourself, reach obstacles along the way, but you inevitably look back, and see something that is nothing but your own.
First off, finding out who you are is not for the faint-hearted. It is incredibly hard work. Self-discovery is like earning an A on a test: If you are not willing to study your ass off, you don’t deserve the grade. So, if you even plan on going through this process, get ready for the long haul.To start this process, first and foremost, you need to be alone. When I say alone, I mean you need to be out of a relationship, not dating, not in a friends-with-benefits situation – nothing. It is impossible to focus solely on yourself when you have someone else blurring your vision. Someone else cannot help you on your process to finding out who you are. When someone else is in your life in a romantic way, you lean on them more than you think you do. They are always there to pick you up when you fall, are there when you need a shoulder to cry on and tell you everything you want/need to hear. This is a huge problem for anyone on the journey to self-discovery. You need to pick yourself up, you need to soothe yourself when you’re crying, you need to learn what to tell yourself when you are in a tough spot. Someone else is a crutch to any progress you may have made. Someone else could also be clouding your vision so much that you think you know yourself (because you live vicariously through them) when in reality, if they were to leave, you have absolutely no idea what to do because you feel like a lost soul.
After you get the “crutches” out of your life, it is finally time to start the foundation to working on yourself. This is the most important part of the process. This is also the most terrifying part of the process. When you do not know who you are, the acceptance to anything of self-creation is frightening. You need to figure out here how you define yourself – what is important to you. This is not someone else’s responsibility to help you. It would defeat the purpose of finding yourself if you went to close friends and family, and asked the question “What do you think of me?” A good way to do this is to write a list, evaluate it, then you have a small part of your foundation – how you define yourself.
After laying down the foundation of how to define yourself, you then have to do one of the hardest things even the most level headed person has trouble doing – what are your faults, do those faults define you and do you want those faults to define you? It takes a special person to sit down and accurately write a list of all of their faults honestly. That is truly someone who knows him or herself.
Next, you need to think about your future – how you want to spend it, and how you plan to make the most of everyday. This also takes a lot of time.
Everything that I have talked about is simply the foundation for self-discovery. The real work comes after you have laid down the foundation – just like if you were building a house – once the foundation is laid down, there is still lots of work to come. You don’t wake up one morning saying, “Hey, I think I know who I am today!!” The real work is something no one can tell you, or help you with. That would ruin the purpose of figuring out who you are if someone spoon-fed it to you. As I stated earlier, this process is not for the faint-hearted. If you truly want to find yourself, if you truly want to live life to the fullest and if you want to live life knowing exactly you are where you should be, put in the work to get there. I promise you it will be worth it.